Despite the fact that the last Black Label Society‘s album was released in 2014, Zakk Wylde didn’t sit idly: in 2016 he recorded ‘Book Of Shadows II’, played in Zakk Sabbath and touring with Ozzy Osbourne. Not a few, but with this he also found time to work on a new band’s album ‘Grimmest Hits’.
I’ll say at once to all those, who saw the album’s name and like me thought that it’s some new compilation: no, it isn’t! ‘Grimmest Hits’ contains 12 absolutely new Black Label Society songs. However, there is nothing fundamentally new in them – it’s a typical band’s album with all its advantages and disadvantages.
I’d rather start with lacks, which are few. As I wrote above, there aren’t some radical changes and nothing fundamentally new. All the songs done by the scheme that was in all previous albums: tough riffs, on which Zakk’s vocal imposed and technical, fast solos. On the other hand nobody expects some radical experiments – Black Label Society fans are waiting for Black Label Society, and not some 20-minutes progressive metal compositions or metalcore breakdowns.
The pros of an album are the same things, that I named as lacks. First of all its great, heavy but not boring at all riffs. A shining example for it is the first single from an album “Room Of Nightmares”.
Absolutely hit “A Love Unreal” starts as acoustic ballad, but soon changes with excellent catchy riff (some kind of reverence to Black Sabbath), which will be played till the end of the song but will not be able to get bored (rather your finger will be tired from pressing “repeat” button).
There are also ballads in ‘Grimmest Hits’: “The Only Words” and “The Day That heaven Had Gone Away” – melancholic and very beautiful. Keyboards on the background only emphasize the beauty of these songs.
Let’s not forget that Black Label Society isn’t only Zakk Wylde although, of course, this band would not exist without him. With this others members are not scene decoration at all. John DeServio’s bass in “Tramped Down Below” and “The Betrayal”. Jeff Fabb’s drums are smooth and restrained, but sometimes he unleash himself and then all the ferocity that he hold inside can be heard. And most of all I do not envy the guitarist Dario Lorina, because in this band he will always be on the second roles. Not because he is bad guitarist, but because Zakk Wylde will always be first. Nevertheless, without second guitar Zakk’s solos wouldn’t be so bright, so Dario’s work can’t be underestimate .
For the end it could be said that Zakk is back, but seems that he never went. So, Black Label Society, ladies and gentlemen, in all its best! Enjoy this album or pass by, this album will not lose not its value, not its place in music.
‘Grimmest Hits’ will be released on January, 19 via Spinefarm Records.