The answer is simple if you know it, and you shall now;
As near as I know Zack made a name for himself by replacing Randy Roads as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, he spent a lot of time kicking ass and writing awesome rifts with the prince of darkness. But genius is hard to contain in the background of a lead man, even if that lead man is freaking Ozzy Osbourne, so it came to pass that Black Label Society was born. Zack Wylde’s own group where he was lead guitarist and singer, a great side project for a man destined to rock.
I’ve lost count of how many Black Label Society cds there are, it might be as many as twenty, there was a period where Zack was coming out with two albums a year under the title of Black Label, yet he still found time to help Ozzy record all his great work and tour with both Ozzy and his own group. Hardworking dude, you have to know I respect that.
I was introduced to Black Label Society through my good friend Gary, who really loves the guitar. Everything I heard out of Black Label was good, great even, but there was one song that stopped me in my tracks at work and forced me to listen to every note on the first listen I had. That song was “In This River.”
Like Gary I too am very fond of the guitar, but I have to say there has always been something about the piano that captures me. There’s a reason I love music like Meat Loaf, David Gray, and Mozart’s piano concertos so damn much, there is just something beautiful about the piano, and when we combine electric guitar and piano together it is like heaven is down on earth. In the example of “In This River,” we are treated to a great combination of slow sympathetic melody with the powerful and hard electric rifts of Zack godlike guitar playing. Add in the third element of an extremely soulful signer and you have one of the best songs ever.
“In This River,” was written in memory of Zack Wylde’s good friend Dimebag Darrel best known for his work in Pantera, there is nothing like the death of a friend to stir up some sombre feelings in one’s soul. I can think of no greater tribute or memorial to a lost friend then such a masterpiece of music.
So in conclusion, remember these points always for they can only help you;
Zack Wylde is the greatest active guitarist right now on earth, actually until we meet an alien civilization that can rock as much as humans can, we can probably assume Zack Wylde is the greatest active guitarist in the universe.
Black Label Society is freaking amazing and if you ever have the chance to go see them live, freaking do so, I missed them twice now when they came to Calgary and to be honest I lost a little respect for myself for it.
In This River is an awesome song, download, listen to it, love it.
Until next month people, keep on rocking in the free world.
- Colin Kelly