Zakk Wylde Announces Major Schedule Change For “Book Of Shadows II” Tour

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

There has been a change to Zakk Wylde’s upcoming “Book Of Shadows II” Tour.  And it is a big one.

Only a day before the roughly eight-week tour launches, Wylde has announced that on August 15th he will serve as support to none other than Guns N’ Roses.  Tickets for the concert can be purchased online now here.  Wylde was previously scheduled to perform at The Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado on that date.  It has now been moved down to Wednesday, August 31st, which was previously an open date on Wylde’s schedule.  Tickets for the “Book Of Shadows II” Tour can be purchased online now here.  The updated schedule for Wylde’s tour is noted below.

 

Book Of Shadows II Tour Updated Schedule

7/8: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
7/9: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
7/10: Austin, TX @ Emo’s
7/12: Houston, TX @ House of Blues
7/13: New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
7/15: Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live
7/16: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
7/18: Millvale, PA @ Mr.Smalls Theatre
7/19: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
7/20: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
7/22: Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend
7/23: Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
7/24: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
7/26: Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre
7/28: Detroit, MI @ The Majestic Theatre
7/29: Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theatre
7/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts
7/31: Boston, MA @ Royale
8/2: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
8/4: Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino *no support
8/7: Montreal, QC @ HEAVY MTL
8/8: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
8/10: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
8/11: Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
8/13: Sturgis, SD @ Full Throttle Saloon *no support
8/15: Glendale, AZ @ The University of Phoenix Stadium **w/ GUNS N’ ROSES**
8/16: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
8/18: Missoula, MT @The Wilma
8/19: Calgary, AB @Flames Central
8/20: Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brian’s Event Centre
8/21: Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre
8/23: Edmonton, AB @ The Ranch Roadhouse
8/25: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
8/26: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
8/27: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
8/28: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
8/30: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
8/31: Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
9/1: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
9/3: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

 

More information on Zakk Wylde’s upcoming performance with Guns N’ Roses is available online now along with all of his latest tour updates, news, and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.zakkwylde.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zakkwylde

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ZakkWyldeBLS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Zakk Wylde Adds More Dates To His “Book Of Shadows II” Tour

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Zakk Wylde has added more dates to his current live schedule.

The veteran guitarist and Black Label Society front man announced recently a brand new schedule of live dates.  The new schedule, which is in support of his new album Book of Shadows II, launches this Friday, July 8th in Dallas, Texas and runs through September 3rd in Los Angeles, California.  The roughly eight-week tour will take Wylde across North America and Canada and even includes a stop in North Carolina along the way on Friday, July 22nd.  There also performances scheduled in Texas, New York, Ohio, Utah, and many other cities.  Jared James Nichols will serve as direct support throughout the tour at various dates along with Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown.  Tickets and VIP packages are available now for all dates.  They can be purchased online now here.  The full schedule for the upcoming tour is noted below.  .

 

7/8: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
7/9: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
7/10: Austin, TX @ Emo’s
7/12: Houston, TX @ House of Blues
7/13: New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
7/15: Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live
7/16: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
7/18: Millvale, PA @ Mr.Smalls Theatre
7/19: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
7/20: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
7/22: Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend
7/23: Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
7/24: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
7/26: Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre
7/28: Detroit, MI @ The Majestic Theatre
7/29: Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theatre
7/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts
7/31: Boston, MA @ Royale
8/2: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
8/4: Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino *no support
8/7: Montreal, QC @ HEAVY MTL
8/8: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
8/10: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
8/11: Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
8/13: Sturgis, SD @ Full Throttle Saloon *no support
8/15: Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
8/16: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
8/18: Missoula, MT @The Wilma
8/19: Calgary, AB @Flames Central
8/20: Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brian’s Event Centre
8/21: Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre
8/23: Edmonton, AB @ The Ranch Roadhouse
8/25: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
8/26: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
8/27: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
8/28: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
8/30: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
9/1: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
9/2: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
9/3: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

 

More information on the latest dates on Zakk Wylde’s “Book Of Shadows II Tour” is available online now along with all of Zakk Wylde’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.zakkwylde.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zakkwylde

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ZakkWyldeBLS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Rock Carnival Returns This Summer

Courtesy:  Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

Courtesy: Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

The Rock Carnival is officially returning.

