Black Label Society
Stronger Than Death


3.5
great

Review

by Grant Hunter USER (76 Reviews)
March 9th, 2006 | 19 replies | 10,523 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Lets get one thing clear right now: If you, in anyway, pick this album up and expect it to sound like any of Black Label Society's newer work, you are going to be blasted with extremley heavy-riffs, pounding drums, and a very low-sounding Zakk Wylde. Bottom line, this is different, in a heavy-sense.

This is easily their heaviest album they have ever released. Zakk will continuely throw heavy-paced riffs laced with his signature "pinch-harmonics" that will leave your head spinning. The opener, "All For You", is a perfect example of this entire album. It featurers "crunch" sounding guitar riffs, with, of course, Zakk's now-famous style playing which includes pinch-harmonics about every 10 seconds. To be perfectly honest, every riff that Zakk does after awhile sounds the same. Really, the only break you will get from these riffs comes in during "Rust", which defiently slows things down. After that, "Counterfeit God" is a definite stand out, which showcase slightly-slower, yet still heavy, riffs that perfectly balances out Zakk's use of pinch-harmonics with the rest of the band. "Aint Life Grand" features some different sounding riffs, especially during the intro. Zakk just chugs along for a few brief seconds with the drums, before picking up on his signature-style playing. The chorus even seems a tad bit melodic, which is something you probably wouldn't expect. "Just Killing Time" also, like "Rust" gives you a second to relax, and it even features Zakk on the piano. It's style is very reminiscent to that of "In This River", so fans of that song should feel right at home here. The title track, like "Counterfeit God" features some slower, yet feels heavier than most of the songs. This is probably due to the fact that the bass is a 5-String, and you can make it out so well that it just gives lower, heavier sound to it. Also, Zakk tends to "grind and chug" along in this song, and the chorus again features just a tad bit of melody.

Zakk's vocals on this album will be a definite grower for some people. They're very, very low, almost grunt like, and sound very much different than how he sounds now-a-days. On "Phoney Smiles and Fake Hellos", he puts some effects over his voice, but their so overdone that you can barely even make out what he is saying. However, on tracks "Rust" and "Just Killing Time", Zakk takes a stab at actually singing, and it ain't that bad, but he really only has one range: really low to low. His lyrics, while better than most albums, can get very boring and bland at some points. They can also just be plain stupid. For instance, on the track "13 Years of Grief", Zakk grunts out "Just an ignorant cunt, talkin' such s***, Tryin to act like a man, you little f***in' punk kid." I've got a strong feeling that Zakk was drunk when he wrote those, as they are just pointless.

As with ever BLS album, the solos are the highlight, and Zakk goes overboard in this department. These are easily some of his best work (with BLS). While some, like the solo on "All For You" start off slow before he opens up the floodgates and gradually pours on the insanity, others like the one on "Counterfeit God" just rip onto the scene and grab you by the balls and refuse to let go until Zakk has finished raping your mind. The only real complaint I have here is the solo on "Aint Life Grand", which is incredibly short for a solo by Zakk, only coming in at a mere 20 seconds.

Somewhat repetive riffs, average vocals/lyrics, and a short solo aside, this is a great album, and is an essential for every BLS fan. However, if you are fan of the slower, more ballad-like songs on The Blessed Hellride and Mafia, and didn't really care from the heavier stuff, stay the hell away from this CD, cause you will probably end up cursing the day you bought it. Also, if it seemed like I excluded other members, I pretty much did. This, in essence, is Zakk Wylde's band.

Zakk Wylde - Vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, bass.
Phil Ondich - Drums

RECOMENDED TRACKS:
All For You
Counterfeit God
Aint Life Grand
Stronger Than Death

and im in a hurry right now, so if you notice any grammatical errors, let me know and ill come back later and fix them. thanks.



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user ratings (120)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Kyle
March 9th 2006



667 Comments


hey, this is a nice review of a cool album. I actually have 1919 Eternal, Blessed Hellride and Sonic Brew all ahead of this album, but it's a predicatably solid effort from Zakk.

south_of_heaven 11
March 9th 2006



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quote:

"I didnt know BLC had their new album out already. I'll have to buy it."


well if you're referring to this one, it isnt new...it came out in 2000...if i wrote something in the review that made you think it was new, then thats my bad, ill change it if you point it out...

south_of_heaven 11
March 10th 2006



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my bad Jom...i had no idea it was the site's policy...

Mass Murder Machine
March 10th 2006



3 Comments


This is an amazing display of guitar ability, great album!

Drunken Viking
March 10th 2006



1023 Comments


Why is that site's policy?

DangerBird
March 18th 2006



51 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Buddy I'm really diggin Rust right now.

Sgt.baker_1802
June 23rd 2006



5 Comments


everyone guitarist should be a big black label fan zakk is very gud no matter what anyone says anyone who can play for ozzy at 19 has to be the shit

WARPATH_88
June 23rd 2006



514 Comments


I havent been listening to BLS for a long time, but they are so good. And Zakk is an amazing guitarist. Definately a legend in the makingThis Message Edited On 06.23.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 23rd 2006



4405 Comments


1. he plays with Ozzy, so millions of people will fall on their knees before him. Wow, what a cool pun.

2. He is actually a damn good guitarist.

I don't think he's too great of a songwriter, though.

south_of_heaven 11
June 24th 2006



5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Zakk's lyrics usually suck, and his riffs are alright, and his vocals are alright too...but man oh man can that guy solo, which is always the highlight of a BLS song.

mark7477
August 21st 2010



393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

slightly weaker version of sonic brew perhaps better in terms of metal.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2012



1864 Comments


In my opinion their best album, although I haven't heard 'The blessed Hellride' yet. This album isn't too long either, unlike other albums.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

KjSwantko
March 18th 2013



9277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This shit is pretty manly.

BigHans
March 18th 2013



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cant even remember the last time I jammed this

KjSwantko
March 18th 2013



9277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Me either Hans, I'm diggin it more than I remember. Might 4

BigHans
March 18th 2013



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Seems the only song I ever listen to them anymore is Fire It Up probably because its the best song ever.

KjSwantko
March 18th 2013



9277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Indeed. Chugga chugga riffs ftw



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