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Black Label Society – Order Of The Black

Black Label Society
Order Of The Black
by Maria Voutiriadou at 24 August 2010, 8:08 AM

Zakk is back! Yeap, ladies and gents, the former Madman’s lead guitarist put himself together, 4 years after the most recent BLACK LABEL SOCIETY release and gives us a brand new album with the characteristic pure heavy-handed, such in-your-face Wylde riffage that we all love and trust (amen). It’s obvious that a lot of water rolled in the rivers and seas since the BLS debut “Sonic Brew” saw the first light, till the latest “Shot To Hell”, but here we have to deal with the most hard and sensitive side of Wylde, ever – and that’s not an overreacted statement, for sure! Listen to “Order Of The Black” closely and you are going to figure out exactly what I mean.

As always the strength lies in the Wylde’s guitar riffs and solos and the opening “Crazy Horse” is going to compete with some of the all-time classics BLS songs, like “Stillborn”, “Suicide Messiah” or “Fire It Up” are. Zakk’s voice still touches the past and favourite standards (as we’ve got used to and nah, I’m not going to analyze for once again the similarities to Ozzy’s vocals for God’s sake!), while his riffs’ inspiration reaches the highest levels of what we could expect from him. The following “Overlord” proves that with no doubt an alternative SABBATH-esque hymn has just born, heavy as a punch in your face, hard as hell! And then, “Parade Of The Dead” comes and brings us down with no second thought; notice the excellent job in the drums part (call me Will Hunt) and the awesome changes in the guitar’s rhythm section. Next, “Darkest Days” is going to assert the title of the album’s best ballad, between “Time Waits For No One” (that has a scent from Ozzy’s “Mama, I’m Coming Home”), “Shallow Grave” and “January” (an acoustic ballad that Zakk wrote in his father’s memory that passed away the previous January) and that’s something we meet for a first time in a BLS album – it’s kind weird though.

Nevertheless, I recommend you to listen to “Southern Dissolution” with the lazy and catchy quaver in the guitar riff and “Riders Of The Damned” with the classic BLS guitar theme, as they are the highlights of the album in my opinion and characterize it as its main id: heavy, solid and pure BLS tracks 101%! Well, you must not expect to listen to something brand new or, even worse, something experimental in Zakk’s sound because in this case, you’re gonna totally disappointed. Those two tracks hold high the flag of heavy/southern Metal and remind us the reason that we love so faithfully this band and its maker. They both are able to rip our faces off with Zakk’s Gibson Les Paul.

Boiling all this down to one sentence, I could say that “Order Of The Black” is probably the most mature BLACK LABEL SOCIETY’s release to date, or the most sober, if you prefer. Not Zakk’s best work though, but I could say in black and white that’s his most sincere one so far. Here, you can find the all-time classic ‘bad-ass’, hard ‘n’ heavy attitude of BLS, but you can also discover Zakk’s inner delicate side through the four slow tempo tracks you find inside – you can blame the piano, too. Then, you have to choose which BLACK LABEL SOCIETY era you prefer the most, because your opinion about this band will definitely change after the listening of this album, especially if you consider yourselves already as die-hard BLS fans. Let’s ‘order some black’, people!

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Crazy Horse
  2. Overlord
  3. Parade Of The Dead
  4. Darkest Days
  5. Black Sunday
  6. Southern Dissolution
  7. Time Waits For No One
  8. Godspeed Hell Bound
  9. War Of Heaven
  10. Shallow Grave
  11. Chupacabra
  12. Riders Of The Damned
  13. January
Lineup:
Zakk Wylde - Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano
Nick “Evil Twin” Catanese - Guitar
John “JD” DeServio - Bass
Will Hunt - Drums
Record Label: E1 Music
     


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