BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - 1919 Eternal
May 9, 2002, 16 years ago
Sure to put the same delightful frown on your face that you get from listening to the toughest Pantera, 1919 has everything you should expect from a Black Label record: a nice mix of chuggers and ballads, progressively heavier than the last one (if heavier even means anything anymore), blazing guitars along with the simple ones and the reinforcement that Zakk will always make metal that is true to himself and his fans. These songs written once and left untouched and unchanged leaves the album with a raw and natural, straight to the point ass-kicking feel, complimented by last minute lyrics of Zakk's eternal and unchanging themes ('Drinkin' Booze and Raising Rifles'! Fuck yeah!). The simple arrangements of tough-guy-riff openers into half-paced choruses with melodic vocals with lots of 'Ohh''s are as effective as ever. Sure to get you motivated to take on the world (or at least stomp around with your fists clenched) is the intro to the opening track 'Bleed For Me' with its marching forward pace and Zakk's high screaming. Beard-growing and weightlifting impulses will be sure to follow a track this tough. The soulful 'Bridge To Cross' and the smooth but heavy 'Mass Murdering Machines' with its killer chorus are amongst the other highlights. So, the latest Ozzy record sounds like an Ozzy record and BLS still sounds like BLS. Perfect. No surprises but that's just the way it should be. Black Label will always be true to what they do and anyone who knows what they're getting into should never be disappointed. When you get tired of all the experimentation and selling out that goes on in music, it's comforting to know you can count on certain bands to strongly deliver their product time after time (Don't tell Zakk that I called his band a product though). The bottom line: A very likable record with both power and heart.