Review: Black Label Society – Catacombs of the Black Vatican

PromoImage (3)

Artist: Black Label Society
Album: Catacombs of the Black Vatican
Rating: 9/10

When it comes to legendary guitarists, Zakk Wylde should need no introduction. He served as Ozzy Osbourne’s right-hand man from 1988-2007, he released one strictly solo album in 1996 and then, of course, there’s his Black Label Society where he serves as lead guitarist, front man and all-around badass. For many, BLS is more than just music, it’s a way of life. They’ve released 8 incredible studio albums, each more complex and more impressive than the next in many different aspects. The follow-up to 2011’s Order of the Black is much more than anyone could have anticipated! In January of 2014, “My Dying Time” the lead single from the forthcoming album, Catacombs of the Black Vatican was unleashed and proved that age has no effect on this band.

Catacombs of the Black Vatican was named for Zakk’s infamous home studio. The lead single, “My Dying Time”, is a track about looking death straight in the face, living life to the fullest and knowing you’ve lived it well. The video depicts the devil coaxing many different characters into different forms of temptation. Visually, it’s one of the best I’ve seen in awhile. The message, though, is that you should never be afraid to die because death is an inevitability. If you go through life wondering when or how you’re going to die, being careful and protecting yourself from all things harmful… you’ll never truly live the life you deserve. After all, all you leave behind when you go is your legacy. Is yours worth writing stories about? How will you be remembered? This track features some fiery solo work as we’ve come to expect from Wylde and some tightly knit musicianship.

Of course, fan of BLS will know that the band has a much softer side as well. Evident in tracks like the timeless “In This River”, which Wylde has dedicated to fallen brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and the newest track, “Angel of Mercy”, which has a more eerie, less religious type of feel to it. One thing is for sure, though, Wylde and Co. have not lost their shine in the rock community. In fact, this year has them on some of the biggest Summer festivals in the US.

Of course, you can’t talk about BLS without talking about the guitar-work that is displayed throughout the record, especially evident in tracks like “Damn the Flood”, “My Dying Time”, “I’ve Gone Away” and “Empty Promises”. Throughout each and every BLS album, Wylde seems to try something a little new and different…never failing in his endeavor to keep his spot aside some of the greatest guitarists in history. Catacombs of the Black Vatican is certainly  no exception! The solos are flashy, the riffs are edgy, it’s unrelenting most of the time while throwing beautiful melody in the form of acoustic guitars when need be. Put shortly, this is a BLS album for the ages.   So be sure to pick up your copy of Catacombs of the Black Vatican on eOne now!

Buy Catacombs of the Black Vatican

“My Dying Time” Official Music Video