The Rock Carnival, the Northeast’s only classic carnival + Rock ‘N Roll experience returns this year for its second year.  And headlining this year’s festival is none other than one of the great legends of rock, Alice Cooper.  The second annual Rock Carnival will be held Friday, September 30th – Sunday, October 2nd.  It is produced by Stan Levinstone Presents and Game Loud.  It will take place at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood New Jersey.  It is the home of the Lakewood Blue Claws minor league baseball team.  The team is a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.  This year marks the first time that it will take place at FirstEnergy Park.  General Admission tickets for single day and weekend access are available now along with Reserved Seat Weekend passes VIP packages, and Skybox Meet and Greets.  The General admission passes and Reserved Seat Weekend Passes can be purchased online here now.  The VIP and Skybox packages are available here.

While Alice Cooper will headline this year’s festival he will not be the only big name on the bill.  Also on this year’s bill are the likes of: Kyng, Overkill, Texas Hippie Coalition, Jackyl, Ace Frehley, Clutch, Blue Oyster Cult, Zakk Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Fuel and many others. Twisted Sister will also be on hand for the festival in its final tri-state appearance.  The performance is part of the band’s official farewell tour.  Performances will take place across a number of stages including two side-by-side main stages.

Along with the major acts scheduled to perform, a special “Classic” Friday night celebration has been added to this year’s festivities.  The celebration will feature performances by a number of cover bands including: Voyage (Journey tribute band), Almost Queen (Queen tribute band), and Zakk Zabbath.  Zac Sabbath’s lineup features Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society Ozzy Osbourne) on vocals and guitar, Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) on bass, and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) on drums.

More information on the second annual Rock Carnival will be announced in the weeks to come.  Audiences can keep up with all of those updates online now at:

 

 

Website: http://therockcarnival.com

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRockCarnival

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheRockCarnival

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Zakk Wylde Announces Upcoming North American Tour Dates

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Zakk Wylde is heading back out on the road this summer.

The veteran guitarist announced this week that he will embark on the next leg of his tour in support of his latest solo album Book of Shadows II beginning Friday, July 8th in Dallas, Texas.  The North American tour will span more than forty cities across the U.S. and Canada and will even include a performance at the Heavy MTL Festival in Montreal on August 7th.  It will mark the first time that Wylde will have performed at the festival in a solo capacity, and the first time since last year’s Unblackened tour that he has toured North America (including Canada) as a headliner.  Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown and Jared James Nichols will share stage time as support acts for the tour.  Tickets go on sale this Thursday, May 12th.  Qylde’s current tour schedule is noted below.

 

ZAKK WYLDE BOOK OF SHADOWS II NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES

7/8: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live

7/9: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom

7/10: Austin, TX @ Emo’s

7/12: Houston, TX @ House of Blues

7/13: New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues

7/15: Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live

7/16: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade

7/18: Millvale, PA @ Mr.Smalls Theatre

7/19: New York, NY @ Webster Hall

7/20: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa

7/22: Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend

7/23: Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom

7/24: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall

7/26: Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre

7/28: Detroit, MI @ The Majestic Theatre

7/29: Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theatre

7/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts

7/31: Boston, MA @ Royale

8/2: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live

8/4: Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino *no support

8/7: Montreal, QC @ HEAVY MTL

8/8: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

8/10: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

8/11: Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre

8/13: Sturgis, SD @ Full Throttle Saloon *no support

8/15: Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall

8/16: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot

8/18: Missoula, MT @The Wilma

8/19: Calgary, AB @Flames Central

8/20: Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brian’s Event Centre

8/21: Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre

8/23: Edmonton, AB @ The Ranch Roadhouse

8/25: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom

8/26: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO

8/27: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House

8/28: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

8/30: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom

9/1: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues

9/2: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee

9/3: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

 

Wylde just wrapped up his run on Steve Vai’s Generation Axe Tour on Monday.  Before that, he served as one of the marquee acts on the annual Experience Hendrix Tour.  He just recently premiered the video for the song ‘Sleeping Dogs,’ which is included in Book of Shadows II.  It can be viewed online now here.  More information on Zakk Wylde’s upcoming North American tour is available online now along with all of his latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.zakkwylde.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zakkwylde

Twitter: http://twitter.com/zakkwyldebls

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Zakk Wylde Debuts ‘Sleeping Dogs’ Video

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Zakk Wylde releases his new album Book of Shadows II this week.  Ahead of its release, the veteran rocker debuted the video for one of the album’s songs last week.

