Monday, August 9, 2010
CD Review: Black Label Society's "Order of the Black" is a solid stomper
After checking out blabbermouth.net today (as I always do shortly after waking up), I noticed Black Label Society is streaming its new album, Order of the Black on AOL Music.
Part of me wanted to wait until tomorrow to check out the CD, but my curiosity got the best of me (although I mainly just skimmed the songs with a few exceptions, because I'd rather give it a full listen after picking up a copy).
So, while this is not meant to be a full review, here is my take so far.
Order of the Black is not another "classic BLS" sounding album like Sonic Brew or Stronger Than Death. It also isn't as amazing as 2002's 1919 Eternal.
However, soundwise, it is on par with The Blessed Hellride with elements of Wylde and Co.'s older and newer outputs intermixed. There's plenty of metal stompers this time around ("Crazy Horse," "Parade of the Dead," "Black Sunday," "Godspeed Hellbound," etc.), so those fans who miss the "take no prisoners" style of BLS brewtality, should be satisfied.
There are also plenty of southern-tinged ballads, which seem pretty hit-or-miss, but none are terrible (and "Darkest Days," is actually pretty damn good). There is even an acoustic instrumental entitled "Chupacabra", which is another one of Wylde's homages to Eddie Van Halen's "Spanish Fly" (think "Speedball," off 1919 Eternal).
Order of the Black feels like the album that should have came after 2003's The Blessed Hellride and fits well into the band's catalog of music.
Most impressively, Wylde has shown that a true musician doesn't need to use performance enhancers (in the form of booze or drugs) to create great art. All you need is practice, songwriting ability, and some personality to make a truly brutal album.