“Doom Crew Inc.” Will Be Released On Friday November 26,2021
Black Friday has a special significance this year as it marks the release of Black Label Society’s (BLS) 11th studio album, Doom Crew Inc. This album not only pays homage to the armies of steadfast BLS fans worldwide, but also to the band’s devoted road crew who are known for their credo “first to bleed, last to leave.” This album, like most of the others, was recorded at founding member and lead vocalist Zakk Wylde‘s home, dubbed “the Black Vatican.” When you stop to think about musicians that have garnered a high level of respect, it’s hard not to think of Zakk Wylde. From his mastery of the guitar to his passionate and brilliant lyric writing, Wylde has set the rock n’ roll world ablaze for more than 30 years. With influences such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin it’s no wonder that BLS’ music resonates so deeply with fans. These were the same bands I listened to growing up and still do today. Black Label Society are permanent residents on all of my playlists, and I couldn’t wait to give this album a spin.
The 1st track, and my favorite, is “Set You Free.” The song employs the old bait and switch tactic by luring you in with the tranquil melody of the acoustic guitar only to replace it with the hard-grinding dual guitars of Wylde and fellow guitarist Dario Lorina. With lyrics such as “Take my hand, Walk with me, A world without end, I’ll set you free” this song is sure to captivate listeners and it’s an obvious choice for being the 1st single released. This song has been rampaging through my head since I first heard it. Be sure to check out the video below as it’s a blast.
I realize I can’t say that every track on this album is my favorite, but ” Forever and a Day” is right up there. I love a good ballad and this one delivers. “Forever and A Day” allows Wylde’s vocals to shine and the passion that went into this song is reminiscent of the band’s 2005 hit “In This River.” Bassist John DeServio and drummer Jeff Fabb are integral cogs in the BLS machine and put forth invaluable effort throughout this album but especially on tracks such as “Destroy & Conquer” and “Gather All My Sins.”
The band’s influences are evident throughout the album, but no more so than on the opening of “Gospel Of Lies.” The minute-long opening on this track reminded me so much of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” that I kept waiting for someone to belt out “Generals Gathered In Their Masses.” This is not an imitation, but rather an inspiration born out of respect for one of rock’s greatest bands. After the intro, the song takes a turn and brings us to a familiar place where smoking guitar riffs and Wylde’s choruses reign supreme. Make no mistake about it, “Gospel Of Lies” is a solid track.
“Blind your eyes, One’s chosen fate, Wander in your desert, you’ll find your end of days.” This is the chorus from the second single, “End Of Days.” Comprised of somber and somewhat ominous lyrics, “End Of Days” takes a venture into the dark side. The tandem guitar work from Wylde and Lorina serve as a beacon of light in this otherwise shadowy tune. Ironically, the “End Of Days” video was released earlier this month and showcases Wylde’s awesome sense of humor. The video includes Wylde and DeServio fighting and chasing each other while dressed as bears. Words don’t do it justice so give the video a click, you won’t be disappointed.
Members of the Doom Crew are going to love this album. BLS has perfected their blueprint for success: music, melody and lyrics, in that order. The band is patient and will never rush out an inferior product. 30 songs were in consideration for inclusion but only a dozen made it onto the album. Listeners are going to appreciate the increased emphasis on the dual string bending exhibited by Wylde and Lorina. BLS has never strayed from their musical roots and continue to show their diversity. Always ready to kick your teeth in with their pulverizing, rhythmic power riffs, BLS can lay out a ballad with the best of them. Make sure to put the “Black” in Black Friday and pick up the new album this week.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Black Label Society:
Zakk Wylde: Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals, Piano
John DeServio: Bass, Backing Vocals
Dario Lorina: Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jeff Fabb: Drums
Doom Crew Inc. Track Listing:
1.Set You Free
2.Destroy & Conquer
3.You Made Me Want To Live
4.Forever And A Day
5.End Of Days
8.Love Reign Down
9.Gospel Of Lies
11.Gather All My Sins
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