Black Label Society - Order Of The Black (Riot/Warner)

Strength. Determination. Merciless. Forever. Never have those words been any truer, Zakk Wylde has delivered the new Black Label Society release in Order Of The Black - a motivated and driven album that can kick your ass and also can mellow you out.
Release Date: 
9 Aug 2010 (All day)

There is an old saying: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Despite being released from his longtime position as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist and battling health problems, Zakk Wylde is not one to sit on his ass and do nothing. Newly sobered up he has started the Black Label Society machine once again and the resulting efforts are on display in the band's latest release, Order Of The Black.

Despite being four years between albums, there are no signs of slacking off. The opener Crazy Horse delivers some pure heavy-handed Wylde riffage laden with his trademark pinch harmonics (the squeals), his wailing vocals, and a blazing solo that demands the listener wake up and take notice.

After giving Order Of The Black a few solid listens, I have come to the conclusion that Zakk has taken a little bit of everything from all of the past Black Label Society albums and has put them all within one album. You get the pure, straight-forward, no-bullshit Black Label rockers in tracks such as Parade Of The Dead, Riders Of The Damned, Black Sunday, and the high-powered Godspeed Hellbound (which is an introduction to the insane drum skills of new drummer Will Hunt). There is a doomier, sludgier area in War Of Heaven, Overlord and the stomping Southern Disillusion. And of course (it would not be a Black Label Society album without it), the mellower side of things in the southern tinged Darkest Days (where Zakk unleashes his inner Eagles), Shallow Grave, Time Waits For No One and the emotional acoustic closer in the Neil Young-like January.

Zakk Wylde is a man known for his guitar solos, and in Order Of The Black, he doesn't disappoint. Wylde's solos sound as enthusiastic as when he first joined Ozzy's band; he throws down some tasty fretwork all while throwing a middle finger at his critics. There is a reason why Zakk is considered a guitar god, and the solos on Order Of The Black further prove why this is the case.

Order Of The Black represents a Zakk Wylde who is motivated and ready to tear the world a new one once again. If you are a member of the Black Label family, do NOT hesitate a second, go get Order Of The Black when it is released. If you like your music hard and heavy, there is no reason why you will not enjoy this.

Black Label Society's Order Of The Black is out on 9 August through Riot/Warner.