BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – Hangover Music Vol. VI

Zakk Wylde has long been known for his fiery, explosive guitar shredding both with Ozzy and his own BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, but Wylde has never shied away from the mellow stuff either. Each of BLS‘ albums usually contain three tracks that showcase his softer side. Hangover Music sees Zakk returning to the acoustic songwriting dabblings of his earlier solo work, Book of Shadows, with the majority of the album centering in on mood and emotion rather than the crunch and shred fans have come to expect. The first three songs are among the album’s strongest, with Zakk proudly displaying his love for the southern rock textures of the ALLMAN BROTHERS and the almighty SKYNYRD. Even though these songs center around acoustic atmospheres, Wylde also employs some thick, crunchy electric riffs for some extra beef. The rest of the album keeps a steady, mid-tempo flow, similar to the work ALICE IN CHAINS delivered with their Sap and Jar of Flies EPs. Lead single “House of Doom” and “Layne” (a tribute to ALICE IN CHAINS‘s fallen singer) both offer fine examples of ALICE IN CHAIN‘s influence on this album, shifting from dark acoustic passages to thick, heavy riffs. Meanwhile, “Woman Don’t Cry” offers a dreary, whiskey-soaked ballad perfect for those wishing to drown themselves in misery (or a pint for that matter) at the bar stool. Although I could do without some of the sappier BEATLES-influenced drivel on songs such as “Yesterday, Today, Tommorow” and “Damage is Done,” Hangover Music nonetheless succeeds in delivering a strong collection of emotional, well-written songs that serve as a perfect chaser to a night of alcohol-fueled brewtality. (Spitfire Records)

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