Zakk Wylde – Book of Shadows II (Album Review)

ZAKK WYLDE – Book of Shadows II

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Anticipated, hell yes!…. Metal, nope. Not even close…but who reads Rolling Stone anyway?

I have to admit I was slightly sceptical when I heard Zakk Wylde was recording Book Of Shadows II. Not only was it a long time between drinks, but sequels generally make me nervous.

Fans of the Norse Godlike Zakk Wylde know he is more than just a metal guitarist, and happily Book Of Shadows II shows the world he is so much more. As with his 1996 release Book Of Shadows, Wylde has put aside his electrified six string demon axe and picked up an acoustic for a far more gentle, lighter touch. It’s a departure from the usual big dirty heavy riffs of Black Label Society, but fans of his guitar virtuosity needn’t be alarmed. This album is still peppered with his trademark technically lightning fast solos.

Once again Wylde looks deep inside to pen 15 new songs. His writing is heartfelt, beautiful and revealing. Opening track ‘Autumn Changes’ sets the sombre tone that weaves it way throughout the album. It’s hard to find a stand out song as each track is as strong as the one before, whether it be ‘Yesterdays Tears’, ‘The King’ or the more up-tempo ‘Lost Prayer’. Wylde’s vocal delivery is suitably restrained, resisting the urge to head into the overdone soaring vocals found in so many rock ballads. He uses his gravelly voice to create another instrument adding an extra layer of complexity.

This is a beautifully crafted album, with lashings of Southern Rock, string arrangements, piano and, dare I suggest, even a little bit of Country. If I have one gripe I’d have liked the inclusion of one or two more up tempo songs. Nit-picking aside, on April 8th, grab the one you love put Book Of Shadows II on the turntable… Zakk Wylde and chill.

Tracklisting
1. Autumn Changes
2. Tears of December
3. Lay Me Down
4. Lost Prayer
5. Darkest Hour
6. The Levee
7. Eyes of Burden
8. Forgotten Memory
9. Yesterday’s Tears
10. Harbors of Pity
11. Sorrowed Regret
12. Useless Apologies
13. Sleeping Dogs
14. The King

Review by Gareth Williams

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About Gareth Williams (48 Articles)

The Heavy Metal Poet, the only guy dumb enough to recite poetry at Soundwave, star of stage and radio. Now writing words for Wall Of Sound

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