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Black Label Society bandleader Zakk Wylde wields his guitar like a Viking weapon, bashing out thick riffage and squeezing out expressive squeals as if the glory of his Berserker brotherhood depends upon every single note, which of course, it does. Charismatic beast and consummate showman, Wylde puts his massive heart and earnest soul on display with unbridled, unchained, animalistic passion in Black Label Society, whether it’s a crushingly heavy blues-rock barnstormer or a piano-driven ode to a fallen brother. Each Black Label Society album is another opportunity to top the one before it, but like AC/DC or The Rolling Stones, BLS isn’t here to reinvent the wheel. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s a brand we can trust. Grimmest Hits, the band’s tenth full-length studio album and follow-up to Billboard Top 5 entries Catacombs of the Black Vatican (2014) and Order of the Black (2010), Black Label Society submit new anthems like radio single “Room of Nightmares,” the bluesy “Seasons of Falter,” and Southern-fried “The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away” to the BLS faithful; 12 unstoppable tracks to add to that lifestyle soundtrack.
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However, this record is, without question, the best collection of tunes that Zakk/BLS has done since probably The Blessed Hellride or Mafia. It is a return to the “riff driven tune” and Zakk’s Black Sabbath influences are on full display. Lots of juicy riffs, heavy/thick chords and melting solos.
Highlights in my opinion are the opening track “Trampled Down Below” (which sounds “Alice In Chains-ish”), “A Love Unreal” and Disbelief”.
If you are a fan of the early BRUTAL/SDMF attitude of BLS (Sonic Brew/Stronger Than Death) or even Zakk’s more mellower side (Book of Shadows—there’s one here than is reminiscent of that—“The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away”), this latest installment WILL NOT disappoint.
PS. I saw the guys in Nashvegas last week (1/17/18) and they were tighter than I have seen them in some time. If you get a chance to go see the Boss and the boys during this tour, do NOT hesitate. ALWAYS a good show.
Yes, some songs have a slight 70's flavor, some Sabbath style solo's, and some very 70's production.
No flare here.
This is a must have if you like BLS on any level. It is fresh sounding but very tuned down and bluesy at times. Zakk is a great player and no BLS cd's are 5 stars IMO because there are always a couple toss tracks. Same here. Couple weak songs, the bulk is excellent. Very worthy of a purchase. Sludgy, heavy Blues/Metal.
Problem with this CD is the title and the packaging. I thought this was a 'Best of' CD, had no idea it was new material until 3 days after release. 'Grimmest Hits' sounds like a compilation CD and the lame cover only reinforces that idea. Bad marketing. Many may think this is a compilation as I did.
Still, this is a must have for the BLS fans
While the title is a bit misleading, this is not a collection of old songs. This is new. And I won't give a rundown on individual songs, but the whole album is a good listen from start to finish. I pre-ordered the CD because I am a fan, and I still like to own the actual album that I can hold in my hand. I played it several times through in my truck, and it is all good. Fans will not be disappointed, and people who love metal and haven't been listening to BLS (I can't imagine why), will also love this album.
Great riffs, great songs, inspired solos and an added depth of dynamics and soulfulness. Truly amazing career and no signs of slowing down.
In the world of hard rock/metal Vox/guitar/ songwriting for my money he is without peer, there is Zakk Wylde and there is everybody else. Only person who comes close is Mikael Akerfeldt...he's still a pup.
Top international reviews
Favorite track: The betrayal
Up , down.
You won't want it to stop.
Their best yet