Order Of The Black review by Black Label Society

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  • Released: Aug 10, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (85 votes)
Black Label Society: Order Of The Black
8

Sound — 9
Thanks to prior commitments like Ozzy Osbourne's Black Rain, four years have passed since Zakk Wylde has unleashed an all new collection of pinch-harmonic goodness via Black Label Society. While the previous BLS release Skullage was lacking in some areas, the newest release Order of the Black proves that Wylde still can dish out stellar riffs every once in awhile with a fresh twist. Let's not go as far as to say that there is much out of character on Order of the Black, but the arrangements do tend to have some surprises along the way. To top it all off, there is one highly intriguing instrumental that doesn't feature Wylde's trusty electric or piano. The CD begins with a down-tuned, infectious number called Crazy Horse, which just oozes a tight groove. Wylde's trademark vocal style is always the connecting line between each BLS song, and the Aaaahhh yeaaahhh that he utters in each chorus makes Crazy Horse easily memorable. Even more intriguing is the following track Overlord, which begins with some delicious use of the wah. The song even takes an interesting turn smack dab in the middle when the tempo is sped up, eventually returning to its original slower groove. Other highlights include the Hendrix-like intro of Black Sunday and the pinch harmonic extravaganza in Riders of the Damned. Order of the Black has its fare share of what you might call standard Zakk Wylde balladry. The guitar master is fond of switching to his piano for the more heartfelt, mellow numbers, and the newest release is no different. The up-tempo tracks do seem to have a bit more of a distinctive quality in terms of the musical foundation, but at the same time you get the impression that Wylde is indeed speaking from the heart as soon as he sits down to play the keys. The most unexpected surprise comes with Chupacabra. What sounds like it is tailor-made to be a furious metal piece is actually more of a flamenco offering. The instrumental is certainly rooted in classical guitar methods, but it's more spastic than most acoustic pieces you might hear. It's short and sweet in the end, but it's engaging from beginning to finish.

Lyrics — 8
Wylde's lyrics tend to fall into two different categories as usual: the heavier music accompanied by gritty, often bigger-than-life themes and the ballads being more introspective. Whether he is declaring himself to be a Crazy Horse or discussing otherworldly topics like those in War of Heaven, Wylde at the very least delves into unique ideas that don't get tossed around on every album. The songwriter pens his most honest, personal content in the ballads, however, so that ends up being the biggest payoff lyrically speaking.

Overall Impression — 8
Black Label Society often tends to be hit or miss with their albums, so you never know what Wylde might have up his sleeve. Thankfully, Order of the Black features a much larger selection of memorable riffs and interesting arrangements in general. Wylde is mixing the compositions up with varied tempos and musical sections in general. While Chupacabra is a slightly frantic approach to classical/flamenco guitar, it's still one of the most fascinating tracks on the CD. In fact, it might just be a preview of the unexpected territory that Wylde will be exploring in the future.

86 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Engel22
    They've done well here. I personally liked the fact that they kept the ballds to a fair number allowing for more heavy riffing, and the feature of standard E tuning is a welcome suprise.
    mr kipling
    I listened to Crazy Horse. I like to think that Zakk Wylde died in 1994 or something so I can pretend that the guy disappointing me in 2K10 is not the same Zakk I used to think was bangin'.
    ugmindfreak
    It does get a bit boring listening to the same solos in every song... Its a great album though. I still think 1919 is the best. love the deep singing in that album.
    Cianyx
    If you legitimately liked this, you should be ashamed of yourself
    rg_metal
    zakk is such a loser... not only does he get fired by Ozzy Osbourne for his drinking problems but he also never progresses as a musician... there is no reason to have the same squeals and same pentatonic scales just played really fast over and over... everything is so generic and boring... zakk should go squeal and drink him self in some back woods shack in banjo country..
    illuminatiano
    LightxGrenade wrote: Sounds like another shite release by the pinch harmonic wh ore that is Zakk Wylde. Honestly beyond his mediocrity and the overall blandness of the band as a whole, BLS do something that I think is what makes music and being a musician so utterly pointless in this department: the ability to completely bore me. Think about it, how silly is it to watch people go bat shit crazy over a couple of pinch harmonics played on your guitar? I feel like that must be the most bittersweet and absurd feeling ever and BLS are one of the few bands that really do that for me. Can't wait to not check this out. SQQQUUUUUEEEEE
    fixed for objectivity
    tattooedzakkfan
    illuminatiano i bet you listen to that pussy assed power metal that those euro douche bags like gus g turn out i find it sad for u that u have to put down some one whos devoted his life to his fans if ya dont like zakk then why read a review and leave a shitty comment maybe the journey or winger sections needs your ass hole opinion but we sdmfers dont so next time turn on your firewind cd and turn out your lights and cry because youll never be as coll as us black label society members zakk wylde is the cat ass your just the litter box where he drops his pinch harmonic loaded "shite"
    LightxGrenade
    Sounds like another great release by the pinch harmonic machine that is Zakk Wylde. Honestly beyond his chops and the overall greatness of the band as a whole, BLS do something that I think is what makes music and being a musician so enjoyable: the ability to completely shape someone's mood. Think about it, how awesome is it to watch people go bat shit crazy over a couple of notes played on your guitar? I feel like that must be the most gratifying feeling ever and BLS are one of the few bands that really do that for me. Can't wait to check this out.
    rkbls111
    THIS F$#CKING ALBUM IS INSANE!! Listen I am a 28 year old male and been playing guitar for 22 years. I am extremely opinionated in everything I hear. I have to say this album is seriously flawless!! To the person that said ozzy is facepalming right now, couldnt have said it better. I love ozzy, and Gus G is definitely respectable, but, he isnt Zakk. And Zakk just proved it. Zakks riffs on these songs are seriously the best hes done since Blessed Hellride and 1919 Eternal. Mafia was great but in my opinion the riffage was slightly better on the other two records. Ok before I go into a ramble. I think we all have to tip our hats to Zakk here. Fan or not, you have to admit, musically this is this years best Metal record to date. To all the people that thought Zakk was done.....SDMF Mutha Fu%*as!!!
    WyldeMan666
    IMa damn big wylde fan but i was getting alittle jaded with his work till this came out im psyched about B.L.S. again this album is awesome i think hes done better ballads but its still kicks ass over the stuff he's done with ozzy over the last couple years
    Pukka-VCU
    Cody188 wrote: theflyingapple wrote: would people play these songs if i tab them out? Tab Overlord.
    This. I'm almost done learning it by ear but there's a couple parts I could use reference on.
    Pukka-VCU
    Jmoarguitar wrote: when UG posted the song list i predicted that Chupacabra was one of his crazy acoustic things like Speedball, I guess i know Zakk oh so well. Can't wait to see the boss in october with COB
    You mean when you wrote this?
    Jmoarguitar wrote: iput money down that Godspeed Hell Bound is one of his acoustic shreds
    Hand Of Stone
    illuminatiano wrote: LightxGrenade wrote: Sounds like another shite release by the pinch harmonic ***** that is Zakk Wylde. Honestly beyond his mediocrity and the overall blandness of the band as a whole, BLS do something that I think is what makes music and being a musician so utterly pointless in this department: the ability to completely bore me. Think about it, how silly is it to watch people go bat shit crazy over a couple of pinch harmonics played on your guitar? I feel like that must be the most bittersweet and absurd feeling ever and BLS are one of the few bands that really do that for me. Can't wait to not check this out. SQQQUUUUUEEEEE fixed for objectivity
    Great gob being a total jerk-off. He likes what he likes and you put him down? No, really, you're pretty cool. Have fun being an *****.
    tattooedzakkfan
    rg metal man my last post should clear some things up but just to clarify for the weak opinions are like ass holes everyones got one some just stink worse than others zakk is the man an youll be his bitch punk assed reason for turning out another pich harmonic filled penatonic slab of brewtality
    gorczynskir1
    I'LL BET OZZY IS SHITTIN IN HIS PANTS AFTER THIS IF HE WOULD HAVE INVOLVED ZAKK MORE IN THE WRITING PROCESS INSTEAD OF HIS PRODUCERS HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO CHURN OUT A DECENT ALBUM THESE DAYS ZAKK IS AWSOME AND THIS ALBUM FEELS LIKE ITS WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AFTER THE BLESSED HELLRIDE INSTEAD OF SHOT TO HELL AND MAFIA
    MyUserName777
    You know you're a dick when you go to an album review and shit all over the band just because you don't like them. I realize Zakk Wylde loves pinch harmonics but this album actually has some good use of them at least in Parade of the Dead. Arguing with trolls is pointless though because we all know they get off to pissing people off
    KataklysmDeth
    HarvesterofPain wrote: Godspeed Hellbound anyone? I'm sorry, maybe being a fan of everything Zakk has done since No Rest for the Wicked makes me incredibly biased, but this is one of the greatest albums I've ever heard. Not to mention the fact that it's miles ahead of Shot To Hell, and should leave Ozzy facepalming.
