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Reviews

Black Label Society 1919*Eternal

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, March 6, 2002 @ 5:14 PM


(Spitfire)

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Zakk and his “brewtal” band are back with their bone-crunching third release 1919*Eternal. The album title is intended as a tribute to the spirit of Zakk’s father, Jerome, and the World War II generation. Appropriately titled, as this album is a skull-mauling, Rottweiller-teethed battlefield we call a moshpit.

Let me just start by saying, if you do not already have this album, then why are you sitting at your computer?? Get off your ass and go get it! From beginning to end, this album will not let you down. So many albums today have a hit song or two, then a bunch of fillers. Not the case here. 1919*Eternal will keep your little head banging from start to finish.

“Bleed For Me” is obviously the first single to be released off the album. It’s so hooky and heavy, with a bit of techno to it. But it works. It’ll stick in your head, repeating over and over.

One of the best tracks is “Demise of Sanity.” I don’t know how else to say this, but it’s motorcycle-riding music. The kind of song that you have cranked up in the Hog as you fly across wide open spaces. “Genocide Junkies” could also be described that way. Another great tune is “Battering Ram.” It’s hard, it’s fast, it’s short and sweet. The guitar riffs have that signature Zakk sound. You can definitely hear a little Pantera in there. Actually, on a lot of the tunes you can hear the similarity between Zakk and Phil Anselmo’s voices.

“Lords of Destruction” has Zakk singing in some sort of synthesized voice. I think it debatably has a Ministry sound to it, whereas “Mass Murder Machine” is very Alice In Chains, metal-style.

“Life/Birth/Blood/Doom” and “Graveyard Disciples” are highly reminiscent of Black Sabbath. The guitar hooks in “Refuse To Bow Down” remind me of the same ones on No More Tears. In his vocals, it’s obvious Zakk’s tenure with Ozzy has rubbed off on him.

Zakk says on his website that “Berserkers” “sums up this whole band’s mentality,” referring to being kicked down and getting back up again. It’s slower and heavier…kind of a stoner song.

“Speedball” is a crazy little acoustic number – 58 seconds long. “America The Beautiful” is an amazing acoustic instrumental. I know, you’re thinking, “Zakk doing a patriotic homage?” You will get goosebumps. You will stand up and pledge allegiance to your nearest flag.

Then we have the two ballads. Well, I’ll be up front: not a ‘ballads’ kind of person. And this album has not changed that. Sure, they’re fine. Nothing wrong with them. Actually, I appreciate that Zakk doesn’t need to be the constant hard-ass and can lighten up a bit. It’s actually very refreshing! “Bridge To Cross” I found kind of boring. “Lost Heaven” is much better. I couldn’t help but get a Soundgarden vibe from it.

When you listen to this album, you can just picture every one of these songs live in a huge arena. It just has that “big” quality.

Overall, this album will kick your ass, punch you in the teeth, then, just as you peel yourself back up off the floor, it’ll kick you in the balls!

*****


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