The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
ZAKK WYLDES BLACK LABEL SOCIETY CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN REVIEW 2014

ZAKK WYLDE'S BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN

Riot / Bullet Proof AU

APRIL 8 2014

 

 

After last year’s stunning primarily acoustic live album ‘Unblackened’ expectations were set high for the new studio release ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican.’ Now if you like Black Label Society then there will be no surprises that the latest offering sonically pretty much re-treads the same template as previous releases, if you are new to the band (and I can’t imagine there are many of you out there) then this is bourbon and BBQ Metal of the finest order.

 

What you get on ‘Catacombs’ though isn’t quite your standard release. Over the years Wylde’s voice has mellowed and found new depths and while that might not be as evident on your straight ahead rockers t is noticeable on many of the bluesier numbers and especially the ballads.

 

After mid-tempo opener ‘Fields of Unforgiveness’ it’s Wylde’s trademark high-intensity guitar that rules on ‘Heart of Darkness’ - a song that you could argue was staple fare for the band, and one which has the bluster to make a great ‘live’ set-opener.    

 

As the album opens up though it gets even more interesting with ‘Believe’ coming on all gospel, and ballad ‘Angel of Mercy’ finding Zakk on top vocal form before tracks like‘Damn the Flood’ bring renewed intensity.  

 

As far as highlights go it’s hard to pick particular songs - this being a solid album of consistent quality; but the acoustic ‘Scars’ which takes a little from the live outing from last year, sees Wylde’s voice again coming to the fore. Aside from the opening salvo which easily could have seen the opening two numbers switch spots the tracklisting is flawless and the album ends strongly with bonus tracks  the bluesy ‘Blind Man’ and the solid rock of  ‘Hell and Fire’.

 

This is an album full of spirit and life and one which sees the band refine a sound that so many already love.

 

 

by Mark Diggins

 

ZAKK WYLDES BLACK LABEL SOCIETY CATACOMBS OF THE BLACK VATICAN REVIEW 2014