Still heavy as hell, Zakk Wylde’s latest Black Label Society release “The Blessed Hellride” carries on the tradition of making records Zakk enjoys and everyone else be damned. Yes, Zakk wears his Allman Brothers and Black Sabbath influences proudly and pays tribute to both bands by never lifting riffs, rather extending where each band may have progressed if the 70’s never ended.
Opening track “Stoned and Drunk” is classic-style hard rock anthem that admittedly finds me finally taking a liking to Zakk’s vocals after all his previous releases failed to do so. “Dead Meadow” with its piano interlude is slow and eerie, but still downright heavy in its own way. “Doomsday Jesus” sounds like a missing track from the “1919 Eternity” sessions. “Suffering Overdue” is heavy, heavy, heavy, from the ominous lyrics to the guitar playing throughout. “Stillborn” features his longtime mentor Ozzy Osbourne on vocals which gives you an idea what a new Ozzy album would be like without the outside influences of the likes of David Grohl.
Zakk’s playing here is as great as ever. He plays all of the instruments on “The Blessed Hellride” except the drums. Just check out the brutally heavy riffs he lays out on “”Blackened Waters” along with the wicked guitar solo. The solos are plentiful all the way through the CD…this is no Metallica “St. Anger” that is for certain!