Review by Tobias on April 16, 2002.
The very name of Zakk Wylde will illicit two different types of reactions from metalheads; a shit-eating grin that will devour the thick wholloping riffs along with the cheesy trademark squeals, or a cynical roll of the eyes and quick dismissal. If you find that your reaction falls into the latter, I’m not going to be of much help.
Zakk and his band have adopted the stigma of drunk southern metallers. I don’t need to tell you that if you can read the name of the band... or album for that matter. While there are many bands out there that adopt a stigma, not too many of them actually make good on it with their sound. BLS on the other hand, makes you want to pick up a bottle of scotch, grab a steamy curvy country girl and blaze up with the band in a backwoods Louisiana bayou.
The riffing on this disc has Zakk written all over it. The difference between what we hear here as opposed to the work on the Ozzy albums is that the sound is thicker and heavier in a wet-mattress kind of way, slugging you in the gut rather than slapping your face.
The real surprise here are the vocals. Guess who’s on the mic! Yeah, it’s Zakk. I never figured the guy for a vocalist, but he belts it out like a pro. But the problem is that on occasion he ends up sounding very much like the guy from Alice In Chains.
I’ve listened to the album regularly for weeks now and consistently forget to really take a hard listen to the rest of the band. This problem occurs because I’m usually very engrossed in all the stuff that Zakk is doing, or the atmosphere just overcomes any attempt to dissect the music.
The area that the album doesn’t really strafe the scales is on originality. This is down-home drinkin’ metal that doesn’t really need to bring anything new to the table, but it does need to vary a little more than it does now.
Bottom Line: If you’re into stoner metal or Ozzy, you could easily buy this without listening to it first.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.6 of 10