BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – Grimmest Hits (2018)
No, “Grimmest Hits” is not a compilation of your favorite BLACK LABEL SOCIETY songs. First off, Zakk Wylde will be the first to tell you, “If it’s Grimmest Hits, you know going there’s a grim chance there’s going to be any hits on this record.”
Of course, the legendary axeman and BLS leader is always in the joking mood and we can assure you the band’s new album is loaded with some of Wylde’s best riffs and the ever-present Black Sabbath / Ozzy Osbourne inspiration.
In fact, “Grimmest Hits” is the Wylde / BLACK LABEL SOCIETY album more ‘similiar’ to his days as part of the Ozzy band.
The album smooshes darkness and blues together with full salute tilted toward BLACK SABBATH on “All That Once Shined”, “Disbelief”, “Bury Your Sorrow”, “Seasons Of Falter” and “A Love Unreal”.
The fugue-whispered intro to “Trampled Down Below” opens up a somber march with John DeServio’s plucky bass line dishing a monster groove for Zakk Wylde to wistfully dig his vocals into, and naturally to drop a juicy guitar solo over. DeServio is nearly as much of a force as Wylde himself on this album.
The moody tone carries into “Seasons Of Falter”, which plods upon the backbone of Jeff Fabb’s steady crashing, the solemn guitars yet compelled to create an agreeable counter melody. The up-tempo rhythm, blaring bass and scattered blues bombs on “The Betrayal” give the album a hearty shake at the right spot.
The themes of the album seem to center around grim thoughts as the title indicates and an overall sense of dreariness. One song, “A Love Unreal,” however, flips the script and heals the wounds. Lyrically, it’s a tender song, but Wylde cleared the air on this one (and the car in the back story), detailing a burrito-born incident
Opposite on the rocking spectrum is the Southern Blues Rock ballad “The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away.” With a swaying tempo and Wylde’s almost-aching vocals, the song is a solid reprieve, but one that still kicks ass and is not out of place. Furthermore, “Illusions of Peace” brings a nostalgic musing inspired by the latter to a halt, as fierce riffs, thunderous beats and rumbling bass hit you in the face.
“Grimmest Hits” showcases BLACK LABEL SOCIETY’s ability to deliver fresh yet Ozzy / Sabbth inspired material without deserting its proven recipe for success.
After nearly four years, the band’s latest course is sure to satisfy storied-fans’ appetites and entice newcomers alike.
01 – Trampled Down Below
02 – Seasons Of Falter
03 – The Betrayal
04 – All That Once Shined
05 – The Only Words
06 – Room Of Nightmares
07 – A Love Unreal
08 – Disbelief
09 – The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away
10 – Illusions Of Peace
11 – Bury Your Sorrow
12 – Nothing Left To Say
Zakk Wylde – Vocals, Guitar
John DeServio – Bass
Dario Lorina – Guitar
Jeff Fabb – Drums
BUY IT !