Thursday, April 17, 2014

Music Review - Black Label Society: Catacombs of the Black Vatican

Black Label Society: Catacombs of the Black Vatican is the 10th album from Zakk Wylde's heavy, yet more bluesy hard-rock band. Since their recent lineup changes and return to their blues-rock roots with last years' acoustic experiment Unblackened Live, BLS have a slightly different sound than their earlier work. BLS has always been Wylde's baby, constantly changing and evolving, it's sound reflects both the virtuosity and unique talent of Wylde and his ever growing following. With the first track "Fields of Unforgiveness" the album has a slow but steady start with a heavy blues-vibe featuring Wylde's signature soloing style. "My Dying Time", the first single (and video) from this album, hearkens back to "The Blessed Hellride" (2003) era with a song very similar in style to his hit "Stillborn". Some of the slower, more melodic songs include "Angel of Mercy", "Scars" and "Shades of Gray" featuring Wylde's acoustic guitar talent, which (especially "Shades of Gray") can even bring you to tears. To compliment the slower songs, some of the heavier songs include "Heart of Darkness", "Beyond the Down" and "Damn the Flood". One of the most impressive and interesting songs structurally is "Empty Promises", which include strange moaning feedback sounds. Deluxe versions of the album include two bonus tracks: "Dark Side of the Sun" and The Nomad". The artwork for this album features striking images from The Sedlec Ossuary, (a.k.a. The Bone Church) a church in the Czech Republic that is decorated with thousands of bones and skeletons.

: Black Label, Zakk