Black Label Society – ‘Order Of The Black’ Guest Album Review

Zakk Wylde is back with his second Roadrunner release. It starts really well with ‘Crazy Horse’, a no no-nonsence slice of heavy duty riffing, wild solos and the usual gruff and distinctive singing. Track 2, ‘Overlord’, the only really long track, is similar to ‘Crazy Horse’ but with a few more tempo changes. The next track is a classic. ‘Parade Of The Dead’ has some great riffs, nice pinched harmonics and an exciting solo, it is in the vein of some of his best Ozzy work.

Track 4, ‘Darkest Days’ brings a complete change of mood and tempo. A gloomy ballad, sung with feeling and with a melodic solo. Next up is ‘Black Sunday’, another exciting piece of heavy rock with good riffs and one of Zakk’s trademark solos, it’s also one of the faster tracks, short and sweet. ‘Southern Dissolution’ follows, slightly slower and atmospheric, with some nice tempo changes and one of the best solos on the CD. ‘Time Waits For No One’ is another ballad with lots of piano and orchestration but it is saved from being one of the worst B.L.S tracks by a decent solo. Unfortunately this is not so for the other ballads, ‘Shallow Grave’ and ‘January’ although at least they are short!

Track 8, ‘Godspeed Hellbound’ is more like it. Another speedy, hammer down piece of B.L.S with a strange quiet mid section which then gives way to more soloing mayhem and a killer riff to end the track. ‘War of Heaven’ has a different start before those crunchy riffs and pinched harmonics lead to the well played solo. ‘Chupacabra’ is one of those wild acoustic solos – great stuff but far too short! Track 12, ‘Riders Of The Damned’ is the last good track on the album, another catchy riff, more effective pinched harmonics, and a short slowing down before a good solo. The bonus track ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’, a cover, starts very slowly, more orchestration and piano but does at least end with a mad solo. I much preferred House Of Lords’s version.

In places this is a great CD. There are some impressive riffs and exciting solos. The bass playing and drumming is good. However I feel there are too many ballads and slow tracks. Other B.L.S CDs had quite a few too, but, they were executed better and had memorable solos. Overall, a good CD but B.L.S have made better ones such as ‘Mafia’, ‘The Blessed Hellride’ and ‘1919 Eternal’.

By Chris

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