Black Label Society
Order Of The Black


4.0
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
August 12th, 2010 | 60 replies | 21,363 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The boys are back for good

I think it’s cool when a good but slightly aging band can overcome its weaker records and put something really good on the table once more. It's especially cool when a band in that situation is able to release one of its finest records ever. Such is the deal with Black Label Society, whose 8th studio offering Order Of The Black consists of some of the best material the band has put on a record in a long time.

I’d like to refrain from saying that Order Of The Black is a surprisingly great album because I’ve always liked Black Label Society, but there's no doubting that this is the band's best work in years. On Order Of The Black, the band sounds motivated and energetic again – something it seemed Black Label Society wasn’t on a few previous releases. They have also accentuated the role of southern grooves again, making Order Of The Black sound closer to Sonic Brew than Shot To Hell, and that can only be counted as a plus.

Musically, the overall blueprint hasn’t changed much during the years for Black Label Society, so one has to wonder, how can these guys jump from something so generic (if still ok) as Shot To Hell to something so engaging as Order Of The Black. The answer: energy. On Order Of The Black, the band sounds electrified. The rhythms are infectious, the overall tempo is great, the grooves are gripping, and the tone is heavy. All this result in a heavy metal album that sounds both fun and badass – just like Black Label Society should always be.

What's also excellent on Order Of The Black, besides the music itself, is the production. One could argue that Black Label Society has always had solid production, but on Order Of The Black it really stands out. Almost every facet of the music is brought out admirably: the drums are pounding, the main riffs gritty enough, the solos just in the right tone (plus meshing well with the background), and Wylde's howled vocals are just as much in the forefront as the guitars and drums, thus not overshadowing the instrumentation in any way, nor being indecipherable. And even though the bass, sad but true, isn’t heard during most of the album, it doesn’t detract from the overall quality production, especially when taking into consideration that inaudible bass isn’t a rarity in metal nowadays.

The only dislikable thing on the album is the inclusion of two generic ballads, "Darkest Days" and "Time Waits For No One". Black Label Society can compose solid rock ballads, with "Shallow Grave" being a good example on this very release, but the aforementioned two sound both out of place and boring. Then again, they do have a slightly redeemable factor, too. Since the other tracks here sound energetic and fun, the cuts that follow those ballads sound twice as refreshing, making them extra enjoyable. So in that regard, the two ballads can be excused.

Black Label Society have started this decade with a bang, just like they did 10 years ago when they released Stronger Than Death. Order Of The Black is the band’s heaviest, most energetic, and most cohesive record since 1919 Eternal, being of the same quality that Black Label Society's first three albums were. The boys truly are back, baby.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



8321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stream for those interested: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/#/6

Ire
August 12th 2010



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i'm pretty sure this is terrible

oh well, nice review

cvlts
August 12th 2010



8954 Comments


lol fuck it.

Inveigh
August 12th 2010



24863 Comments


Sonic Brew and 1919 Eternal are pretty awesome, Stronger Than Death and Blessed Hellride are pretty good -- this sounds interesting, so long as it's better than Mafia and Shot to Hell.

good review man

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Helvete
August 12th 2010



1354 Comments


Zakk is the absolute definition of douchebag

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



8321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm sure you would hate this if you never liked the band Ire, yeah, but thanks man

Inveigh - if you liked their earlier albums I see no reason why you wouldn't like this.

EDIT: knew you would pop out Daniel ;)

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ha. I was waiting for this review. Nice write-up. The record is really good even if not my favorite heavy metal release of the year.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

jingledeath
August 12th 2010



7104 Comments


I'll try the stream to see if I can still listen to this band and then decide if i'll get this or not. Cool review Magnusauce.

KILL
August 12th 2010



71097 Comments


band isnt bad nice review

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



8321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you liked it Greg and thanks Irad Iradsson

Oh and KILL, you should give it a chance, maybe you'll like it

KILL
August 12th 2010



71097 Comments


i had shot to hell which was pretty meh but i heard some of their older stuff which sounded better, i guess i'll check this out

TBliss
August 12th 2010



987 Comments


Zakks soloing seemed to be getting progressivley worse over the course of the last few BLS albums, is their any improvement here?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



8321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

KILL - Shot To Hell is easily one of their weakest efforts

Tbliss - the solos here fit the context of the music nicely and their timing is always good, so yeah, I would definitely say they're better here than on BLS' other later releases

bloc
August 12th 2010



34735 Comments


Well, he hardly ever strays from the pentatonics.

Digging: Messiah - Choir of Horrors

KILL
August 12th 2010



71097 Comments


coz pentatonics are METAL, just ask dave mustaine

Meatplow
August 12th 2010



5524 Comments


Mafia was awesome idc what anyone else says

listened to this before upon your recommendation, pretty good. will get several more listens I am sure



Nagrarok
August 12th 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'll probably listen to this even though I've heard nothing else from them, I've been getting into a metal mood again anyway.

Jethro42
August 12th 2010



12385 Comments


Met00lz R00lz

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



5979 Comments


@ Nagrarok

I've been getting into a metal mood again anyway

Does the weather become cold in the Netherlands? :-D

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



8321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Does the weather become cold in the Netherlands?
lold at that

Anyway cool that you liked it Meatplow and Nag, this is definitely something you should enjoy



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