Monday, May 04, 2009

Black Label Society-Skullage


Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde started the Black Label Society back in the 1990's as a side project. Of course that band has become more than just a project over the years as it has taken on a life of it's own and they have gathered their own following. Long spaces between Ozzy releases have allowed Wylde more time to spend with this band. Black Label Society released "Kings of Damnation" a while back, but it has been a while so it's not unexpected that they have brought forth another compilation. The new CD/DVD Skullage package contains an overwhelming mountain of material that should satisfy all fans. The CD actually begins with Machine Gun Man from Wylde's pre-BLS release "Pride and Glory". Then it shoots straight in the BLS years as we are taken on a journey through time. The DVD is almost as long as the CD and works as a great companion piece. It's a mix of live clips, videos and some odd yet amusing interviews. This package works because it presents the band in their element. There is nothing forced or tacked on. We get signature tracks, a fair variety of tunes and a varied, high quality DVD. This isn't a band I could listen to every day. There is a definite Ozzy influence in some of BLS's material and that's fine. However there were times where I felt like this band could and should pushed to create a more involved sound. There were times where they did, but largely they seemed more content with volume instead of expanding their structure. Still Wylde makes little pretenses about this group. It's straight forward, leather-clad metal that appeals to a fairly wide age range. Even if I am not their biggest fan, I am still very much impressed with this package.

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