Monday, April 5, 2010

Zakk Wylde - Way Beyond Empty

Last May I reviewed Black Label Society – In This River, that was a good review, I enjoyed it. So Zakk has done awesome work with both his badass metal band Black Label Society and with the man Ozzy Osbourne, so basically Zakk Wylde... is the ultimate man.

Not too surprisingly Zakk Wylde’s solo album is nothing shy of absolute greatness.

Before Black Label Society, when Zakk was still working with Ozzy, he attempted his first group act outside of Ozzy under the name Pride and Glory. The group broke up after one year and a self titled album.

But within one year span of “Pride and Glory” breaking up, Zakk released his only true solo album (that I know of) “Book of Shadows.”

I love Ozzy Osbourne and I love the heavy songs by Black Label Society, but I find Zakk’s acoustic tracks from “Book of Shadows,” particularly enjoyable. Maybe it’s just the style I personally prefer or maybe there is something about that one special album that makes every song really stand out, I’m not sure, but I thoroughly enjoy Zakk’s work, heavy and soft.

If I had to pick one track from “Book of Shadows,” and I kind of do since I don’t intend to share the entire album over email, it would have to be “Way Beyond Empty.” I love heavily sentimental soulful songs, I can’t help it, I’m huge romantic at heart; I know I hide it well. And that is just how I would describe Zakk’s singing style, soulful. He does not possess some amazing singing voice or anything he just gives it hell, and not too surprisingly when you really put a lot of heart into something it comes out beautiful. I pretty much have to say the same thing about Zakk’s performance on his Les Paul, he puts a lot of heart into his songs, and it shows.

I don’t have too much more to add... Zakk Wylde is the world’s greatest active guitarist.

Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin Kelly

P.S.

When I was in HMV the other day buying Black Label CDs, I noticed Avantasia (January 2009 Music in Review) had a catalogue in the metal section now.

This made me happy, because I am very, very convinced that Avantasia – “The Scarecrow” was by far the best album of 2008, and I’m happy someone other than me bought it. Also the two LPs Tibias Sommet released as appetisers for the final album have been combined into one super album called “Lost in Space.” It includes a new version of the song, “Lost in Space,” which is even more rocking than the original.

I am pleased with this development.

So go to HMV and buy Avantasia - “The Scarecrow,” and “Lost in Space.” It’s as good as I make it out to be.