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Sonic Brew

92 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 4, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Domestic debut of 1998 solo album by Ozzy Osbourne's former guitarist. 15 tracks, including 'Mother Mary' & 'No More Tears'. The full title is 'Black Lab el Society - Sonic Brew'. Spitfire. 1999.

1. Bored To Tears
2. The Rose Petalled Garden
3. Hey You (Batch Of Lies)
4. Born To Lose
5. Peddlers Of Death
6. Mother Mary
7. Beneath The Tree
8. Low Down
9. T.A.Z.
10. Lost My Better Half
11. Black Pearl
12. World Of Trouble
13. Spoke In The Wheel
14. The Beginning... At Last
15. Bonus Track 1

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Spitfire
  • ASIN: B00000IP2L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,572 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Barry Lee Dejasu on December 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Take about a keg of beer, a Gibson guitar, and a hick with the talent to play it, and you'll get something resembling SONIC BREW. This is a hefty slab of "suth'n frahd" heavy metal, very similar in style to some other bands as Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Eyehategod, and some of Phil Anselmo's (Pantera singer, for the uneducated) various bands.
Zakk Wylde, long known for his work with Ozzy Osbourne, formed his brief band Pride & Glory (another "redneck metal" band) back in 1994, but they broke up after their first and only album. Then in 1996 he released his solo album, BOOK OF SHADOWS, which was mostly acoustic folk and country music. Then, slightly overlapped by this boozy southern rock-influenced period, he released this album under the moniker Black Label Society in 1998.
This album is heavy as SIN. Just listen to...well, any song. Almost every song is so damn heavy, with overdubbed, chugging, no doubt downtuned guitars and endless levels of distortion. The bass rumbles with the sound of the breaks of an 18-wheeler, and the drums (kudos to Phil Ondich, formerly of another southern metal band, Raging Slab) pound away with talented power.
No two songs sound the same, yet at the same time, the whole album just trucks on by with it's uber-heavy southern-influenced metal. All of them, of course, except "T.A.Z.," which is a short acoustic instrumental. Always thought that acoustic guitar was not good for shredding? Just listen to this and prepare to poop your pants.
Zakk's solos dazzle, of course, and he is the king of riffs. He's a great acoustic guitarist also, as well as pianist, bassist, and of course...SINGER! So many people tend to neglect how talented he is as a singer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
What can be said about Zakk Wylde that hasn't already been said? The man is the guitar god of his time, and can shred like no other modern day guitarist out there today. "Sonic Brew", Zakk's first release under his Black Label Society title, is a full throttle smash some beer bottles against the wall hard rock that fans of old Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, or early Pantera will no doubt dig. Opening track "Bored to Tears" has become a live staple of Zakk's (one listen to it and you'll know why), while "Born to Lose", "Mother Mary", and "Lost My Better Half" are utterly amazing songs which shows Zakk pouring all his emotion into his guitar, and his soulful but borderline death metal growl of a voice is music to any metalhead's ears. My personal favorite song is "Hey You (Batch of Lies)" which is undeniably heavy and has quite a catchy chorus that will stick in your head for quite a while. Other songs like "Black Pearl" and "World of Trouble" sound a bit like filler material, but don't take away much of the greatness of "Sonic Brew". All in all, this is a great pick up for fans of Zakk or for those looking for something truly heavy and melodic with some major guitar talents. Pick up the BLS follow up to this, 2000's "Stronger Than Death", which I consider Zakk and co. at their apex.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Markus Pacal on June 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Zakk Wylde, Ozzy's lead guitarist, put out a southern-rock record under the moniker Pride & Glory in the mid-'90s & then issued a solo album called "Book of Shadows." But it wasn't until he formed Black Label Society (BLS), that he really hit his stride.

This Japanese release by Mercury Records back in 1998 is truly the beginning of this mad-man's BLS project. It even features the original cover artwork. They had to change it soon after after receiving a legal cease & desist letter from Johnnie Walker, Inc. Cease & desist? How about an endorsement? The higher-ups at that company sure missed the boat considering how much Zakk & Co. drink on a daily basis!

BLS's sound is quite simple. It's equal parts Black Sabbath & Lynyrd Skynyrd. Heavy, heavy riffs with Wylde's swampy southernesque, Jersey-boy vocals. And there's usually at least one or two instrumentals and/or acoustic numbers tossed in among the heavy metal tracks. This import release has 13 tracks & the production/mix is over-the-top heavy. The bass is so distorted & up-front in the mix that you wonder if it was done on purpose or not. But BLS were out to take a stand & make a stand. They wanted to annihilate the No Doubt & Bush's of the world with their scorched earth assault. And they succeeded. The best songs are "Bored to Tears," "Born to Lose" & "Spoke in the Wheel." However, they're all good & Zakk shows of his musicianship with the speed-ball that is "T.A.Z." Fans of Ozzy will love this. Fans of Black Sabbath will love this. Fans of G N' R will love this. In fact, fans of all hard-rock/metal/southern-rock, etc. will be thrilled to have a new band to follow. Considering it's now 11 years later, Zakk shows absolutely no signs of slowing down & he's put out 10 discs under the BLS name. So get on this train & hold on tight. You know Zakk's got the energy to play straight through the night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Frey on December 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde put together this fantastic collection of 14 woofer-thumping sonic blasts that are probably heavier (or at least as heavy) as anything Ozzy or Black Sabbath have ever done. Wylde himself describes "Sonic Brew" as "Alcohol fueled brewtality for the next millennium." Since we don't have a clue what that means, we'll describe it for you: It sounds a lot like old Black Sabbath with updated guitar sounds and 1990s style songwriting.
From its opening track (the "Apocalypse Now"-like "Bored to Tears") through a stunning military parade of guitar-crunching tunes (the best of which are "Hey, You (Batch of Lies)," "Low Down," "Lost My Better Half" and "World of Trouble") to the stunning acoustic jam "t.a.z." to the bluesy "Spoke In The Wheel," "Sonic Brew" just doesn't quit. This is a CD that doesn't have to be played loud to be loud (but don't cheat yourself - play it loud anyway). Wylde and his "drinking partner and drummer" Phil Ondich have put together a heavy metal record that remains true to its roots but takes a step toward the future as well. In a way, this album kind of reminds of us Clutch, which - of course - is a good thing.
Wylde's outstanding guitar work is a highlight throughout the CD, both with his driving rhythm and bass work and his brilliantly raging lead. If you liked Wylde's guitar on Ozzy's "No Rest for the Wicked," "Just Say Ozzy," "No More Tears" or "Ozzmosis," you'll really like the stuff on this CD.
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