Overall Score: 5/10 : 1/10 : 1/10 : 1/10 Pros: Cons:
In somewhat unknown personal territory for this album, the last 12 months have seen Wylde’s life radically altered. First, doctors discovered blood clots in his leg. Then, the second bomb dropped. Ozzy announced he was looking for a new guitarist. So, what does a man do in that situation. I guess he straddles his Harley Davidson with a loaded six string on his back and hot foots it back to the home studio to slam out a pretty darn decent album.
Album opener ‘Crazy Horse’ is chock full of meaty metal goodness, a real bruiser of a riff, piledriving chorus, a sublime solo and a solid headbang inducing groove. The torrent of riffs continues with ‘Overlord’, ‘Parade Of The Dead’ and ‘Godspeed Hellbound’. For me, the album’s strength lies in what Zakk does best; riffing like a man possessed, scuttling up and down the fretboard, pitch squealing and clipping harmonics like they are going out of style. I’m not wild (you don’t know how much self restraint it took me to not type Wylde) about the softer moments. They do little for me, whilst I would love to be moved by the emotion I’m just not, if anything I’m moved towards the skip button. Unfortunately there are 4 of these rather mediocre introspective tracks on offer, the best of a bad bunch being ‘Shallow Grave’ which has a whiff of Linkin Park’s ‘Shadow Of The Day’ about it. In summary, it’s a BLS album, it does what it says on the tin. It doesn’t break the mould, there is no radical change in style but rather a honing of their sound. Whilst it’s thoroughly enjoyable, via skipping the piano ballads, it’s not thoroughly memorable. It’s an album I really wanted to love but sadly it was only a brief holiday romance with a few tracks.
Order Of The Black is out now with four different front cover artworks – which one depending where in the world you are – the album is available digitally and as a standard CD but also as part of a very special box set, that will retail exclusively from the band’s webstore. In addition to the standard CD, box set buyers will also get a 3 Nail Cross Pendant, a 5×7″ Lithograph autographed by Zakk Wylde, a Keg Tap Handle, and an exclusive T-Shirt , all housed in a Thor’s Hammer box.