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Black Label Society: Grimmest Hits

No, the latest release from Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society isn't a 'greatest hits' set, and yes, it's precision marketing strategy at its best that both BLS and Corrosion of Conformity have new albums coming out within a week of each other and both bands happen to be blazing across the US together on a lethal double bill on the live circuit. Grimmest Hits once again teams Wylde with John DeServio (Bass), Jeff Fabb (Drums), and Dario Lorina (guitar), and contains a dozen new tracks steeped in hard rock, stoner, and metal grooves.

In most cases, you already know what to expect with a new BLS album before you actually hit play, and that's true here as well to an extent. Zakk has a way with creating interesting riffs and then layering his vocal drawl over the top, and tracks on this new one such as "Trampled Down Below" and "The Betrayal" are instantly catchy yet just heavy enough, sparkled with beefy guitar work and blazing solos. That moody blend of atmospheric stoner/doom and Southern rock can be heard on "Seasons of Falter" and the lumbering "All That Once Shined", while "Room of Nightmares" is a pure headbanger with a great riff that never stops cooking. Zakk's vocals are a bit smoother throughout the album than what we've heard from him in the past, quite tender on the soft ballad "The Only Words" and hypnotic on the rampaging Black Sabbath inspired "A Love Unreal". Speaking of Sabbath, Wylde again unleashes some sinister doom riffing and a scorching solo on "Disbelief", and gets his Pantera groove on with the lethal barnburner "Illusions of Peace". Throw in the massive stoner grooves of "Bury Your Sorrow", the Lynyrd Skynyrd influenced "The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away", and the country strains of "Nothing Left to Say", and you have an album brimming with varied textures, styles, and colors.

Perhaps Zakk Wylde has finally just grown into that musician/singer/songwriter that we've always known he could be, but there's a sense of 'maturity' here on Grimmest Hits that's impossible to ignore. He's written here a batch of tunes that contain a little something for everyone; sure, there are still plenty of heavy numbers for his longtime fans, but there's an increasing amount of other types of material that's just screaming to be heard by audiences who perhaps have never listened to Black Label Society before. It all adds up to a mighty fine album by this veteran outfit.

Track Listing

  1. Trampled Down Below 5:04
  2. Seasons Of Falter 4:00
  3. The Betrayal 3:48
  4. All That Once Shined 3:54
  5. The Only Words 5:29
  6. Room Of Nightmares 2:32
  7. A Love Unreal 5:58
  8. Disbelief 5:28
  9. The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away 6:12
  10. Illusions Of Peace 4:07
  11. Bury Your Sorrow 4:41
  12. Nothing Left To Say 4:22

Added: January 13th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 523
Language: english

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