Black Wedding: The Best Of Burly, Beastly Beard Metal

Tonight Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society hits House of Blues for what seems to be their annual Houston gig. Craig's Hlist can't remember a year in recent history where they weren't in town at least once or even twice in a calendar span.

The band released their newest album, The Song Remains Not The Same, a collection of acoustic cuts, and a few other songs that didn't make it onto last year's Order of the Black, just yesterday.

We really can't imagine anyone not wanting to spend one night on a blessed metal hellride with Black Label Society. The former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, who left after Ozz's 2007 album Black Rain, has been running the BLS tribe since 1998's debut album, Sonic Brew.

Mixing Southern-rock jams, a heavy blues element and pure metal destruction, the band has become the preferred poison of bikers and boring, normal folks alike for the past decade.

Albums like Hangover Music and The Blessed Hellride are good jumping-off points for novices, but for a real riff orgasm we heartily suggest 2005's Mafia, which includes the touching piano-driven "In This River," that wasn't originally a tribute to Dimebag Darrell, but the accompanying music video honored the fallen Pantera guitar god (and Rocks Off pageview angel) just the same.

BLS is a part of a distinct strain of metal that CHL is a heavy supporter of: beard metal. Made for dudes with beards, the women who love metal beards, by dudes with beards. All of varying length.

There was a time in our lives when our own beard touched our chest, and all we listened to were beard metal bands, like Early Man, High on Fire, and The Sword, or pretty much anything our tattoo artist burned for us.

He still makes little mixes for us to this day. We still love the stuff, but we took a left turn into the more ambient, doomy stuff like Converge side project Old Man Gloom, the legendary Earth, Boris, and of course, Sunn 0)))

Here's a beard-metal primer to help you get through your day. Remember to take this playlist with lots and lots of dope. After all, it's Wednesday.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty