Black Label Society – 1919 Eternal

Reviewed: April 2002
Released: 2002, Spitfire Records
Rating: 4.2/5
Reviewer: CrashTest

Zakk Wylde is one of a handful of guys in the metal world who command your total respect. Whether you like his music and/or opinions is irrelevant. Like Mustaine and Schaeffer, he says what he feels without remorse and is ever loyal to metal. Plus, he could probably kick the ass of every motherfucker reading this review, including the ass of yours truly. He’s just a bad man and Black Label Society has always reflected this.

1919 ETERNAL is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Zakk Wylde. Heavy, driving riffs, razor-sharp solos, pounding drums and ballsy vocals. This is the kind of music that tears the skin from your bones. The kind of music that sounds loud, even when your stereo is turned down. With crushing songs like “Bleed For Me”, “Demise of Sanity” and “Battering Ram” you can’t go wrong. “Refuse to Bow Down” is pure attitude, and where would any BLS release be without at least one song dedicated to the devil’s brew? In this case, the track is “Berserkers” and it should come as no surprise that it features lines like “Drinkin’, pukin’, pissin’ and fightin’ … startin’ all over again.” Classic Zakk. The CD also features two “ballads”, though listening to them doesn’t make you feel like a complete wuss. BLS ballads aren’t full of pianos and forlorn lyrics. Sure, the release has it’s limitations. Zakk doesn’t have the best voice in the world, but it’s the perfect fit for his music. There isn’t a lot of growth on this CD either, but who gives a shit? With this release and the spot on this year’s OzzFest, I expect BLS will be gaining new addicts very, very soon.

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