Zakk Wylde premiered the video for the song ‘Sleeping Dogs’ last week.  The video can be viewed online now via Wylde’s official Vevo channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dtxOKXo9aI.

 

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

 

The video follows Wylde as he walks through a rather bleak looking forest setting.  Within the forest is an interesting group of figures.  It was helmed by long time Black Label Society collaborator Justin Reich.  Of Wylde discussed Reich’s involvement in the video in a recent interview, noting Reich’s talents behind the lens.  “Black Label Brethren O’ Doom Father Justin Reich Did Another Amazing job Directing the video,” he said.  He jokingly added of Reich’s vision, “I asked Father Justin to capture the sights, sounds, smell and feel of the first day my parents dropped me off at kindergarten. Watching the video made me realize why I’m so fond of reading and vegetables.”

While he doesn’t appear in the visualized take on the song Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor does make an appearance on the LP version of the song.  Wylde also shared his thoughts on Taylor’s involvement in the song noting, “Having Father Corey Taylor’s brilliant Voice sing on ‘Sleeping Dogs’ fulfilled my vision of the two of us as the modern day Simon & Garfunkel.”  Not one to ever be entirely serious he added of his relationship with Taylor, “We may not be as legendary, talented or as handsome as those two, but we’ve eaten at some of the same restaurants as them.”

Zakk WYlde Revolver Mag CoverAlong with the debut of his new video Wylde is also on the cover of the new issues of Revolver magazine and Guitar World magazine.  He appears alongside fellow guitar legend Buddy Guy in the new issue of Guitar World.  Each can be purchased online via Revolver’s official online store and that of Guitar World.

 

Courtesy:  Guitar World Magazine

Courtesy: Guitar World Magazine

 

 

More information on Book of Shadows II is available online now along with all of Zakk Wylde’s new tour updates, news, and more at:

 

Website: http://www.zakkwylde.com

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zakkwylde

 

Twitter: http://twitter.comzakkwyldeBLS

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Tesla’s Tenth Album More Than Lives Up To Its Title

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Veteran rock band Tesla has maintained its place in the pantheon of rock for nearly three decades. Throughout the course of that time, so many other bands have come and gone leaving little to no mark on the world.  Tesla meanwhile has continued to create memorable songs on its own terms with each one of its albums, increasing its fan base with each album thanks to that continued display of talent and ingenuity on each record.  The band’s latest album, Simplicity, proves that continued ingenuity once again, providing listeners with songs that perfectly match the album’s title both in terms of its music and its lyrics from start to finish.  The album’s opener, ‘MP3’ is proof of that.  The song uses the seemingly endless stream of technological advances seen each year as the basis for a commentary about how technology has done more harm than good for the world.  The equally socially conscious powerhouse rocker ‘Time Bomb’ proves that this band can still hold its own with today’s younger bands and do so with ease for that matter.  Those that might want something softer but still holding some substance need look no further than the moving but still thought provoking ‘Life is a River.’  It’s one more example of how Simplicity more than lives up to its title with its mix of gentle music and inspiring lyrics.  Each one of the songs noted here proves in its own way why Simplicity lives up to its title.  Each one also proves why Simplicity could be a contender for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  And that isn’t to discount the album’s other songs, either.  Every song on this record proves those arguments, too.  Together with the songs that are noted, this album proves to be very much a sleeper hit of a record.

Tesla’s new record Simplicity–its tenth overall full length studio effort–is a sleeper hit of a work.  The album mixes deep and thought provoking lyrics in every one of its fourteen total tracks with music that will have fans both on their feet rocking along at some points, and almost shedding tears of joy in others.  The album’s opener, ‘MP3′ is one example of that balance of substance in its lyrics and music together.  Front man Jeff Keith sings in this socially conscious song, “Reachin’ out to a friend in need/Is more important than a text from a cell phone screen/All these sounds of complication/In the cloud communication/Oh my god it’s taking me/From the phonograph record to the MP3/All the world is overrun with technology/Oh my God it seems to me/We gotta get back to simplicity/It’s plain to see/Rewind now!”  Keith makes no bones here about the topic being raised.  He is saying that technology has done more harm to the world than good.  He isn’t necessarily trying to preach and say technology is bad.  Don’t misinterpret that.  What he is saying is that humans have allowed technology to control their lives and the end result being a drastic depersonalization of people’s relationships on every level.  That Keith would present such a deep concept in such a simple (there’s that word again) makes the song the perfect choice to open this album.  The song’s equally simple and accessible musical backing adds to that argument, too.  Both aspects together make ‘MP3’ just part of the argument as to why Simplicity is an aptly titled release and also one of this year’s sleeper hit records.

