After having the chance to interview the man, Zakk Wylde, himself, a couple of weeks ago and then listening to his latest opus, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, everything that he said in the interview makes total sense. Yes, Catacombs does sound like every other Black Label record, but the difference is that it’s new Black Label music. As Zakk put it in my interview with him, what’s the difference between Zeppelin IV and Houses Of The Holy? Absolutely nothing! It’s still Zeppelin with different songs on them and he’s right!
Catacombs is still Black Label Society with newer songs on it. It’s still badass and filled with great Zakk Wylde riffs that we’ve all grown to love. “Heart Of Darkness” and “My Dying Time” are songs where you really want to sit down and appreciate Zakk’s guitar work. You can even appreciate it when they mellow out with songs like “Angel Of Mercy,” “Scars” and “Beyond The Down.” You know you’re always going to get a rippin’ solo from Father Zakk.
If you’re looking for Black Label Society to reinvent music, this is not the CD for you. If you always loved the music of BLS, you will love this record. Zakk’s songwriting is all his own, and it is awesome! Some other standouts for me were “Damn The Flood,” “Fields Of Forgiveness,” “I’ve Gone Away” and “Shades Of Gray.” Again, if you’re looking for a totally different sounding band, then look for one. This is Black Label Society at its finest!