Black Label Society have released a new music video today for their song “Spoke In The Wheel” from their upcoming LP due out this spring. Directed by long-time director and collaborator Justin Reich, this is the first music video we’ve seen from the band since ”Trampled Down Below” was released last year from the Grimmest Hits LP. Black Label Society will release Sonic Brew – 20th Anniversary Blend 5.99 – 5.19 on May 17, 2019, via Entertainment One (eOne). “Spoke In The Wheel” is available as an iTunes instant gratification track, meaning fans who pre-order the album on iTunes will receive that single as an instant download. “Spoke In The Wheel” is available on all streaming services today.  Pre-order bundles including teeshirts, posters, vinyl, and even a turntable are available now. Click here for more.

Thanks to a new arrangement with record label Entertainment One (eOne), the band’s back catalog is now all in one place, uniting the band’s earlier work with their more recent output. The “re-blended” version of their classic debut is resurrected bigger than ever without sacrificing its familiar kick. Plus, there are two bonus cuts: a full band/piano version of “Spoke in the Wheel” and an acoustic take on “Black Pearl.”

Black Label Society has also announced their 20 Years of Sonic Brewtality Tour,” a brand-new batch of 2019 North American tour dates in conjunction with the new release. The band will play two shows in each market – the first night will feature Sonic Brew played in its entirety, while the second night will see the band play a set of greatest hits. Support will come from Conan and The Atomic Bitchwax. Black Label Society will also participate in U.S festivals Sonic Temple, Epicenter, and Welcome to Rockville on this run.

Dates begin April 24 at The Oriental Theater in Denver and wrap up in Los Angeles at the famous El Rey Theater for two nights ending on May 23. Tickets are on sale this Friday, February 1, 2019. 

Apr-24 Denver, CO The Oriental Theater
Apr-25 Denver, CO The Oriental Theater
Apr-27 Dallas, TX Canton Hall
Apr-28 Dallas, TX Canton Hall
Apr-30 Chicago, IL Concord Music Hall
May-01 Chicago, IL Concord Music Hall
May-04 Jacksonville, FL Welcome To Rockville
May-06 New York, NY The Bowery Ballroom
May-07 New York, NY The Bowery Ballroom
May-11 Rockingham, NC Epicenter
May-14 Toronto, ON Opera House
May-15 Toronto, ON Opera House
May-17 Columbus, OH Sonic Temple
May-18 Clarksville, TN O’Connors
May-22 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
May-23 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre

Sonic Brew – 20th Anniversary Blend 5.99 – 5.19  is nothing like the infamously awful, failed experiment of New Coke. This is the original formula, like Coke Classic, but spiked with Viagra, the Captain America super soldier serum, and triple the caffeine. 

It’s less of a floor to ceiling remodel than it is a fresh coat of paint, in preparation for another crazy house party. Zakk Wylde and crew were careful not to mess with the magic captured on the long lost two-inch tape. Instead, they blessed the master with some note-for-note enhancement, spicing up /Sonic Brew/ with a perfected recipe.  

“I don’t want to hear Led Zeppelin II redone, with the band just replaying the whole record,”notes the charismatic frontman and gregarious guitar icon. “The performances and everything is a snapshot in time. We just added on top of what was already there on the original recordings. It’s like we went in and did surgery on this thing. We took the original CD master and added things that made it stronger.” 
The Black Label Society studio discography is like an instruction manual on how to expertly craft heartfelt, no holds barred, heavy metal infused American hard rock. “’Sonic Brew’ was the beginning. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” Zakk marvels.  

Wylde’s powerful pipes, mayhem-inducing charisma, mischievous humor, and instantly recognizable shredding have made him a beloved figure to rock audiences the world over. One part invading-horde, one part traveling carnival party, Black Label Society continues to engage and inspire, powered by caffeine and cacophony. 
Zakk Wylde – Vocals/Guitar / John DeServio – Bass / Dario Lorina – Guitar / Jeff Fabb – Drums

Track List:
1. Bored To Tears

2. The Rose Petalled Garden

3. Hey You Digital

4. Born to Lose

5. Peddlers of Death

6. Mother Mary

7. Beneath the Tree

8. Low Down

9. T.A.Z.

10. Lost My Better Half

11. Black Pearl

12. World of Trouble

13. Spoke In The Wheel

14. The Beginning At Last

15. Black Pearl (Bonus Track)

16. Spoke in the Wheel (Bonus)

CD Review: Black Label Society “Catacombs of the Black Vatican”

Black Label Society
“Catacombs of the Black Vatican”
eOne Music
Produced by: Zakk Wylde
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Black Label brethren rejoice as the latest release from Zakk Wilds Black Label Society is finally here. “Catacombs of the Black Vatican” is the follow up to the groups 2010 release “Order of the Black” and is set to prove to everyone that it was well worth the 4 year wait. The album is being released via eOne Music and features 11 all new tracks which were produced by Zakk Wylde and mixed by Black Label alum Adam Klumpp.

Hardcore fans of BLS myself included have been waiting for this album now for quite some time so allow me to be the first to say that I wasn’t at all disappointed and neither will you be. “Catacombs of the Black Vatican” features a much more scaled back production which harkens back to some of the bands earliest releases. Songs such as “My Dying Time” and “Beyond the Down” features Wylde’s signature sound and squealing style we all know and love while tracks like “Angel of Mercy” and “Scars” are acoustical throwbacks to the Pride and Glory days, something I found to be really cool! The album is certainly heavy yet has a relaxed feel making it one of those albums you can throw on while hanging and throwing back some cold ones.

