In 2002, American Heavy Metal band Black Label Society released their 1919 Eternal album, which was dedicated to the memory of BLS main-man Zack Wylde's father.
1919 Eternal is something of a turning point in the band's career. The two albums which preceded it were fairly raw, straightforward and a bit doomier. 1919 Eternal sees the band writing a much more varied set of songs, with more ballads, a slightly less Stoner Rock influenced sound and a different approach to the production. Its still heavy, biker and alcohol themed Metal with lots of personality filled lead guitar playing, but taken in a slightly different direction than the band's earliest work.
There are a real mixture of styles present on tracks here; `Speedball' is an acoustic guitar solo, `Battering Ram' is a furious, fast paced thrasher, `Lost Heaven' is a slower, more atmospheric track, and the album ends with an acoustic cover of `America The Beautiful.'
At first, the album may take a bit of getting used to. The production at first made the music seem less heavy than I was expecting, and the variety of music on offer makes the album slightly hard to pigeonhole, but it's a real grower of a record, and the more that you listen to it, the more you realize it is a well crafted and interesting collection of early-noughties Metal songs.
Album highlights include the storming live favourites `Bezerkers' and `Genocide Junkies' and the slower groovier `Refuse To Bow Down' and `Lords Of Destruction.'
Overall; if you listen to Black Label Society, this is a good and varied album to try out, its not full of filler, its not repetitive and it is a good show of the band's potential. There are tracks here that no Black Label concert or compilation would look right without, and its pretty much a must-have purchase if you are interested in the band.