JANUARY 18th 2018
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY: GRIMMEST HITS

Review by Hjeron O'Sidhe

Track Listing:

01. Trampled Down Below
02. Seasons of Falter
03. The Betrayal
04. All That Once Shined
05. The Only Words
06. Room of Nightmares
07. A Love Unreal
08. Disbelief
09. The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away
10. Illusions of Peace
11. Bury Your Sorrow
12. Nothing Left to Say

 

It's great to have Zakk back!
After touring extensively with ZAKK SABBATH our guitar hero of Ozzy fame has signed on to two years of touring with The OZZ in his farewell tour. So you might want to catch Zakk and his Black Label Society on February 14 at the Commodore ballroom, as true valentines romance is found in head banging to skilled blonde Viking guitar gods! Oh and they might not be around for the next few years, I blame Ozzy! With a name like Grimmest Hits you may (like I did) assume it's a compilation of greatest hits. This it is not. This 10th studio album is all new and fresh.

First track “Trampled Down Below” Starts with an epic groove bass slightly reminiscent of "no more tears". Zakk and crew blast straight in with a heavy groovy riff and vocal harmonies reminiscent of Alice and chains. I was happily impressed with the first tune reminding me of some of the quality of the early 90's The second song “Season’s of Falter” sounds more original. I'm impressed with Zakk’s vocals on this album, he has a solid voice. "The Betrayal” is a grindy stomp worthy track in which I love the drop down breakdown. “All That Once Shined” is reminiscent of a power hour metal hit.

The second video and release off the album is memorable and catchy with a slightly doomy slow groove. Then for a shift in direction "The Only Words" has a classic acoustic ballad feel to it reminiscent of 80's and 90's mellow metal masterpieces. Mild for the heavy addict possibly, but with a taste of Jimi Hendrix in its core who can really complain? It doesn't stay quiet for long! "Room of Nightmares" brings back the slamming riffs and Ozzy/Alice in chains driven blues metal! This was the first video released from this album! "A love unreal" teases to go back to the mellow, but Zakk slams in with some heavy metal thunder. A great balance of heavy and emotion! One of my favorite tracks on the album. And one of the most original in my opinion. Sounding like Zakk and BLS not so much his influences. Then back to Sabbath! This is a good thing. Like a missing black Sabbath album with great production and Layne Staley singing backup. Heavy riffs, skilled guitar hooks and very reminiscent of what's classic about the 70's and 90's metal. "The day that Heaven Had Gone Away" is a moving song! Deep and bringing up the feels of early SoundGarden's emotional songs! Then the up beat Blue's metal of "illusions of piece"! Really this is a quality album with so many grabbing tracks. It brings me back to the times of great rock/metal albums!

"Bury your sorrow"continues the heavy metal blues roots of BLS Feeling the swampy Louisiana summer with great heavy distortion, makes me want to go gator hunting with a shotgun and guitar. "Nothing left to say" is a nostalgic classic rock outro to an amazing piece of work. Not necessarily the most original album I've heard but solid, quality and certainly to be in regular rotation for me. I look forward to this bringing me back to the inspiring times and authentic music of the 90' that so many modern bands have tried to reproduce and have failed. Zakk Wylde was there and he succeeds in a guitar god creating a classic album. I hope it gets the recognition it deserves.