Top positive review
A good solid album
on 31 January 2017
Catacombs of the Black Vatican is the ninth studio album from the band Black Label Society. It was released back in 2014 by Mascot Records and eOne Music and is hands down one of their best albums to date.
Black Label Society is a band that boasts beer, beards and heavy riffs. They generally attract a special butch breed of metal heads who for the lack of a better word, don't think so good. It is with no surprise that I have read a lot of complaints about Catacombs of the Black Vatican, simply because there is a good deal of variety here.
Most people would tune into the music of Zakk Wylde for his heavy thunderous riffs and lightning fast guitar solos. I really couldn't argue with that either, it was the reason I bought my first Black Label Society album. But over the years we have heard Wylde expand and improve as a musician. He has toyed with melody and more softer styles over the years and they are on show here. So whilst you get to enjoy gut punching heavy songs like Damn The Flood, Believe and Fields of Forgiveness. You also get to chill out with the ballads, Angel of Mercy, Scars and Shades of Grey. Each song flows nicely from one to the other and there is a nice balance of ballads to rockers, even if the track list could have been re-arranged better.
A big problem that has been constant in Black Label Society releases is the production. Usually the band opts for a more forceful sterile approach to their music. They tend not to have anything in the way of dynamics and even though that still holds true here, Catacombs of the Black Vatican has a better sound over all. I feel that this record has a more natural sound even if it is still cranked up a bit too much. It is a clear improvement over their previous releases.
As far as Black Label Society albums go, this one is well worth picking up. I have enjoyed a vast number of their albums and this one is just as good or better than their average release. From all around good song writing to better production, there is very little to complain about.
Published by Steven Lornie of Demonszone