ALBUM REVIEW – Black Label Society’s “Catacombs of the Black Vatican”

I proudly wear the Black Label colors. Zakk Wylde has created something special with Black Label Society. There’s a mutual respect among fans of the band. At the head of this society is ZakK Wylde. He’s one of the best guitar players of all time, a great songwriter and an all around bonehead. How can a guy this talented, who clearly dedicates himself to his craft be so laid back?

Zakk headed back into his studio, The Black Vatican, to work on a new album and crapped out “Catacombs of the Black Vatican.” If only more of us could crap gold like Zakk. I really like ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican.” It’s not like the other BLS albums. It’s almost a straight-ahead rock album that’s on the darker side. It’s not super heavy like “Order of the Black.”

You can always tell when Zakk’s playing guitar, but on “Catacombs of the Black Vatican” it sounds like Zakk was experimenting with different tones and playing styles. I’m not smart enough to put my finger on it but it sounds like almost a whole other band. If I had to guess I’d say Zakk had been going through an Alice in Chains kick around the time he sat down to write.

Zakk’s music has always been diverse, sometimes he’s as heavy as it gets and other times he’s mellow. “Catacombs of the Black Vatican” seems to cover everything in between. I really love this album. I really didn’t see this album coming. It was getting to the point where you were beginning to know what to expect from Zakk. I highly recommend “Catacombs of the Black.”

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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Unknown said...

Aww... One of the best albums .. Great composition going is this available in the itunes digital mp3 store