Monday, August 9, 2010
Black Label Society - Order of The Black
Black Label Society is a southern rock/heavy metal band from California. The band was started by legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde back in the early 90s, in it's first incarnation as his solo band. Throughout the years Zakk has split his time between both BLS, his main band, and being Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist, earlier this year, that finally came to an end.
For anyone that thought that Zakk would make a heavy and aggressive record after, or around the time, he was fired from being Ozzy's side man, you were correct. This record is heavy and aggressive filled with some great riffs and choruses that, honestly, would have sounded much, much weaker having come through Ozzy, for those that don't know why Zakk was fired, apparently Ozzy believed that his sound was becoming too similar to BLS. This record has some of the most powerful stuff BLS has done in recent years.
Besides the awesome riffs that dominate tracks like Parade of The Dead and Black Sunday, this record also has some of those ballads that Zakk has always been fond of including. In fact, ballads are actually about a fourth of the record, of course they're spread out across the entirety of it so as not to just blast you in the face. Tracks like Time Waits For No One is a bit more uplifting than the later Shallow Grave, giving you a different mood while still maintaining everything that makes a ballad. Having said all that, album closer January, is a fantastic song ballad.
But since you're listening to BLS, you're probably in it more for the heavy bluesy riffing more than the soulful ballads. Like always, Zakk never fails in this matter, the riffs on here are just heavy enough to be more metal than hard rock, but catchy enough to get stuck in your head, like a pop song, but better. The riffs in tracks like Godspeed Hellbound are pure ear candy and are exactly what you'd expect from Zakk.
This is a great record with a tone of great songs, but unfortunately it isn't quite as good as some of the previous albums. You'll get a tone out of this record and is definitely worth several repeats, but it just doesn't have that something that makes this one of those timeless records like "1919 Eternal." But feel free to disagree.
Overall, a great record with, once again, a lot of great songs. Definitely a lot to actually love and find on here, great riffs, solid choruses, and fantastic solos. If you like the bluesy side of heavy metal, or if you're already a fan, check this out for sure.
Overall Score: 8
Highlights: Parade of The Dead, Southern Dissolution, January