Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society

Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society: Boozed, Broozed & Broken-Boned

directed by Eddie Mapp

starring Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society

Eagle Rocket

Anyone out there who thinks that metal is dead, Zakk Wylde has a thing or two to say to you. And he’s using this DVD to say it. Loud! I have been a Zakk Wylde fan since he started playing guitar for Ozzy, but I had lost touch with him after his second solo album, Book of Shadows. This DVD was the perfect way to get reacquainted.

Black Label Society performed to a sold-out crowd of Detroit fans at Harpo’s that was a record breaker in at least one way — the bar ran out of liquid refreshment. This DVD gives the home viewer a front row seat for their bone-crushing set. The video quality is surprisingly good for concert footage in such a small club. While the editing could have been a little tighter in places, it really gave you a feel for the energy that was being exchanged between the band and the crowd. The digital sound was exceptional. I sampled the Dolby Digital track, and it was fine, but, as usual, the DTS track provided a much fuller, more expansive feel to the music and the crowd reaction. BLS tears through twelve tracks here that should be familiar to most of their fans and should serve as a great introduction to neophytes.

While the Detroit performance is well worth the price of the DVD, the extras contain some great gravy. You get another sample of live material with two numbers from a Tokyo performance. Also included is the Rob Zombie directed video for “Stillborn” (featuring vocal assists from Ozzy) from the last BLS studio album The Blessed Hellride. We get to see Zakk perform the National Anthem at the opening of a hockey game. There is an exclusive interview where the eloquent and knowledgeable Zakk fills us in on everything from the show that was used in the video, to his musical influences, to his first band’s first gig. Included as another bonus are silly clips from the interview involving the band goofing off in the studio before the interview. There is an acoustic set showcasing Zakk’s ability to fluidly combine rock, classical, country, and blues licks in his music when it focuses on just two guitars and his vocals. We get a snippet of a guitar lesson from Zakk that I assume is from a separate video as he is mentioning stuff that he showed us “before”. And, quite possibly the most impressive home video footage ever included on a DVD involves two minutes with Zakk and his daughter singing a duet.

It is a crying shame that Black Label Society isn’t a household name. With charts that include Rob Zombie, Godsmack, Metallica, and Saliva, there is definitely a place for this band to showcase their own personal style of rock. If you are a BLS fan, you already have this DVD or the only reason you don’t have it yet is because you have to go out and buy a DVD player first to get this DVD. If you aren’t yet a BLS fan, this is the perfect introduction to their world. If you like your music hard, but still with melody, rhythm, and structure, give Black Label Society a chance to kick your ass.

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