Wylde and his crew of hooligans are by no means reinventing the wheel with the songs found on “Catacombs of the Black Vatican” however they are revisiting their deep seated roots while expanding musically. Zakk’s voice has never sounded better and his guitar playing isn’t too shabby either. Flanked by bassist John “JD” DeServio and former Breaking Benjamin drummer Chad Szeliga the group seems to be at the top of their game and their latest release does a great job of proving that.

Track Listing:
1.) Fields of Unforgiveness
2.) My Dying Time
3.) Believe
4.) Angel of Mercy
5.) Heart of Darkness
6.) Beyond the Down
7.) Scars
8.) Damn the Flood
9.) I’ve Gone Away
10.) Empty Promises
11.) Shades of Gray

Blu-ray/CD Review: Black Label Society “Unblackened”

Black Label Society
eOne Music
Tracks: 23

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society is back with a new two disc live offering titled “Unblackened”. Recorded in stunning high definition during the band’s 2013 appearance at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA, the two disc CD/one disc Blu-Ray album showcases the bands reworking of some of Black Label Society’s most iconic tracks in a way they have never been performed before.

Along with Zakk Wylde on guitar/piano, bassist JD DeServio, long time BLS co-guitarist Nick Catanese, drummer Chad Szeliga, singer Greg Locascio and Derek Sherinian on keyboards/piano “Unblackened” is probably the best release to come out from The Doom Crew since the early 2000’s. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the lighter approach to songs that have been ingrained in to my head since I first started listening to Zakk however in my opinion this should have been the band’s sound from the start. Each track seems to breathe much better which also allows the rich instrumentation to remain clear and articulate (something that is often overshadowed by the group’s standard sludge like sound). Wylde’s voice on tracks like “Sold My Soul”, House of Doom” and “In This River” renews my faith in him as a front man as he showcases a unique vocal range that is quite a bit different than the Viking like gargling he has become known for.

Don’t let the idea of songs like “House of Doom” and “Stillborn being reworked into more acoustic renditions sway you from picking up a copy of this album as those songs along with the other 20 plus are equally crushing and still every bit Black Label Society. Though I appreciate the original recordings of each song which were reworked for “Unblackened” I can safely say that I like the new versions that much more. Another great thing about this release is that it is being released in a couple different formats some of which feature additional material and bonus tracks so no matter if you’re a devout vest wearing, chapter member of the Black Label Society or simply a music fan in general you will surely want to make some room in your collection for “Unblackened”.

Disc 1 Track Listing:
1.) Losin’ Your Mind
2.) The Blessed Hellride
3.) Sold My Soul
4.) Road Back Home
5.) Spoke In the Wheel
6.) House of Doom
7.) Queen of Sorrow
8.) Machine Gun Man
9.) Sweet Jesus
10.) In This River
11.) Throwin’ It All Away

Disc 2 Track Listing:
1.) Takillya (Estyabon)
2.) Won’t Find It Here
3.) Rust
4.) Speedball
5.) I Thank You Child
6.) Stillborn
7.) Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone
8.) Lovin’ Woman
9.) Queen of Sorrow (unplugged)
10.) Song For You
11.) Won’t Find It Here (unplugged)
12.) Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

The Film Society & IndieWire’s Special Screening/Q&A of “Mary Last Seen” (Martha Marcy May Marlene) with Director Sean Durkin and Cast

“Mary Last Seen” was the short that Durkin wrote and directed prior to the full feature. It introduced the world of the film while also working as a standalone story. Fortunately it didn’t have to stand alone and now it makes for an eerie precursor ‘Martha’. The short screened prior to the “Martha Marcy May Marlene” Blu-ray release at New York’s Lincoln Center. In attendance for the IndieWire sponsored event were director Sean Durkin, producer Antonio Campos, cinematographer Drew Innis and actress Alexia Rasmussen (Mary).

In discussing the short, the filmmakers emphasized that if ‘Martha’ was a feature about exiting a cult, ‘Mary’ was about entering it. The connective character between the short and the feature is Brady Corbet’s Watts. Here we get to see how he goes about luring the cult women onto the isolated farm, cutting them off from the world. It’s disconcerting just how much damage the loss of a cell phone can do. “It’s the numbers” Mary laments, accentuating the modern reliance on automated contact lists. If nothing else, the short serves to help understand how Martha in the eventual feature film could have fallen off the face of the Earth to her family.

Click here for our DVD review of “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

CD Review: Black Label Society “Glorious Christmas Songs That Will Make Your Black Label Heart Feel Good” EP

Black Label Society
“Glorious Christmas Songs That Will Make Your Black Label Heart Feel Good” EP
eOne Music
Tracks: 3

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

“Glorious Christmas Songs That Will Make Your Black Label Heart Feel Good” is the Newest EP by the Zakk Wylde fronted group Black Label Society. The EP consists of 3 classic Christmas songs performed by Zakk and his band. The album is being released via eOne Music and available today via iTunes.

I found this CD to be somewhat of a letdown. The tracks feature minimal performances of 3 Christmas Classics by Zakk Wylde and company. I really struggled to find something that stood out and was different. I am a huge Zakk Wylde fan and have quite a collection of his material however the only thing that was somewhat interesting about this EP was the ridiculously long title.

Black Label Society’s “Glorious Christmas Songs That Will Make Your Black Label Heart Feel Good” is nothing that hasn’t been done before. However for those BLS chapter members looking for something to listen to during the holiday season the 3 tracks contained on “Glorious Christmas Songs That Will Make Your Black Label Heart Feel Good” should help get you in the Christmas mood.

Track Listing:
•    I’ll Be Home For Christmas
•    Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
•    It’s A Wonderful World