This is one of the best heavy metal albums I’ve heard to date. The riffs are amazing, the leads are amazing, Zakk’s voice is one of the best (alongside Phil Anselmo from Pantera and Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden). To one of the reviews below, if you have any doubts about Zakk’s voice then listen to his acoustic album “Book Of Shadows”. The guitar has a sludgy but cool sound, the bass is fat and the piano (here and there) sounds chilling.Just think: Zakk Wylde sings, plays all the guitar parts and piano parts and writes all the songs – the guy’s a genius! This is an essential purchase to anyone interested in some real traditional metal. If you’re looking for nu-metal you won’t find it here. If you’re looking for some down to earth, non-repetitive, proper heavy-metal, thats what you’ll find. This is my favourite of the two Black Label Society albums due to the amount of variation, although Stronger Than Death is amazing as well. I recommend both of them!Right from the opener “Bored To Tears”, the depressing “Peddlers Of Death”, the riff-frenzied “Low Down”, the cheeky acoustic solo “T.A.Z.”, the comedy of “World Of Trouble” right to “The Beginning… At Last”, this is one album that is as hard to put down as it is to forget. My version has a cover of Ozzy’s “No More Tears” and I have to admit I do prefer the original (when Zakk was in the Ozzy solo band). Other than that, crank this up loud, annoy the neighbours and show all those Limp Bizkit fans some real metal!
Domestic debut of 1998 solo album by Ozzy Osbourne’s former guitarist. 15 tracks, including ’Mother Mary’ & ’No More Tears’. The full title is ’Black Lab el Society – Sonic Brew’. Spitfire. 1999.
Forum Topics See All →
There are no active forum topics for this Metal Album
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
This is necessity if you are a music fan. One of the greatest albums ever. The guitar playing is insane! I love the vocals, and the drums…the drums absolutely are perfect. This Phil Ondich fella sure knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t overplay, or underplay…and it’s all pure talent. I don’t have to say much on Zakk, we all know and love his music. This cd is just Zakk and his drinking buddy Philth. They are great on this cd as well as Stronger Than Death, the followup. The live album that Zakk released is horrible. The new drummer is absolutely horrible, I don’t know why he hired that guy…It ruins the whole live album. Get this one, it’s the best! Don’t forget to check out Zakk’s acoustic solo album “Book Of Shadows” also for some superb music…could have been up there with one of the greats, but due to lack of promotion….ah we know the story. 10 Stars. Sonic Brew SLAMS!
What can be said about Zakk Wylde that hasn’t already been said? The man is the guitar god of his time, and can shred like no other modern day guitarist out there today. “Sonic Brew”, Zakk’s first release under his Black Label Society title, is a full throttle smash some beer bottles against the wall hard rock that fans of old Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, or early Pantera will no doubt dig. Opening track “Bored to Tears” has become a live staple of Zakk’s (one listen to it and you’ll know why), while “Born to Lose”, “Mother Mary”, and “Lost My Better Half” are utterly amazing songs which shows Zakk pouring all his emotion into his guitar, and his soulful but borderline death metal growl of a voice is music to any metalhead’s ears. My personal favorite song is “Hey You (Batch of Lies)” which is undeniably heavy and has quite a catchy chorus that will stick in your head for quite a while. Other songs like “Black Pearl” and “World of Trouble” sound a bit like filler material, but don’t take away much of the greatness of “Sonic Brew”. All in all, this is a great pick up for fans of Zakk or for those looking for something truly heavy and melodic with some major guitar talents. Pick up the BLS follow up to this, 2000’s “Stronger Than Death”, which I consider Zakk and co. at their apex.
