Black Label Society / Blessed Hellride, the
Album: Blessed Hellride, the   Collection:General
Artist:Black Label Society   Added:May 2003
Label:Spitfire Records Inc.  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2003-05-12 Pull Date: 2003-07-14 Charts: Loud
Week Ending: Jul 13 Jun 8 Jun 1 May 25 May 18
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. May 05, 2007: public noize racket
The Blessed Hellride
4. May 28, 2003: The Disclaimer
Stoned and Drunk
2. Aug 04, 2005: Blues For the Red Sun
5. May 21, 2003: The Disclaimer - Megawatts of Mass Metal
Blackened Waters
3. Jun 04, 2003: The Disclaimer - Going Out With A Bang
Stoned and Drunk
6. May 14, 2003: Off the Path
Dead Meadow

Album Review
Orges Beqiri
Reviewed 2003-05-09
Black Label Society – The Blessed Hellride (Spitfire Records)
For those of you who don’t know: once Ozzy left Sabbath, he pursued a solo career, and was aided by guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoades, who died in a plane crash after two albums. Jake E. Lee (another virtuoso) replaced him, only to leave after one album. Ozzy held auditions and handpicked this goofy-looking 19-year-old from Jersey to play in his band. Can you say big shoes to fill? Zakk turned out to be the best decision Ozzy’s made in his miserable life. I’m a huge fan of Zakk Wylde and everything he’s ever put out, so this review might be just a bit biased. Having said that, this is a great fucking record!!! His last one was a bit too midtempo all the way through, and the drums sounded a bit uninspired, almost like they were programmed by a novice drummer. His voice had deteriorated into this ugly drone for the most part, way below his normal range. Way to make amends for it all, Zakk. On this one, everything seems to have come together perfectly. Melody, heaviness, power, crunch, solos, acoustic songs, mellow moments, anger, love, despair, fucking fuck! It also draws a lot from a more varied range of influences. Listening to this you can hear it all, from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Sabbath, from Alice in Chains to Pink Floyd, and everywhere in between. His voice sounds uncannily like Ozzy’s, it’s very freaky. The drumming on this is superb, and the mix is damn near perfect. The guitar solos also sound a lot more refined and inspired than on the last one (come to think of it, I really didn’t like that record). By the way, Zakk wrote all the songs here, recorded the guitar, bass, piano, and vocal tracks for all of them, co-produced and mixed the record.

1) The lead-off track opens up with an awesome riff that morphs into another awesome riff, which then sways back to the original riff, and so on. Very cool with an awesome typical Zakk solo.
2) This song was inspired by the events of September 11, and it’s got some badass drum-n-riff work to open it up. Sounds a lot like Ozzy, and the trademark pig squeal is back on Zakk’s guitar.
3) The album’s first single, this one has been charting on rock radio all over the country (did I mention the album debuted at #50 on the Billboard charts?). It’s an awesome song, and Ozzy sings backup vocals on it. It’s got a really cool pull-off/hammer-on thing going on, but it sounds unusually heavy, and it’s moody as all fuck.
4) More midtempo, with pig squeals galore (I think the technical term is “pinch harmonics”, but fuck that shit). It’s still a great song.
5) This is what I meant when I said Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is totally mellowed out, southern-blues influenced, acoustic awesomeness. Listen for the bass track, it’s neat! And that solo...
6) Classic BLS stuff, all depressed and shit, but in the end, booze saves the day. Some interesting guitar-work in the verses.
7) Another midtempo rocker with many more pinch harmonics and trills and all other sorts of cool shit on the guitar. Some cool guitar chords matched up perfectly with cymbal crashes.
8) More classic BLS, more piggies squealing, more downtuned guitars tuned further down than should be allowable, more lyrics about drinking and never giving up on a certain lifestyle. I like this song a lot, especially since Zakk reaches beyond his normal vocal range.
9) This is such a haunting song. Slow delivery, moody guitars, and a killer, heartfelt solo; listening to him sing “we all drown in blackened waters” gives me the creeps. Play this!
10) It starts out with a generic drumbeat, and it kinda sounds too alternative/grunge for my tastes. The lyrics are still damn good, and the delivery and solo are unparalleled, but I still don’t like this song as much as the rest of the songs here.
11) The closing track is this ultra-gloomy, piano-driven masterpiece that will make you shit your pants. Very Pink Floyd-ish, very depressed feel to it, which is why I like it so much (I’m such a sucker for stuff like this). Clean vocals throughout, sounding very modern; excellent way to close the album.
VERDICT: In one word: powerful. A definite must-add/must-play, even (or should I say especially) for non-metal heads.

Track Listing
1. Stoned and Drunk   6. Funeral Bell
2. Doomsday Jesus   7. Final Solution
3. Stillborn   8. Destruction Overdrive
4. Suffering Overdue   9. Blackened Waters
5. The Blessed Hellride   10. We Live no More
  11. Dead Meadow