Fireworks

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Zakk Wylde - 'Book Of Shadows II' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     August 27, 2016    
 
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Contains sixteen tracks, which sit in the Country/Western and Southern Blues/Blues Rock crossover camp.

I remember talking to Zakk Wylde quite a few years ago, after he released the first collection of songs under this title. At that time, I said to him that people would probably be surprised that he had so much melody in him, he replied that he actually wrote all the melodic stuff for Ozzy Osbourne, such as 'Mama I'm Coming Home', 'No More Tears' etc. So it's no surprise that he has brought the second volume of 'Book Of Shadows' out.

This second offering contains sixteen tracks (including two bonus songs), which sit in the Country/Western ('The Levee') and Southern Blues/Blues Rock crossover camp. It also shows the many sides of Wylde's guitar playing, being divided between acoustic-based ('Tears Of December' and 'Useless Apologies'), clean ('Autumn Changes') and dirty (on 'Lay Me Down', 'Sleeping Dogs' and 'The King' – which could also be described as the only real ballad on here).

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Wylde also incorporates orchestration ('...Changes'), and cello ('...King'), and the two bonus tracks which appear at the end, '...December' and 'Lost Prayer' (yes, they do appear earlier on the album), this time feature no guitar at all, just Wylde and a piano. This isn't so surprising as he did just this on his last tour. The whole album demonstrates clearly how good a voice Wylde has, covering a wide range of emotions when he's not Black Label Society-ing it out.

As far as my personal opinion goes, the best tracks on here are 'Darkest Hour' and '...Dogs' which, in a very small section, reminds me of something Richie Blackmore did – see if you can spot it! – along with '...King' which is quite stunning, and should be played live at every opportunity.

It's always hard when somebody like Zakk Wylde brings this kind of album out as some of the brethren may be a little narrow-minded and just want to hear the power and screams, but if they open themselves up, just a little bit, I'm sure they will like this.

Andy Brailsford

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