Zakk Wylde is a great songwriter, with a very broad range. First he gives us Pride & Glory, demonstrating clear mastery of Southern Rock and Country styles. Then he follows with Book of Shadows, a perfect singer songwriter outing from start to finish. Sonic Brew proves that Zakk is also the master of Hard Rock and Grunge. I mean, Alice in Chains were a good group, but their best effort (Dirt) is totally spanked by this inspired, bone crunching record. Every tune is a masterpiece, no joke. How did he do it? The only drawback of this fine recording is a slightly overdriven sound – there’s a little distortion on everything – even the drums. I grew to enjoy this facet of Sonic Brew, but it may be disconcerting to people expecting that slick hard rock polish.
Take about a keg of beer, a Gibson guitar, and a hick with the talent to play it, and you’ll get something resembling SONIC BREW. This is a hefty slab of “suth’n frahd” heavy metal, very similar in style to some other bands as Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Eyehategod, and some of Phil Anselmo’s (Pantera singer, for the uneducated) various bands.Zakk Wylde, long known for his work with Ozzy Osbourne, formed his brief band Pride & Glory (another “redneck metal” band) back in 1994, but they broke up after their first and only album. Then in 1996 he released his solo album, BOOK OF SHADOWS, which was mostly acoustic folk and country music. Then, slightly overlapped by this boozy southern rock-influenced period, he released this album under the moniker Black Label Society in 1998.This album is heavy as SIN. Just listen to…well, any song. Almost every song is so damn heavy, with overdubbed, chugging, no doubt downtuned guitars and endless levels of distortion. The bass rumbles with the sound of the breaks of an 18-wheeler, and the drums (kudos to Phil Ondich, formerly of another southern metal band, Raging Slab) pound away with talented power.No two songs sound the same, yet at the same time, the whole album just trucks on by with it’s uber-heavy southern-influenced metal. All of them, of course, except “T.A.Z.,” which is a short acoustic instrumental. Always thought that acoustic guitar was not good for shredding? Just listen to this and prepare to poop your pants.Zakk’s solos dazzle, of course, and he is the king of riffs. He’s a great acoustic guitarist also, as well as pianist, bassist, and of course…SINGER! So many people tend to neglect how talented he is as a singer. From deep, growled (but not death metal) snarls to clean, powerful singing, he can do it all. He has to be one of the most talented musicians out there to this day.By the way, the lyrics are nothing masterful or heartfelt; most of the time, Zakk is singing about drinking, or…well, mostly drinking. He’s a heavy drinker, but he works out a lot to keep his body in shape (hence his bulging muscle-look). So don’t worry about this promoting drinking to kids, but don’t expect ultra well-written lyrics, either.The bass in most of the songs is splendidly performed by Zakk himself, and is also monstrously distorted. Just listen to the intro and verses to “Mother Mary” and see for yourself! When Zakk does heavy, he means HEAVY.Phil Ondich’s drumming is very good. He forms fairly complex patterns, is fast, and fits Black Label Society’s style with perfection. I’m very curious to check out his work with Raging Slab now.The songs are all great, but my favorites by far are “The Rose Petalled Garden,” with it’s overdubbed intro, very Alice in Chains-esque in its sludginess, “Hey You (Batch of Lies)” with its great, catchy chorus, and “Peddlers of Death” (a heavier cover of one of his own BOOK OF SHADOWS-era songs). This last one is rather eerie with its synthesizer/piano-peppered verses, and yet it’s so heavy, with a wonderful guitar solo. n Also, his cover of “No More Tears” is phenomenally heavy, with ultra-chugging guitar riffs replacing the classic bass intro. Finally, I’ve recently become a fan of “World of Trouble.” LISTEN to that riff in the verses and just try to tell me it isn’t catchy and worth headbanging to. Unbelievable.Finally, I’d just like to state that Amazon.com never seems to listen to me when I try to correct the information on this band. Yes, Zakk Wylde is involved, but the band really is called JUST “Black Label Society”; not “Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society.” Also, the cover is DIFFERENT now, guys…Oh well.Now pop out the beers and turn up the volume, because Black Label Society is here to rock your world with southern-fried heavy metal! YEE-HAW!