Scrawl from The Saw’s Butcher Shop: Black Label Society — Doom Crew Inc. ALBUM REVIEW

Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! I am your host, The Saw (but you already knew that). I have a New Album Review of a straight-up Heavy Metal record; or rather, a ‘Biker Metal’ release by none other than Black Label Society, entitled, Doom Crew Inc – dropped on November, 26, 2021 (eOne). Now, The Saw grew up on a motorcycle – both of my parents are bikers – and BLS is one of those bands that can play for hours while you scoot down the road! 

Black Label Society is a concept, a way of life, from the mind of Zakk Wylde (lead vocals, lead guitar, piano). So, Wylde is also the famous lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne; he is three guitarists removed from his hero, Randy Rhodes. Formed in 1998, BLS has evolved into a worldwide community of “Berzerkers,” divided into Chapters, depending on the cities in which they live. Among the official merch for the band is, what is known in the biker world as, “a three-piece cut” – a patch on the back of a leather or denim vest with a top rocker that says “Black Label” and a bottom rocker saying “Society,” with a half-skull in the middle, and a “cube” with the acronym “SDMF.” This brand, I must say, is brilliant and really gives a sense of family; brothers, worldwide, regardless of gender, race, or creed. All of BLS’ marketing, obviously, is geared toward the biker image and has really proved successful for the band.
Doom Crew Inc. is the eleventh studio album by Black Label Society. It is exactly what one would expect of Zakk Wylde and BLS. Iconic guitar riffs and solos, backed by a solid band, with Wylde’s voice that can be recognized anywhere at anytime. 

The album opens with the single, “Set You Free.” Acoustic guitar gives way to a groovy riff and elevated chorus. Dueling solos are the feature, here, with a punching mid-tempo Heavy Metal drive. “Destroy & Conquer” features a classic Wylde/BLS riff. A distinct tone with circular buzzing roll into a slow, pounding groove as Wylde’s vocals soar higher, and so does the guitar solo! “You Made Me Want to Live” is almost a ballad in the verses, and a bop during the chorus. The solo is classic Wylde, three decades in the making. This song is riding in the wind kind of music!  

“Forever and a Day” is the first BLS-style ballad on the record. It is very Beatles-like in the verses. Wylde’s piano work, and of course solo work, is featured. “End of Days” is straight down the middle of the road song; the kind that have made BLS famous. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you have a larger-than-life vocalist/guitarist, then you’d better have a SOLID band to support her/him. BLS is such a band! “Ruins” features another dizzying riff. But also a Barber Shop Quartet kind of vocal harmonizing that is quickly overcome by the wicked riff. “Forsaken” is another classic BLS tune – an awesome riff drives soaring vocals. BLS likes to make the verses and bridges of their songs heavier than the chorus’.

“Love Reign Down” is the 2nd BLS ballad, featuring piano and organ. Wylde is Roman Catholic, and it seems he took us to church with him. Speaking of church, the very next song is “Gospel of Lies,” and its one of my favorites. A crushingly slow power groove opens into a classic BLS riff that is nothing but a bop! “Shelter Me” is, yet, another fists in the wind kind of song, with the BLS trademark ballad-esque chorus. The solo has a definite 80’s feel, dueling, and layered over the groovy riff. “Gather All My Sins” begins with a blues lick, which quickly turns the same tune into a driving Metal riff. Splashing symbol work fills out the groove nicely, with the customary dueling solos to even things out. “Farewell Ballad,” obviously, is the third and final BLS ballad on Doom Crew Inc. It features a wicked solo over piano and drums. Wylde’s trademark voice is crisp and clear, here, and on the whole record. 

*I say, “BLS ballad” because Wylde and Black Label Society have a distinct way they deliver a ballad – very cool, and still very biker! 
By all accounts, Zakk Wylde is a real down-to-earth, super guy. Obviously, the music he writes for BLS is legendary, but I also think the lyrical content of nearly each song has special depth and meaning for him. He still writes with the loss of “Dime Bag” Darryl (Pantera; Damage Plan) in view on many songs; a severe loss of a best friend that has scarred him, I think. Interestingly, with that sadness, and the undertones of darkness in the music, Doom Crew Inc. has a very positive spin. Wylde has always been about family, friends, and community. Black Label Society invites you to become a part of something bigger. You’re welcome!
Current Members:
Zakk Wylde –lead guitar, lead vocals, piano
John Deservio – bass, backing vocals 
Dario Lorina – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jeff Fabb – drums 
Rating: 8/10!! Nothing new, but exactly the awesome Biker Metal I expected! 
Favorite Songs: Gospel of Lies; Destroy & Conquer; Ruins

Stay Metal,


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