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An album worthy of praise - 88%

Dart8, September 20th, 2006

After seeing Black Label Society live at Ozzfest I really could not believe how amazing this band was. Their music completely blew me away, but there is a difference between hearing a band live and hearing them on an album.

The first thing I noticed about this album was the guitar work. Zakk Wylde is a phenomenal guitarist, combine that with powerful, grooving vocals and this album is a winner, no doubt. Though as with any BLS album I have heard there are certainly high's and lows

As I mentioned earlier the guitar work is flawless and the vocals great. But not only is it good I believe it’s a step up. The soloing sounds truly inspired, the majority of the tracks just make you wanna drive fast and not care where you’re going.

Another thing I noticed right away was that the lyrics were somewhat less repetitive. This alone would have to be one of my biggest score boosters as the lyrics on previous albums would get me hard pressed to find a song that didn’t sound like a broken record or the song that came before it. I’m not saying they were bad because even though Stillborn would have to be the definition of this broken record feel it’s still one of my favorite songs.

A couple of things that I didn’t like however were most of the songs that incorporated piano. I respect piano as a classical instrument, but I really don’t think it works well in a metal album. I especially don’t think it works well in this style of metal. It may have some uses in other styles such as symphonic black metal, but I really feel that this interrupts the feel of the album. I know some people will say that BLS can do whatever they want because they are just that good. I don’t agree I think they should stick to the rocking songs they’ll play live.

In conclusion I think this is a really good album, and I would recommend buying it to anyone who has heard a black Label society song and liked it because odds are the first song you’ll hear (if you play the CD in order) will be better than anything you’ve heard by them before.