Black Label Society - Skullage (CD/DVD)
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Southern-fried Biker Metal
Disc 1: 15 songs (61'00) Disc 2: 16 songs (115'00)
Release year: 2009
Black Label Society, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewed by Marty
Although I'm a bit late on this one, with the latest developments in the Zakk Wylde camp starting with his being sacked as Ozzy's guitar player (by Sharon no doubt) as well as Zakk's recent health scare with blot clots in his lungs and legs, the window of opportunity opened up very wide to sneak in a review for this new DVD/CD combo by Black Label Society. Skullage is yet another greatest hits package that has been released in recent years and exists in 2 forms; you can get the CD version or the specially priced CD/DVD collector's edition with a DVD containing promotional videos and assorted live performances.

The previous "best of" package entitled Kings Of Damnation was a collection that included more of the earlier BLS material as well as songs from Zakk's Pride and Glory Days. Although Skullage does sample from that era, careful consideration was taken to avoid track duplication. The CD version spans almost all of the southern fried biker metal of the BLS albums and includes tracks like Machine Gun Man, Dead As Yesterday, Doomsday Jesus, Stillborn, In This River (Zakk's touching tribute to Dimebag Darrell), Fire It Up and acoustic versions of The Blessed Hellride, Spoke In The Wheel and Stillborn; all also featured on the DVD and were recorded for the "Slightly Amped" Live In Lehigh Valley radio performance during their Blessed Hellride tour.

The best part of this package is the DVD. Along with promotional videos for Stillborn, Suicide Messiah, In This River, Fire It Up and New Religion we get tracks taken from the previous live DVD releases Doom Troopin':European Invasion and Boozed, Broozed and Broken-Boned with Spoke In The Wheel, All For You, 13 Years of Grief and Bleed For Me (the latter three tracks featuring Robert Trujillo on bass). Certainly one of the more entertaining segments of this DVD is called Welcome to the Compound and features over 30 minutes of pure Zakk Wylde messing about at home. Never without a beer in hand, Zakk shows us his weight room, his guitar collection and even hams it up for the cameras by putting on a dress and playing around with his kid's dolls. We get to see not only the zany, crazy and very funny side of Zakk but also a calm seriousness in his personality; discussing family, religious beliefs, songwriting inspirations including a very initimate solo piano performance.

This would be a great introduction to the "brotherhood" that is the Black Label Society and Zakk's alcohol-fuelled brand of crushing heavy "biker metal" with a healthy dose of classic Southern Rock. They are an acquired taste but have a very strong and loyal fan base of "brothers" who follow the band from place to place and attend many "chapter" meetings (i.e. concerts) much in the same way as the Dead Heads back in the day. For those of the "brotherhood", there's some great never before seen live footage here as well as some that you no doubt already have but the real gem here is the 30 minutes one-on-one with Zakk that offers great insight into what makes this guy tick like no other film footage has ever been able to quite capture before.

Killing Songs :
Doomsday Messiah, Fire It Up, Spoke In The Wheel, Stillborn and In This River
Marty quoted no quote
Other albums by Black Label Society that we have reviewed:
Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Black Label Society - Catacombs of the Black Vatican reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Black Label Society - Order of the Black reviewed by Jake and quoted 69 / 100
Black Label Society - Sonic Brew reviewed by Khelek and quoted 92 / 100
Black Label Society - European Invasion - Doom Troopin' (DVD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
To see all 11 reviews click here
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