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Black Label Society


Kings of Damnation [Limited Edition]

Year: 2005
Format: CD
Label: Spitfire
Genre: [Hard Rock/Heavy Metal]
Overall Rating: 6.5
Music: 6.5
Production: 7.0

When Ozzy Osbourne decided in favour of a hiatus in 1995, Zakk Wylde (the guitarist of Osbourne) took up the opportunity and recorded his first solo album after the recording sessions of Ozzy's Ozzmosis were over. However, "Book of Shadows" (1996) didn't manage to gain any mainstream success, and thus Wylde took an extended break before resurfacing with a new album (this time under a new name - Black Label Society) in 1999. This time 'round he was more successful, although it was still his solo project that was in question. Having released seven different albums - last year's crushing "Mafia" being the latest - Black Label Society has come a long way to releasing "Kings of Damnation", a compilation of purportedly best tracks from Wylde's brainchild.

Zakk Wylde is one of the few guitarists out there with a really recognisable signature style (his high-pitched harmonic squeals coupled with a rather strong vibrato have come essential to his trademark sound). In case one hasn't heard BLS before, the music is best described as a brutal blend of heavy metal and hard rock. What comes to mind regarding almost every best of collection is the choice of tracks... I reckon some really good songs have been left out from this collection. For example, there aren't any tracks from "Mafia" due to the label change from Spitfire to Artemis Records. In addition to the old material, there are two previously unreleased tracks on this compilation (namely Doomsday Inc. and SDMF). As well it might, the material of BLS has improved throughout the years (in my view, the more recent songs from Wylde are better than his early production... therefore, it's a shame this collection doesn't encompass the Mafia era).

Production-wise this compilation is ok. Surely it could have sounded better, but one can't help but notice that the early production isn't sonically as good as the late. Besides, there's background noise on some recordings, which is unfortunate.

In case you're a fan of Wylde's work, it might be hard for you to decide whether Kings of Damnation features enough new material to justify the buy (after all, there are only two new tracks). However, for someone new to BLS, Kings of Damnation offers an easy way to familiarize oneself with Wylde's production. In addition to the main disc, the limited digipack edition of this compilation comes with an enhanced bonus disc that features cover songs along with three videos. Nevertheless, the choice of tracks could have been better on this collection.

Visit Artist's Website

- MAGE (November 6th, 2005)


Wylde, Zakk: Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Piano
Catanese, Nick (ET): Guitars
LoMenzo, James: Bass
Nunenmacher, Craig: Drums
Producer: Wylde, Zakk
Mixing by: Unavailable
Mastering by: Unavailable
Black Label Society - Kings of Damnation [Limited Edition]  CD  Cover Image
01. Losing Your Mind
02. Horse Called War
03. Between Heaven and Hell
04. Sold My Soul
05. Bored to Tears
06. Bleed for Me
07. TAZ
08. Counterfeit God
09. Stronger Than Death
10. Speedball
11. Demise of Sanity
12. We Live No More
13. Stillborn
14. The Blessed Hellride
15. Crazy or High
16. House of Doom
17. Takillya
18. Doomsday Inc.
19. SDMF

Length: 71:59

01. No More Tears
02. Whiter Shade of Pale
03. Heart of Gold
04. Snowblind
05. The Wizard
06. In My Time of Dyin'
07. Come Together
08. Counterfeit God (Video)
09. Stillborn (Video)
10. Bleed for Me (Video)

Length: 38:34 + the videos

Total Length: 110:33
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