Black Label Society
Shot to Hell


1.0
awful

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
September 15th, 2006 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


I never really had an interest in Black Label Society. A few friends were fans, but I didn't especially find the need to listen to their music. When Zakk Wylde stood behind Sharon Osbourne after she sabotaged Iron Maiden's set back in 2005 I made a point of avoiding the man's work, regardless of whether it was Ozzy albums, Black Label Society albums, or what ever else that I knew he participated. Looking back, it was pretty stupid decision. But if Shot to Hell represents Black Label Society's music in any shape or form, than I wish I continued boycotting the band. I picked up Shot to Hell a little while ago, and with all the praise and recognition Zakk and his band receive, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

I've heard some pretty uninspiring performances. While Shot to Hell is not one of the worst in this regard, the album still manages to sound dull and boring. If you're looking for an album without hooks, Shot to Hell is for you. There is absolutely nothing that stands out on first listen. Nor second, or even third. With the disappointing, forgettable riffs; the bland vocals; the poor songwriting; nothing seems to be going Black Label Society's way as the album is more of an exercise to listen to rather than one you'd listen to out of enjoyment. Songs such as Devil's Dime, Faith is Blind, and Give Yourself to Me are some of the worst perpetrators in this area. None of these songs have any real energy. None of these songs have any real replay value and will likely be forgotten by all except for the hardcore fans of the band. Perhaps some time off is in order for Zakk and the boys, as they seem to be running low on ideas.

Guitarist Zakk Wylde has won all plenty of awards for his playing, and his leads on this new album aren't really all that bad. Even fairly interesting to listen to at times. Yet despite this, the solos do not add to the music at all. At times it feels like Zakk just solos for the sake of soloing, and it does not work very well at all. Because of this, many of the leads are not very memorable at all, as I mentioned earlier. Hell is High has a decent solo, as does Devil's Dime (listen really carefully, and you might hear it), but a lot of the time, it'll just pass you by without you realizing, as do most of the leads. His rhythms are beyond abysmal, lacking in both strength and catchiness. Instead, they don't really serve any purpose, other than just being there. I can't really speak for some of Black Label Society's older albums, but on Shot to Hell Wylde shows nothing more than generic heavy riffs that sound rushed and rehashed.

Another key element missing from Shot to Hell is emotion. Really, this goes hand in hand with the point I made about the uninspired writing earlier, but I feel that this too must be mentioned. Through most of the album, hell nearly all of it, it seems as though the band just plods through their sixth album like they're prisoners of the recording studio, hacking away at rocks with their pick axes like in old cartoons. However, there are a few emotional parts of the album, and the intro of New Religion is one of them. At just over two minutes, the piano intro is among the album's best moments, and certainly the most impressive moment instrumentally. In a way the piano is somewhat depressing, yet at the same time very soothing and enjoyable. I think Black Label Society could have done a better job in this area; it would inject some life to an album that desperately needs it.

The most positive aspect of Shot to Hell is the length of the songs. The longest song, New Religion, is thankfully only 4:36. With the lack of, to be a little blunt, quality material, the fact that Shot to Hell is only 44 minutes long (as well as the longest track being only 4:36) is a relief. With these shorter tracks the band produces, they perform what they are best at, rather than a long epic track that would likely have been very difficult to absorb.

Black Label Society's new album Shot to Hell can be summed up in just three words, disappointing and very poor. While listening to this I get the feeling that Zakk and Co. did not spend enough time either the recording process or the writing processes. A very dull, boring album, nothing really sticks out save for the cool piano intro in New Religion. Do yourselves a big favour and do not purchase this release.

Recommended Tracks:
New Religion (If only for the piano intro)



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user ratings (205)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Grant Hunter (3)
...

sammy666 (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
September 15th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I'm really tempted to give this a 1; awful, awful record.

Bfhurricane
September 16th 2006


6197 Comments


Good review. Im actually a huge BLS fan I admit, and after hearing some stuff off of this i was disgusted. I dont plan on buying this, though "Mafia" remains an album that I listen to frequently, im not gonna lie. try some old BLS cause its not one bit bad at all

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 16th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I may when I get the chance. Any album in particular?

Also, it's been an hour since I posted this and it still hasn't gone onto the User Reviews list. Strange...

ToWhatEnd
September 16th 2006


3172 Comments


[quote=review]When Zakk Wylde stood behind Sharon Osbourne after she sabotaged Iron Maiden's set back in 2005[/quote]

I remember hearing about this but what exactly happened? I completely forgot. Very good review, BLS always seemed like a bunch of stuck up and arrogant pricks but I could have the wrong impression.

Red Cap Brain
September 16th 2006


174 Comments


Check out "Stronger Than Death". I promise when you'll listen to "Rust" you will change your opinion about the band. It's one of the most emotional and honest songs I've ever heard and I heard a lot of songs.

Kyle
September 16th 2006


667 Comments


Yeah, seriously listen to any of the bands first releases. 1919 Eternal, Stronger Than Death, The Blessed Hellride and Sonic Brew are all vast, vast improvements on this album. I just don't know what went wrong for Zakk, his music is pathetic at the moment.

MyRamona
September 16th 2006


1090 Comments


How incredibly dissapointing, I was expecting another Mafia.

Neoteric
September 16th 2006


3243 Comments


Good review, I hate BLS.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 16th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0


I remember hearing about this but what exactly happened? I completely forgot.

Uhh, in short: Bruce was whining about corporate America like usual, and started calling out Ozzy for his reality show, or something to that effect. Then Sharon responds by egging the band and turning off their PA and what not. I can see why Zakk would support Sharon, seeing as Ozzy is a good friend of his and the Godfather of his kid if I'm not mistaken. Something to that effect. It's on blabbermouth.net somewhere.
----
Alright, I'll check some of those albums out, 1919 Eternal and Stronger Than Death probably. Thanks for the comments.

Thor
September 16th 2006


10202 Comments


Excellent review.

Black Label Society bores the living hell out of me.

Jimmy
September 16th 2006


717 Comments


I've never listened to BLS and probably never will (although my dad loves them.) The review is very well written.

loathed
September 16th 2006


174 Comments


Never been a fan of BLS or zakk in particular. i just feel the solos and shreds just for the sake of it.

but there are a few great ones here and there though

Storm In A Teacup
September 16th 2006


13191 Comments


BLS seems to get worse with every record. :-

Cravinov13
September 16th 2006


3854 Comments


His only good stuff was with Ozzy, and even then he wasn't as good as Randy Rhoads.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 16th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I think my parents have Ozzmosis somewhere in the house, how would that stack up with BLS?

south_of_heaven 11
September 16th 2006


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Stronger Than Death >>>>>>>>>>> Shot to Hell

Bfhurricane
September 16th 2006


6197 Comments


Ozzmosis is an awesome album! BLS is a little heavier, the vocals are somewhat similar. Their old stuff is awesome, leave it at that.
And I totally lost some respect for Zakk after supporting the egg throwing (Maiden being my favorite band currently) I even got into a conversation about it with some guy at a BLS concert. But I still have respect for Ozzy since Randy Rhoads is my idol, so its a circle of love and hate

ToWhatEnd
September 16th 2006


3172 Comments


OMG storm is such a ganger with that avatar. To anyone who has read my A Perfect Murder review, the same thing (regarding free music) happened with this CD but I have not had a chance to listen it.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 17th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

You gave that a 1 didn't you? Did you get any CD's that ended up being worth while? :p

south_of_heaven 11
September 17th 2006


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Somebody gave this a 5 and negged you cause you didn't think the same as them...:gasp!:



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