Black Label Society, Mafia, 2005
Guitar player Zakk Wylde has over time become a force to reckon with. His playing and especially his signature sound is world famous and has been put to good use by his godfather Ozzy for many many moons. I think very highly of both his Book Of Shadows and Pride and Glory releases and tend to buy all his Black Label Society stuff as well.
But truth be told, looking back I do feel there is little development in the BLS department. I guess from the start you pretty much know what you are gonna get. Heavy riffs with pounding drums and bass, lots of overtones, ferocious solo´s and Zakk singing his attitude filled lyrics to the hungry masses. Rockers like Fire It Up, What´s In You, or slower stomping grooves like Suicide Messiah, are present to please the fan army. And also some beautiful ballad typed songs. In this case In This River and I Never Dreamed.
Is that a bad thing? If you like to eat a different dish every day, it probably is. But if you like your French fries every Saturday, this will just as likely be your favourite menu.
And the guitar players amongst us will probably eat this up just for the kick of hearing more Zakk Wylde fretboard extravaganza. He remains a top class player.
Personal play tips: try the ones mentioned.