Black Label Society is one of the few bands that plays real metal (as opposed to the likes of Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park), and they’ve put out so many great songs. But while the songs on here are good, they missed some of BLS’s greatest songs like “Stoned and Drunk” and “All for You.” Of course, if you are getting into BLS, this is a decent place to start, just know that there are great songs that were left off of here as well (motivation to pick up the individual albums). The two new tracks are pretty good, but people that already own the majority of the songs on here need not pick this up just for those two songs. This is just one of those albums that comes out after a record company loses and band, and release a (usually terribly put together) greatest hits package to take as much money from the band’s fans as possible.
Kings Of Damnation: Era 98 04 is a look at the evolution of Zakk Wylde’s progression as a musician, beginning from his solo venture with Pride & Glory and Book of Shadows, leading up to his final album for Spitfire, Hangover Music Volume VI. Includes 2 previously unreleased tracks. 2005.Zakk’s work as guitarist for Ozzy and his solo work are two completely different beasts. His guitar for the Prince of Darkness works largely within a mainstream framework while his solo playing and writing often showcase an entirely different side. He’s no one-trick-pony and ”King of Damnation: Era 1998-2004” showcases the best of his varied interests. The collection from his days on the Spitfire label goes from blues-chugging Southern boogie (”Losing Your Mind”), to hard driving Pantera-like thrash (”Bleed for Me”) to acoustic pieces best illustrate how his versatility meets his virtuosity (”TAZ” and ”Takillya”). The two new songs on this collection are the slower, harder numbers ”SDMF” and ”Doomsday, Inc.”. His vocals are not the most exciting for Rock, but that’s not what you’re here for. After all, his playing is vast and technical, going from solid riffing to intricate solo in a matter of moments. If you’re a rock or metal fan looking to find a way into this guitar man’s catalog, this is the perfect place to start. – Robert Arambel
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what the hell? this is NOT a fair representation of black label society. sure, it’s got 2 new songs, but c’mon. 1 friggin’ disc?! 1 pride and glory disc, 1 solo zakk cd (book of shadows), and what 5 spitfire issued albums and 1 live affair, not to mention the “mafia” disc as well. for a band that has put out more quality albums than your average “mega” band,this crappy best of deserves a swift kick in the arse. if your a true society dwellar you’ll pick it up like i did because you support the band. but if you are a casual listener, do yourself a favor and go buy the real deals. not this. BLEED BLACK LABEL!
If you haven’t heard Zakk Wylde’s early material, you may be a little surprised early on in this collection. He wasn’t exactly the metal powerhouse he is today. There was a lot of southern rock and country influence on “Losing Your Mind” from the Pride & Glory days. I wasn’t a big fan of Book of Shadows, but they picked probably the best two songs from that record that represent the Zakk of today; “Between Heaven and Hell” represents his softer acoustic side (with some great guitar tones), while “Sold My Soul” crossing the bridge from acoustic to electric mayhem. I would say these are the most commercial songs Wylde has ever done.
I was a bit disappointed that only one song from Sonic Brew was chosen, because that was by far the best BLS album in my opinion, but at least the picked the thunderous and devastating “Bored to Tears”. “Bleed for Me” showcases a monstrous chugga-chugga riff and a vocally melodic Zakk Wylde. “Stillborn” is where Ozzy Osbourne helped out his faithful guitarist out with vocal; although, both men sound pretty much the same. “Crazy or High” revisits Zakk’s early days of acoustic-based rock, but combines it with Zakk’s new found vocal style and always consistent solos. There are two unreleased tracks included in the best of collection; “Doomsday Inc.” is a balls-to-the wall metal thriller, and “SDMF” is just as powerful with a lot of enhancing electronic effects.
“Taz”, “Speedball”, and “Takillya” are really just filler tracks. They do show off Zakk’s guitar skills, but each clock in around a minute or so. Six years and six albums are a little early for a best of, unless you’re calling it quits (which I don’t think he is).
If you’ve been living in a cave in recluse from the rock world and started wondering, `who is this Zakk Wylde guy, and why is he held in such high regard as a guitar player?’; then Kings of Damnation is the perfect introduction to a heavy metal guitar master that’s only just begun to crank out his best. If you’ve always been a fan, you’ll be more than pleased with the new tracks.
This is a compilation of material that BLS released on Spitfire Records. Mafia is on Atermis Records. That’s why none of the songs off of Mafia appear on this CD. Zakk proabably owed them one more album on his contract and allowed this greatest of package.
well i bought this cd because the editorial review says there are acoustic versions of spoke in the wheel, bridge to cross, stillborn and the blessed hellride, but there not here! in fact, spoke in the wheel and bridge to cross are not here in any form! and it contains the original versions of stillborn and the blessed hellride. all of the tracks on cd 2 have been released before. if you have all of the cds with the bonus discs, you already have everything on this disc. even the videos arent anything new, if you have the dvd, you have 2 of the three videos. the only one extra would be counterfit god, which is cool. so all you get here that you dont already have are the 2 new tracks. some one needs to fix the editorial.