Tesla’s members–Jeff Keith (vocals), Frank Hannon (guitar, vocals, piano, bass), Dave Rude (guitar, vocals, bass), Brian Wheat (bass, piano, vocals), and Troy Lucketta (drums and percussion)–prove right from the beginning of this record why it more than lives up to its title and why it is one of the year’s sleeper hits, thanks to ‘MP3.’  The combination of the song’s simple to understand yet still deep lyrics alongside its equally simple, accessible musical backing make it the perfect first statement from the band on this record.  Just as strong of an argument in support of Simplicity is ‘Time Bomb.’  This hard rocker is one part social statement and one part call to arms.  Keith sings in this song, “It’s like the lights are on but nobody’s home/There’s no other choice/Just one solution/So load up your guns/Cause freedom is won/It’s time we’ve begun a revolution/We’re ready to fight to save our lives/And willing to die/Oh no.”  He goes on to sing along with his band mates in the song’s chorus, “Let’s go deep into the fire/Screamin’ hell no we ain’t gonna run/Let’s go united all together/Cuz I know divided we’re done.”  He comes across as saying that Americans have got to put all of this political and other turmoil aside; that there are much more important things that unless we band together, will most certainly take us all down thanks to our division.  Just as with ‘MP3,’ that lyrical and musical simplicity serves once again to prove how much Simplicity lives up to its name in more ways than one.  Even more, it proves once more why this record is one of the year’s sleeper hits within the rock world.

Tesla proves throughout the course of Simplicity’s fourteen total tracks just why it lives up to its name with plenty of hard and hard-hitting songs.  That’s evident in the songs already noted and in the likes of the equally socially conscious ‘Flip Side!’   For all of that heavy lyrical and musical content, Simplicity proves that it can be hard and hard-hitting without actually being hard, too.  Case in point is the moving inspirational song ‘Life is a River.’  This song epitomizes the statement made years ago by Black Label Society front man Zakk Wylde when he noted that a song can be heavy without actually being heavy in terms of its music.  It presents the message that just because someone sees something one way doesn’t necessarily make it so.  As he notes in the song’s second verse, “What you think is just a dog/Is one of my best friends/What you see as sawed up logs/Is the house that I live in/What you call a pile of stones/Is the foundation of my home/And we all know there’s nothing sweet as home sweet home.”  He is saying that everything in life is a matter of perception.  And that one’s perception is never the same as another’s.  From there, he gets to the core of the song, telling those listeners that might be suffering emotionally for whatever reason, their perception of life being worthless is their own perception and that life is so much more beautiful than they think.  He sings, “You’ve been left out once again/Standing in the rain/Now you feel you’ve reached the end/And you just can’t stand the pain/Even though you still remain/You’re God’s creation/This I know/Cuz’ life can be so beautiful.”  The ballad-style song perfectly builds up to that conclusion, making the song’s lyrical content so hard hitting even in its simplicity.  Once again, there is the argument as to Simplicity more than living up to its title.  The lyrics are simple to understand. And the music is so powerful in its own simplicity.  The two elements together make for one more outstanding statement from Tesla on this sleeper hit of a record.  Together with the previously noted songs (and those not noted directly), Tesla’s members have shown that they still have plenty of fire and that they, too have one of the year’s most surprisingly enjoyable rock records.

Simplicity shows from start to finish just why it more than lives up to its name.  The lyrics and music that make up each of the album’s fourteen tracks are simple in terms of understanding them and understanding what message they are conveying.  Each of the songs on this record are just as enjoyable thanks to their simple yet wonderfully entertaining music.  That combination makes for so much depth and substance.  That’s something that one can rarely say about albums churned out by today’s younger bands and artists.  Keeping that in mind, it proves Simplicity to be one of the year’s most surprisingly enjoyable records and potentially one of the year’s best new rock records.  Simplicity is available in stores and online now. The band currently is scheduled to perform as part of the Monsters of Rock Cruise Miami next spring from April 18th – 22nd.  While fans wait for spring to return, they can keep up with all of the latest tour updates and news from Tesla online at http://www.TESLAtheBand.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

BLS, Judas Priest Tied For The Top Spot On The Year’s Top New Hard Rock, Metal Albums List

