Black Label Society: Shot to Hell

Dirty…beautiful….Southern trash metal. All words I would use to describe this new effort from Black Label Society. The legendary voice of Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde is now widely known as he has become one of the greatest and most influential guitar players in metal history. Black Label has an underground alliance of fans who are among the most hardcore of all legions of followers in music today, wearing signifying colors and developing an actual lifestyle which they often refer to as SDMF (Strength, Determination, Merciless, Forever).

The album opens with “Concrete Jungle,” setting the tone for the rest of Shot to Hell with its grinding rhythms and deep set grooves, growing into the darker edged “Black Mass Reverends” and the grim “Blacked out World.” I really loved the rhythmic “Give Yourself to Me” and the slower burning “Sick of It All” which is a beautiful, poetic journey; it’s amazing how that whiskey coated voice can suddenly breathe life into the simplest melodies. The piano driven “The Last Goodbye” is a bittersweet tune that has intricate melodies and comes across sad but beautiful.

The effort was produced by Wylde and well known producer Michael Beinhorn (Ozzy, Korn, Soundgarden) and was recorded at Ameraycan Studios in North Hollywood, California. This is dirty American metal with a Southern edge, and after repeated listening might become addictive.

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