Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, January 14, 2011

Book Of Shadows-Zakk Wylde

 Tonight I'm covering some Zakk Wylde, in fact I am reviewing his first solo album The Book of Shadows, which is a nice name, with the Wicca reference and all. This is an interesting piece of work because it goes against pretty much all Zakk Wylde has previously done. Wylde used to be the wild and crazy guitarist for Ozzy, but on this album he shows a lighter and more contemplative side, a side that is almost Neil Youngish. However there are still some spectacular solos that blow me away. This is an album with impressive guitar work, both acoustic and electric. There are decent parts for other instruments but the guitar is dominant. Zakk Wylde is singing on an album for the first time and it is very impressive, his lyrics also create a nice tone for the music.
This is primarily an acoustic album, and by acoustic album I mean that the verses are set to acoustic parts. The solos are a completely different story, they are skillful to the point that they are practically out of this world. They provide a really great feel to the music, as well as reminding the listener that this is Zakk Wylde we are listening to people. One of the greatest guitarists of the 80s! He blows me away with is acoustic bits, stuff I never thought Zakk Wylde even thought about before releasing this album. The drums are rarely heavy, they do not drive the music they just provide an okay feel to make the music sound nice and add a bit of a beet. The bass also does not really come through really with only the occasional fill. This is a true solo album in that regard featuring only Zakk's voice and guitar.
Zakk Wylde on his first ever vocal attempt sounds remarkably good. He has a very deep voice, but it manages to be almost Niel Young-like. He has a powerful voice, that also manages to capture an amount of somber beauty in some songs, especially Way Beyond Empty (one of my favorites). He can sing very well and I am incredibly impressed by what he does on this record from a vocal standpoint. In short he has an awesome voice. His lyrics are often very sad, or at least sombre sounding. He talks about not being a good man or a bad man in “Between Heaven and Hell” and he talks about friends he has lost to death in “Throwin' It All Away” a song dedicated to his friend Shannon Hoon of Blind Lemon. The lyrics are powerful and have an added strength due to the incredible voice of Mr. Wylde.
Overall this is a really good album. It has a nice juxtaposition of sounds, featuring both some of Zakk's famous insane solos which come in between extended acoustic parts, acoustic parts which define the album. The fact that it is Zakk Wylde performing these Niel Young-like guitar parts is frankly amazing. The voice of Wylde is also amazing. It is very low but it can capture a lot of emotion and convey a lot of sadness. His voice is complimented by his lyrics, which are often sad and dark, having an almost mounring feel to them. My favorite song off this album is The Color Green, however Throwin' It All Away is pretty awesome too. This album is really good and can be replayed again and again, its simply spectacular. Oh and Happy Birthday Zakk Wylde!
OVERALL 9.5/10

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