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Zakk Wylde and his Black Label brethren released early this year what is without a doubt one of the year’s most thought provoking albums.  Musically speaking, the album is classic Black Label Society from start to finish.  Lyrically, it proves to be a work that will most definitely have listeners paying close attention.  Those that have already picked up the album’s deluxe edition will understand why.  Throughout most of the course of the album, listeners are presented with songs centered on some rather deep themes.  By the time the album reaches its end in ‘The Nomad’ however, those themes have turned to a more positive light.  And it all starts with the album’s opener, ‘Fields of Unforgiveness.’  With its mix of heavy guitars and equally heavy lyrics, it makes for quite the opener to the record.  Things eventually take a sharp turn with the equally hard rocking yet rather angry song ‘Damn The Flood’, which seems to see Wylde writing about all the people out there that would try to spit lies as easily as a snake spitting its venom.  By the album’s ultimate end though, the outcome is more positive, with Wylde singing about moving on with life wherever it may lead.  Whether all of these songs came from a personal place or simply as a concept idea, they combine with the album’s musical side to make what is one of the most powerful records that Wylde and his band mates have written to date.

Catacombs of the Black Vatican opens on a powerful note in the form of ‘Fields of Unforgiveness.’  This first impression from the band is what leads one to wonder if this album is indeed a concept album of sorts or if it came from personal experience.  Wylde sings in this piece, “So you think that it’s over/So you think that it’s done/The fields of unforgiveness never die/They’ve just begun/You thought you’d elude life’s sorrow/emptiness and grief/The oceans of life’s contempt/Drown the liars and the thieves.”  That one line concerning liars and thieves is the center point of this song.  It almost comes across as addressing someone that has done something really bad.  The person in question thinks that he (?) has gotten away with said deed.  But as the chorus notes, it’s never over.  “The fields of unforgiveness never die.”  Such a searing indictment set against an equally hard rocking musical backing makes this song one heck of a first impression from the members of Black Label Society on its latest record.

As hard hitting as ‘Fields of Unforgiveness’ proves to be with its mix of Wylde’s trademark shredding and equally searing lyrics, it isn’t the album’s only heavy piece. Just as heavy and hard hitting is ‘Damn The Flood.’ With its equally driving sludge rock sound and its indictment of the proverbial snakes out there, this song stands out as one of the album’s most powerful moments. Wylde sings against the song’s solid, southern sludge sound, “This flood of snakes/The breeding lies/Existence of unjust/Spewing falsehoods as they crawl/Assassins of one’s trust…Poisoned blood manipulates/The bending of one’s will/Assassins of your sacred words/For trust it shall be killed.” These verses could be applied to so many situations. It could be applied to this nation’s political leaders. It could apply to an everyday basis in terms of those that call themselves friends, only to kill others’ trust once those backs are turned. As pessimistic as the song sounds, it’s actually positive as listeners will note in the song’s chorus. Wylde sings in the song’s chorus of dealing with those people and their evil ways. Yet again, it proves in the end to be one of the album’s best moments with that combination of musical and lyrical heaviness. It shows once more Wylde’s long ago argument that a song can be heavy without being heavy.

Through all of the lyrical and musical heaviness that makes up Catacombs of the Black Vatican, those that have the album’s deluxe edition will note that these is a message that through all of the negativity in the world, one can persevere through it all. He sings in ‘The Nomad’ of facing one’s past but moving on at the same time. As audiences will hear, he sings, “I’ve left the past behind/So much more to see/Like a feather to the wind/Wherever it may lead/Wherever it may lead/Where I’ll never know/For I can’t be tied down/I can hear it call.” He is singing about accepting the past and knowing it’s there, but not letting it weigh down an individual on one’s journey in life. Wylde and company exhibit such talent musically in this song. It isn’t the driving, hard rocker that the previously noted songs prove to be. It is more controlled. That more controlled nature makes this song a fitting end to an album that boasts just as much heaviness in its finale as in its beginning. That solid heaviness from start to finish both musically and lyrically prove why Catacombs of the Black Vatican is one of this year’s top two new hard rock and metal albums of 2014.

Catacombs of the Black Vatican is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded via iTunes here. It can also be purchased at any BLS live show including tonight’s show at the Vogue Theatre in Indianapolis, IN. The band’s current tour schedule and all of the latest news from the band are available online at http://www.facebook.com/blacklabelsociety and http://www.blacklabelsociety.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.