    Easily the best song on the album. That and Shallow Grave. Zakk is back and ready to take the world over. He doesn't get enough credit for keeping classic metal alive. It's a great meld of modern metal and classic...but nonetheless it keeps the soul of 80's metal.
    0RI0N
    I liked the new single so I'm glad to hear it's a solid album.
    thedeaduk
    The Wildchild wrote: tattooedzakkfan wrote: rg metal man my last post should clear some things up but just to clarify for the weak opinions are like ass holes everyones got one some just stink worse than others zakk is the man an youll be his bitch punk assed reason for turning out another pich harmonic filled penatonic slab of brewtality This drives me to the conclusion that eugenics must be brought back.
    Hahaha
    The Wildchild
    tattooedzakkfan wrote: rg metal man my last post should clear some things up but just to clarify for the weak opinions are like ass holes everyones got one some just stink worse than others zakk is the man an youll be his bitch punk assed reason for turning out another pich harmonic filled penatonic slab of brewtality
    This drives me to the conclusion that eugenics must be brought back.
    DDOG1230
    thedeaduk wrote: rg_metal wrote: BLS c*cks... if you want to counter argue at least know how to spell "you" and a whole array of elementary level words that a 3 year old can spell perfectly. so every one of you are incompetent to type anything worth reading apparently... BLS fans don't have any education I do beg to differ sir. You may not be one of the fans of BLS or Zakk Wylde, but many (including myself) are. Granted, BLS is not the technically gifted un-listenable cacophony of dissonant chords, lightning fast scale runs and off beat breakdowns of bands such as Converge, Botch, and The Dillinger escape Plan but it is nevertheless enjoyable to a lot of people. At the end of the day, if you do not like a band then do not read the reviews of their work. Simple. If all that your little mind can muster is posting derogatory comments about the band and all of its fans rather than actually being critical and explaining intelligently why you think this album is bad, then it is actually you that is incompetent and uneducated. Good day to you!
    Well Said. SDMF
    Hellview
    Every song could be a single, (cept the solo piano tunes). BLS is back and strong, Zakk's pinch harmonics are ever prevalent, and the riffs kick ass. Zerkers raise your fists.
    thedeaduk
    rg_metal wrote: BLS c*cks... if you want to counter argue at least know how to spell "you" and a whole array of elementary level words that a 3 year old can spell perfectly. so every one of you are incompetent to type anything worth reading apparently... BLS fans don't have any education
    I do beg to differ sir. You may not be one of the fans of BLS or Zakk Wylde, but many (including myself) are. Granted, BLS is not the technically gifted un-listenable cacophony of dissonant chords, lightning fast scale runs and off beat breakdowns of bands such as Converge, Botch, and The Dillinger escape Plan but it is nevertheless enjoyable to a lot of people. At the end of the day, if you do not like a band then do not read the reviews of their work. Simple. If all that your little mind can muster is posting derogatory comments about the band and all of its fans rather than actually being critical and explaining intelligently why you think this album is bad, then it is actually you that is incompetent and uneducated. Good day to you!
    dfisher_18
    Couldn't get into this album that much I hate to be jaded but this sounds like his other days since Mafia. Zakk seems to be in a comfort zone refusing to try new things...im tired of the pentatonic minors and shredding
    Helloween4Ever
    tattooedzakkfan wrote: illuminatiano i bet you listen to that pussy assed power metal that those euro douche bags like gus g turn out i find it sad for u that u have to put down some one whos devoted his life to his fans if ya dont like zakk then why read a review and leave a shitty comment maybe the journey or winger sections needs your ass hole opinion but we sdmfers dont so next time turn on your firewind cd and turn out your lights and cry because youll never be as coll as us black label society members zakk wylde is the cat ass your just the litter box where he drops his pinch harmonic loaded "shite"
    Hah, you know, alot of power metal is more complex, has better lyrics, and all the musicians shit and yes, SHIT on zakk *pinch* wylde. gus g absoulutley wrecks ZW in every way. Im not Gus fanboy, but I do like him, and Wylde and his whole career pail in comparison to any power metal. sorry to tell you.
