CD Review: Zakk Wylde “Book of Shadows II”

Zakk-Wylde-Book-of-Shadows-II“Book of Shadows II”

Zakk Wylde
eOne Music
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4 out 5 stars

Black Label Society front man Zakk Wylde is back with the second installment of his acoustic fueled fret board wizardry “Book of Shadows II”. Stripped down and incredibly raw the new album not only picks up where the previous 1996 album “Book of Shadows” left off but the former Ozzy Osbourne axe man shows immense growth as an artist while forging new ground with his signature blend of doom crew infused melodic shred.

Don’t let the fact that “Book of Shadows II” showcases the softer side of the berserker as each of the 14 tracks that make up this release are signature Zakk Wylde through and through. Yes missing are the signature laser like pinch harmonics and the thunderous dirge Wylde is most closely associated with however, what the album lacks in ferocity it makes up for it by creating its own unique power through impressive vocal and instrumental performances. Tracks like “Tears In December” and “Darkest Hour” strike deep as they overflow with emotion while tracks like “Lost Prayer” and ”Sleeping Dogs” feature upbeat rythms and bluesy instrumentation giving the album a solid balance.

For long time fans of Zakk dating back to the old “Pride and Glory” days this is a no brainer to pick up as it will be right at home with Wylde’s subsequent releases. For newer fans it’s just as equally worth checking out but be sure to also check out Zakk’s electric work before hand as it will only make you appreciate the range and musicianship found on “Book of Shadows II” that much more.

Track Listing:
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 Regrets
12.) Useless Apologies
13.) Sleeping Dogs
14.) The King

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