Rating:
7.0
Black Label Society - Order Of The Black
9 August 2010


01. Crazy Horse
02. Overlord
03. Parade Of The Dead
04. Darkest Days
05. Black Sunday
06. Southern Dissolution
07. Time Waits For No One
08. Godspeed Hell Bound
09. War Of Heaven
10. Shallow Grave
11. Chupacabra
12. Riders Of The Damned
13. January
14. Junior's Eyes [Black Sabbath cover] [Exclusive Best Buy/Napster bonus]
15. Helpless [Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover] [Exclusive Best Buy/Napster bonus]
16. Can't Find My Way Home [Blind Faith cover] [International bonus]
17. Bridge Over Troubled Water [Simon & Garfunkel cover] [Amazon.com MP3 edition & Australian bonus]


So I've been watching a lot of Sons of Anarchy lately (a biker gang drama on TV), and it's really put me in a Black Label Society mood. Their latest release, Order of the Black, really hits the spot.

It has everything that BLS fans would expect, such as the mind bending guitar solos, epic ballads and southern rock influences but there are also a few surprises that make me think this is the most heartfelt release from them in a while.

The overall pace of the album is cranked right up, the tempos are faster and the sound seems a lot heavier. It's clear that now that Zakk Wylde has called it quits with Ozzy, he's had a lot more time to focus his energy into creating songs for his own band. Tracks like 'Crazy Horse', 'Parade of the Dead', and 'Godspeed Hellbound' are probably the best demonstrations of this - and my favourites of the album. It took me a while to get into the album, but not because it wasn't enjoyable - I just had never really heard much of BLS before and to really understand the dynamics of the music took some time, I was surprised by the sudden switch from guitar to piano and the challenge the band must have had to keep the consistency of the two forms on one album.

As far as ballads go, I prefer the dreary 'January', and I'm even going to go as far as to say it's beautiful. Lyrically, Wylde's ballads contain his best lyrical creations, straight from the heart and full of emotional power. Overall, the composition of the album seems more greatly varied and provides an excellent showcase of Black Label Society's talent. I'm looking forward to hearing more music like this from the band in the future, Wylde is suggesting he is capable of even more than we thought and is maybe willing to test his limits again.

Basically, BLS knows what fans expect to hear and what they enjoy, so if you are already a fan - you are going to love this album (and have probably already heard it several times). It's not anything terribly new, but it shows definite signs of improvement. For others who have not yet delved into this particular world of metal, like myself, this album is a great place to get started by jumping headfirst into delicious, grungy southern-inspired heavy metal. It's really a shame that Summer is nearly over, as this is the perfect soundtrack for hot days and long, wild nights.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Black Label Society
Album: Order Of The Black


 


written by alkonost x | 14.09.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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vezzy - 14.09.2010 at 11:42  
How the HELL did you avoid the three month guest review rule?

Anyway, it was an okay review, but it kind of sounded like it was written from a too much "IMO" perspective and from the eyes of a fan at that (mind bending?...)

The impression you give with the actual review also doesn't correlate very well with the score given.
!J.O.O.E.! - 14.09.2010 at 11:49  
Written by vezzy on 14.09.2010 at 11:42

How the HELL did you avoid the three month guest review rule?

Anyway, it was an okay review, but it kind of sounded like it was written from a too much "IMO" perspective and from the eyes of a fan at that (mind bending?...)

The impression you give with the actual review also doesn't correlate very well with the score given.

Don't really agree with that. Aside from the fact she says she hasn't listened to them as much as a fan would have I think she also understands that you can give an album a score of 7 without talking too much about negatives. 7 is a good score and the review suggests the same.
Marcel Hubregtse - 14.09.2010 at 11:51  
The 7 rating fits the review perfectly.
Jeeers - 07.01.2011 at 15:23  
An extremely boring album!
Mindheist - 08.06.2011 at 16:02  
Written by vezzy on 14.09.2010 at 11:42

Anyway, it was an okay review, but it kind of sounded like it was written from a too much "IMO" perspective and from the eyes of a fan at that (mind bending?...)

I'm sorry, you lost me here. What's wrong with saying "mind-bending"?

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