After encountering some health problems and an Ozzy bitch-slap, Zakk Wylde returns in triumph with a brutally engaging and devastating shredfest on Order of the Black.
Pulling no punches, Wylde’s Black Label Society comes out pounding from the opening track. In addition to being speedy and heavy, the guitar work is at times melodic and groovy. Wylde shreds harder than ever throughout the solos.
The leading single “Parade of the Dead” is a sick tune and still one of my favorites, however “Godspeed Hellhound” is the sickest. “Overlord” is another destroyer.
“Black Sunday” has an insane guitar run at the beginning that makes you wonder if Wylde intended to show up Gus G.; It’s like he set out to prove that Ozzy made a big mistake by not finishing Scream with him (but then again, many metal fans feel Ozzy has been washed up for the last 15 years and also that Zakk shouldn’t waste his time anymore).
For fans of “In This River” and “This Blessed Hellride,” Wylde offers piano ballads, “Darkest Days,” “Shallow Grave,” and “Time Waits for No One” which are great numbers but not quite as awesome as the classics. The closing track, “January,” is a nice acoustic ditty that brings the album to four ballads total.
“Chupacabra” is a fun Spanish-styled instrumental piece that goes 900 miles per hour. Not exactly fitting for the album, but still cool. This is a great BLS album and an excellent way to finish off the summer.
- Crazy Horse”
- “Parade of the Dead”
- “Darkest Days”
- “Black Sunday”
- “Southern Dissolution”
- “Time Waits For No One”
- “Godspeed Hellbound”
- “War of Heaven”
- “Shallow Grave”
- “Riders of the Damned”