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Unblackened

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Album Review

Not quite an "unplugged" album, Unblackened finds guitar hero Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society scaling back the fury and showing their plaintive side with a live album of reworked tracks. Although they aren't completely stripped of their heaviness, with plenty of searing solos and squealing harmonics punctuating the songs, the set list featured here has had the intensity dialed down from blistering hard rock to hard-ish rock. While it seems like it would be easy for a lot of these tracks to dip into "power ballad" territory, these mellower arrangement reveal the bluesy underbelly at the heart of the Wylde's songwriting. Rather than revealing that Black Label Society has a softer side, Unblackened does one better and shows that the band's music has a much wider range of emotions than the casual observer might have thought possible. On top of the live performance, the two-disc set also features some studio cuts, including covers of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" and Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," which feature string accompaniments that provide an element of elegance to balance Wylde's gravely crooning. Though it's a less than ideal introduction to the band for newcomers to dip their toes into, Unblackened is an album that will provide longtime fans a whole new way of approaching these songs.

Customer Reviews

Brilliant

Listening to this album is a pleasure. In this day and age of manufactured bands and talents shows it's great we still have the legends ray go out on tour play music like this and show them the middle finger!
Buy it you won't be disappointed!

Great Album

Any fan of BLS should download this. Zak is brilliant as always

ZW is the man!

This album really shows how versatile Zakk really is. Great stuff!

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After falling out with mentor Ozzy Osbourne following the recording sessions for 1995's Ozzmosis, guitarist Zakk Wylde struck out on his own with his first solo album, Book of Shadows, in 1996. When it failed to score any mainstream success, the six-stringer took an extended break before resurfacing with a new album and band called Black Label Society in 1999, featuring Wylde on vocals, guitar, and bass and drummer Phil Ondich. A number of different musicians would sift through the band's ranks during...
Full bio