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After more than two years of touring in support of his 1996 solo acoustic record, Book of Shadows, Zakk Wylde reunited with his mentor, Ozzy Osbourne for a few gigs in Australia on 1998. Along for the ride was Mike Inez and Randy Castillo. After those few shows, they were all let go with no reason. But it didn't matter because Zakk suddenly felt the urge to put the acoustic away, and break out the ol' Les Paul and Marshall again. It was through this that Black Label Society was born. A year later, Zakk released it's debut, Sonic Brew. From the opeing pulses of "Bored To Tears" to his heavy-as-hell cover of Ozzy's "No More Tears", this album announces that Zakk is home! His tunes are, as the booklet says, "full-bodied" and for most of the songs, he keeps his guitar standard tuned but drops the lowest string. He would do this on every Black Label release to date. His solos are mostly scale to scale to scale. But the guy deserves credit because aside from the fact that he can rip your face off anyday, as songs such as the absolutely gorgeous "Spoke In The Wheel" and "Beneath The Tree" would suggest, he's struggling here to get out of Book of Shadows mode. This is Zakk slowly returning to metallic form. And the beer drinking, weight lifting, hell raising fun just gets better...
Key Tracks: Bored To Tears, Beneath The Tree, Low Dow, Spoke In The Wheel, The Beginning...At Last, No More Tears