BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – Hangover Music Vol. VI

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - Hangover Music Vol. VI


Release date: April 20, 2004

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Along with being Ozzy Osbourne’s guitar player since the late eighties, Zakk Wylde has put out several solo albums under various names. Hangover Music Vol. VI is his sixth album under the band name Black Label Society, but this one is very different from his previous efforts. Like his 1996 effort, Book Of Shadows released under his own name, this new CD contains nothing but mellow, subdued tracks.

This album has even got a cover version of the classic “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”(!), definitely not a track you normally would associate with when thinking about heavy Black Label Society music. But everyone who’s a bit into the works of Wylde knows that behind the skulls, leather, nails, hard-drinking and even harder playing, he is a really emotional guy, and on this album he seems to want to share all his sensitivity with the listener. Of course your grandmother would still find this way too heavy, but this certainly is something much more calm than what you are used to hearing from B.L.S.

This album succeeds to a big extent, but it never gets as good as Book Of Shadows, and none of the tracks are as phenomenal as “Sweet Jesus” and “Found A Friend”, for example; two of the slow songs from Wylde’s stunning 1994 project Pride & Glory.

Everything on Hangover Music Vol. VI is very well played. From time to time Zakk’s guitar playing is so strong and passionate that I just start to grin. Some of the solos are just insane too. His voice is also great. It’s not like he has developed it a lot over the last years, but he growls and screams like there’s no tomorrow, and from time to time he even surprises me a bit by sounding like Chris Cornell (Audioslave). I can’t see how that’s anything but a huge compliment …

What’s not that stellar is that the album is maybe longer than it should be. Sixty-five minutes is just too much. The opener, “Crazy Or High” could have been left out. It sounds like it was originally written for Osbourne, and does not stylistically follow suit with the majority of the other tracks on the album (Relax, Zack, patience! There will be another Ozzy-album. Save those songs!).

All right, if you haven’t already treated yourself to some good music, go buy Pride & Glory and Book Of Shadows, then go ahead and buy Hangover Music Vol. VI.

The Highlights: “Steppin’ Stone”, “She Deserves A Free Ride” and “Damage Is Done”.



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