Black Label Society – “Grimmest Hits” Album Review

Black Label Society – “Grimmest Hits” (eOne music)
By: Brian Campbell

 

Eschewing a portion of their trademark metallic thump for a sound that only be described as ‘bluesy doom,’ Black Label Society give a not-so-subtle nod to early Black Sabbath on their latest album, “Grimmest Hits.” If fact, the Sabbath adoration is pretty gratuitous, which ain’t a bad thing.

Don’t worry Bezerkers, “Grimmest Hits” features more than enough of that pummeling bravado you have come to know and love from Zakk Wylde and crew (“Trampled Down Below” opens amidst a sea of towering riffs and deafening percussion, “Room Of Nightmares” is a hulking juggernaut complete with soaring hooks and blistering guitar work, “A Love Unreal” hits like a tidal wave with reckless abandon, “Disbelief” is five minutes of doomy, sludgy goodness, “Illusion Of Peace” is a crushing slab punctuated by a jaw-dropping guitar bridge). And as you would expect from an axeman the caliber of Wylde, “Grimmest Hits” is a veritable minefield of uber-level six-string majesty with monolithic solos at literally every turn (“Seasons of Falter,” “The Betrayal,” “All That Once Shined”).

Wylde takes his blues infusion to the next level on dusty open road ballads like “The Only Words” and “The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away,” showcasing harmonized vocals and delicate, yet intricate plucking. Wylde even concludes “Grimmest Hits” with a glimpse into his new found blues alter-ego with the emotional “Nothing Left To Say.”

As a Black Label Society album, “Grimmest Hits” does everything you’d want it to, and even adds a few new wrinkles into the mix for good measure. Doom Crew, you’ll love this one.

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