Black Label Society is an American Heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1998 by guitarist/singer Zakk Wylde. To date, the band has released eleven studio albums, two live albums, two compilation albums, one EP, and three video albums.
In the early 1990s, Wylde had formed his own solo band Pride & Glory, playing a mixture of Bluesy Southern rock with Heavy metal. However, they disbanded in December 1994 after having released only one album. Zakk Wylde subsequently recorded an acoustic solo album, Book of Shadows (1996). In May 1998, after limited commercial success with Book of Shadows, Zakk Wylde and drummer Phil Ondich recorded what became Black Label Society's debut album Sonic Brew. It was decided, rather than the album being another Zakk Wylde solo album, that they would form a long term band. It was known from the start that Nick Catanese would be retained as the second guitarist in the band (Nick Catanese previously toured as rhythm guitarist for the Book of Shadows tour). John DeServio, who previously worked with Zakk Wylde as a temporary replacement in Pride & Glory, joined as the band's bassist for the album's tour.
Sonic Brew was released in Japan on October 28, 1998. Due to delays in signing with a record label (Spitfire Records), the album was not released in the rest of the world until May 4, 1999.
The band's second album Stronger Than Death followed in 2000, with John DeServio being replaced by Steve Gibb. Craig Nunenmacher replaced Phil Ondich in July 2000, with his debut recording with the band being the live album Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live!! +5. This was followed by 1919 Eternal, which was dedicated to Zakk Wylde's father and was released in 2002. Steve Gibb was temporarily replaced by Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) during the Ozzfest 2001 tour, and then Robert Trujillo (Metallica) took over bass duties for the band the next year.
In 2003, Robert Trujillo joined Metallica, leaving the bass position in Black Label Society open, which left room for Mike Inez to rejoin the band for a short two-week tour, supporting the band's album The Blessed Hellride. James LoMenzo joined the band in 2004 after the release of Hangover Music Vol. VI, which was the band's last release for Spitfire Records.
On the first four studio albums, Zakk Wylde played every instrument, except for the drums, including vocals, guitars, piano, and bass guitar.
In 2005, after the band signed with Artemis Records, the album Mafia was released. In October, James LoMenzo left the band (and joined Megadeth a few months later) and was replaced by the band's original bassist, John DeServio. In 2006, the band left Artemis Records and signed to Roadrunner Records, releasing the album Shot to Hell.
In June 2007, Black Label Society parted ways with Roadrunner Records.
In July 2007, band members John DeServio and Nick Catanese both signaled the start of new bands as Zakk Wylde toured with Ozzy Osbourne. Drummer Craig Nunenmacher left the band in February 2010, and was replaced by Will Hunt (of Dark New Day, Evanescence). Will Hunt’s first live performance with the band would be on July 24, 2010, at the first edition of the High Voltage Festival in London.
On August 10, 2010, Order of the Black, their eighth studio album, was released. It reached number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In 2011 the band toured in support of their new album. The Black Label Berzerkus tour started in Portland, Oregon, with Children of Bodom and Clutch sharing the main support slot and 2cents opening.
In March 2011, Will Hunt left the band to record with Evanescence, and Danzig drummer Johnny Kelly (formerly of Type O Negative) filled in for him for the rest of the tour, however in May 2011, Mike Froedge of doubleDrive and Nick Catanese's band Speed X joined the band.
Black Label Society released the compilation album The Song Remains Not the Same on May 3, 2011, via Entertainment One Music. The offering features unplugged versions of material from the album Order of the Black, as well as additional material recorded during the Order of the Black sessions. The Song Remains Not the Same was conceived, created and compiled by Zakk Wylde and the title is a nod to one of Zakk's favorite bands, Led Zeppelin.
On September 14, 2011, Zakk Wylde introduced Breaking Benjamin's Chad Szeliga as the band's new drummer.
An interview with ESPN announced an acoustic DVD entitled Unblackened, in the works for 2012. The album was recorded during the Unblackened show at Club Nokia on March 6, 2013.
On May 3, 2013, it was announced that Black Label Society would be included in the year's installment of Gigantour, along with Megadeth, Device, Hellyeah, Newsted, and upstart band Death Division.
In August 2013, Zakk Wylde stated that he would begin writing a new studio album, and it would be scheduled for a 2014 release. On October 28, they debuted a new music video, a cover of Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine".
It was reported on December 2, 2013, that Nick Catanese had amicably parted from the band.
On January 1, 2014, Zakk Wylde announced via Facebook that Lizzy Borden guitarist Dario Lorina would be replacing Nick Catanese as rhythm guitarist. Dario Lorina made his live debut with the band on April 16 in Seattle.
In 2014, Black Label Society played the main stage of Download Festival on the Friday at Donington Park in the UK.
On October 2, 2017, the band released the song "Room of Nightmares", also announcing that they will be releasing their new album Grimmest Hits on January 19, 2018. On November 20, the band released another song from Grimmest Hits titled "All That Once Shined".
On November 29, 2019, Black Label Society released a vinyl-only EP titled "Nuns and Roaches". The release features six songs originally recorded in 1999.
In August 2021, the band announced their eleventh studio album, titled "Doom Crew Inc.", to be released on November 26, 2021. The album's lead single is titled "Set You Free", which was selected by Loudwire as the 22nd-best metal song of 2021.
Sonic Brew (2016)
Stronger Than Death (2000)
Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live!! +5 (2001)
The Blessed Hellride (2003)
Hangover Music Vol. VI (2004)
Shot to Hell (2006)
Order of the Black (2010)
The Song Remains Not The Same (2011)
Catacombs of the Black Vatican (2014)
Grimmest Hits (2018)
Doom Crew Inc. (2021)
Zakk Wylde – lead and rhythm guitar, lead vocals, piano (1998–present), bass (1998–2000)
John DeServio – bass, backing vocals (1999, 2005–present)
Dario Lorina – rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals (2014–present)
Jeff Fabb – drums (2012–2013, 2014–present)
Robert Trujillo – bass (2001–2003)
Johnny Kelly – drums (2011)
Mike Froedge – drums (2011)
Phil Ondich – drums (1998–2000)
Nick Catanese – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1999–2013)
Steve Gibb – bass (2000–2001)
Craig Nunenmacher – drums (2000–2010)
Mike Inez – bass (2001, 2003)
James LoMenzo – bass (2004–2005)
Will Hunt – drums (2010–2011)
Chad Szeliga – drums (2011–2012, 2013–2014)