Sound — 10
This CD is a compilation of what Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society have done since they were brought about in 1998 so as you can expect, the sound is pretty diverse. The first four songs on the CD are from a band called Pride and Glory that Wylde headed before BLS. The sound from them are heavily influenced by Southern rock and it really shows, especially in the first song, which has a banjo entrance. Three of the songs on the album, TAZ, Speedball, and Takillya, are simply accoustic solo songs. Amazing. The rest of the CD is as you would expect of BLS including heavy riffs, insane solos, and great lyrics by none other than Zakk Wylde. One of the best sounding CDs that I've bought in a long time.
Lyrics — 10
Wylde is a mastermind at guitar, and with this alot of people let this overshadow his ability at the mic. He is an excellent vocalist and he also has an immensely diverse sound ranging from heavy near-screaming vocals, like in Demise of Sanity, to soft, clear singing like in the song Between Heaven and Hell. Most of the lyrics of BLS either deal with getting high or drunk, losing a lost love, or just simply the way Zakk feels about shit. All of the lyrics blend together absolutely perfectly and creat a masterpiece with every song.
Overall Impression — 10
Allow me to go through each song seperately: 01. Losing My Mind - one of my favorites on the album. Opens with a banjo and it really shows Wylde's diveristy. Its Southern rock influence is easily recognizable. Reminds me of bands like Lynard Skynard, .38 Special, the Allman Brothers, etc. 02. Horse Called War - another good song from Wylde's early days. It has a really catchy chorus, reminds me of Megadeth for some reason, and a great Wylde solo right in the middle. 03. Between Heaven And Hell - this is an excellent song that kind of has a bluesy feel to it with the harmonica in the intro. Zakk sings about not knowing where he blongs but he knows its "...somewhere between heaven and hell..." Only accoustic guitars until the solo. Great song. 04. Sold My Soul - this song has an intro that reminds me alot of Metallica's Sanitarium. Wylde sings about a lost love and that he'd do anything he could for her. Different side of Zakk. 05. Bored To Tears - it starts to pick up from here. The first four songs were from pre-Black Label Society and now the heavy licks really begin. An excellent song. Wylde sings about how he's tired of always hearing the "same old shot" from artists. 06. Bleed For Me - I really love this song. It has an excellent, fast-paced riff. The chorus slows down a bit but it picks back up. Crazy solo, as with all Zakk Wylde songs. 07. TAZ - no words to this song. It's nearly two minutes of accoustic soloing. Crazy. 08. Counterfeit God - I love the riff in this one. A lot of pinch harmonics. Zakk sings as he's a god and the chorus is "...get on your knees and worship me..." With guitar playing like that I do. 09. Stronger Than Death - starts off a little slow but it picks up. Great riffs through this song. Again, as always, great solo. What else can I say? 10. Speedball - another all accoustic solo. It is crazy. Just listen to it. 11. Demise Of Sanity - another of my favorits on the CD. No pussyfooting around on this one. It starts with a crazy riff and leads onward. I love this song. 12. We Live No More - this song has a different sound to it. Not as much palmmuting as Zakk usually uses. Really excellent song, however. 13. Stillborn - excellent song. It's sort of a duet with Zakk Wylde and Ozzy Osbourne. The main riff is a single note played in pinch harmonics. So simplistic, yet SO damn good. I love this song. 14. The Blessed Hellride - great song. Only electic guitar is on the solo. The rest is accoustic. Zakk sings about riding into places on his bike, he calls the Blessed Hellride, while getting high. What can I say about that? It's great. 15. Crazy Or High - it's just a slow paced song. The verses are accoustic followed by a heavy electric verse and solo. Pretty good song. 16. House Of Doom - another of my favorites. I love the sound of this song. It all flows excellently. Mellow song followed by a crazy solo. 17. Takillya - yet again, no lyrics just crazy accoustic playing. I don't get it. How? How does he do it? 18. Doomsday Inc. - this is a previously unreleased track. It's just a really good heavy song with a lot of pinch harmonics. Can't ever get tired of it. 19. SDMF - "Strength, determination, merciless, forever..." It's sort of the theme song to the BLS. As with Doomsday Inc., it is previously unreleased until this album. One of my, if not my favorite, song on the album. Just a really slow and heavy song filled with pinch harmonics. Really catchy chorus to top it all of. Great song. I absolutley love the CD. It brings some of the best that Zakk Wylde and BLS have to offer and its all in one nice little package. I can't find a single thing I don't like about it. If this CD were stolen, I'd track down the motherf*cker who did it and beat the shit out of him. Great CD, no, amazing CD. It's a must have for anyone who likes Zakk Wylde, metal, or good Goddamned music.