    espChris93
    InvaderTSN wrote: This *SQUEEE* album *SQUEEE* was *SQUEEE* pretty *SQUEEE* bland.
    Hand Of Stone wrote: illuminatiano wrote: LightxGrenade wrote: Sounds like another shite release by the pinch harmonic ***** that is Zakk Wylde. Honestly beyond his mediocrity and the overall blandness of the band as a whole, BLS do something that I think is what makes music and being a musician so utterly pointless in this department: the ability to completely bore me. Think about it, how silly is it to watch people go bat shit crazy over a couple of pinch harmonics played on your guitar? I feel like that must be the most bittersweet and absurd feeling ever and BLS are one of the few bands that really do that for me. Can't wait to not check this out. SQQQUUUUUEEEEE fixed for objectivity Great gob being a total jerk-off. He likes what he likes and you put him down? No, really, you're pretty cool. Have fun being an *****.
    no really have fun listening to squells instead of music
    RPExecutor
    tattooedzakkfan wrote: zakk wylde is the cat ass your just the litter box where he drops his pinch harmonic loaded "shite"
    so Wylde is a cat's ass, and his music is in fact shite... thanks for clearing that up!
    rg_metal
    BLS c*cks... if you want to counter argue at least know how to spell "you" and a whole array of elementary level words that a 3 year old can spell perfectly. so every one of you are incompetent to type anything worth reading apparently... BLS fans don't have any education
    romencer17
    progbass wrote: The metal forum cometh bearing opinions! EVERYONE RUN
    The elite metal council has made their decision. This album is deemed FALSE!
    DimebagLivesOn
    progbass wrote: The metal forum cometh bearing opinions! EVERYONE RUN
    Metal forum speaks. All of you who enjoy this should feel bad.
    metallifreak77
    One of the better BLS albums. A great, solid album right here folks! I really love it, and am very happy for Mr. Wylde. All you Zakk haters, please fall into a large ditch full of piss and feces.
    LightxGrenade
    illuminatiano wrote: LightxGrenade wrote: Sounds like another shite release by the pinch harmonic ***** that is Zakk Wylde. Honestly beyond his mediocrity and the overall blandness of the band as a whole, BLS do something that I think is what makes music and being a musician so utterly pointless in this department: the ability to completely bore me. Think about it, how silly is it to watch people go bat shit crazy over a couple of pinch harmonics played on your guitar? I feel like that must be the most bittersweet and absurd feeling ever and BLS are one of the few bands that really do that for me. Can't wait to not check this out. SQQQUUUUUEEEEE fixed for objectivity
    Jeez man why don't you go under your bridge you ****in little troll? Write your own damn things don't change my stuff, you're not clever, you're just a little ****
    Leather Sleeves
    I haven't listened to THAT much BLS, but I might just pick this one up if its as good as everyone's saying. Oh, and they're coming here (Halifax, NS) in October. Jealous?
    Disturbed_EMG
    Haven't actually heard it yet, Dad said it was good. He's gonna send me a copy when he gets it, gotta get it to Australia.
    DDOG1230
    Bradly Mills wrote: I would play them if there were tabs!!!! And this CD is absolutely amazing!! SDMF!!
    Indubitubly, good sir.
    dorkfish94
    This album is beast. It has the hard hitting riffs Zakk is famous for, as well as slower stuff. I love it as much as I love all the older stuff. I even like it as much as Funeral Bell and Stillborn, which is damn hard to top.
    KarmaTH30RY
    Pr0teZT wrote: I'd also like to add that the sound production (especially guitars & drums) are WAY better than the previous album. i agree. there's a nice amount of lower frequencies as well as a nice balance of mid and high frequencies. the panning was do a lot better as well. Zakk has one of the sickest guitartones on this album. I like it!