Black Label Society - The Song Remains Not the Same (Riot Entertainment)

Zakk's back, in mellow mood...
Release Date: 
15 May 2011 - 11:30pm

In  which Zakk Wylde, latterly the new metal hero of American Idol alongside Judas Priest, reappears with a few off cuts and ‘alternate takes’ from the Order of the Black elpee that most if not all of you will already be the proud owner of.

Normally at MaF HQ we are opposed to these little baubles, almost all of which come from the Steve Harris/Rod Smallwood school of screwing the fans for every last penny they’ve got; However, TSRNTS, unwieldy title notwithstanding, is entirely worthy of your perusal if only for the fact that the stripped down nature of the material here makes you realise – if you didn’t already- just what a great tunesmith Wylde is. Bereft of squealing pinch harmonics and Ozzy-approved dog-with-distemper-yelping, every song here comes across as a bona fide pearler, especially the more balladic material which necessarily fits the ‘unplugged’ format used here a lot better. He’s a sensitive soul for a beserker, is Zakk, and the overwhelming honesty with which everything here is delivered won’t fail to give you a good feeling about the man and his talent.

That talent is big – huge even – but the best track here is Wylde’s marvellous reading of the Blind Faith classic Can’t Find My Way Home. Less bombastic than the House of Lords version, Wylde comes closer here to the original sentiment of songwriter Steve Winwood’s lyrics, delivering a heartfelt performance that will send shivers down your spine when you hear it. Marvellous stuff, and a worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection.