Review Summary: A decent record, although the next one will definitely be their best.
After he was done with Ozzy Osbourne, and after releasing some unsuccessful albums (Pride & Glory, Book Of Shadows), Zakk Wylde, in collaboration with the drummer Phil Ondich, formed the band Black Label Society. Together with the guitarist Nick Catanese and the bassist John DeServio they released Black Label Society's first record, Sonic Brew ('99).
Stronger Than Death was the band's second album, being released just a year after the former. Steve Gibb replaced DeServio for the album, and Ondich was replaced by the drummer Craig Nunenmacher shortly after the record was released, thus creating a roughly stable line-up for the band for the next few years.
1919 Eternal was Black Label Society's third record. It is considered by most the bands first peak, and by some it's best record. It starts off with the great 'Bleed For Me', which really demonstrates the album perfectly - I dont think Zakk could have chose a better track to start with. Catchy and powerful, just like the album. The albums continues with the same attiude, showing some decent tracks like 'Life, Birth, Blood, Doom', 'Demise Of Sanity' and the emotional ballad 'Bridge To Cross'.
One of the things I love about this album is that it contains no real weak tracks. I can literally sit through the whole album without getting bored.
Zakk Wylde is easily the mind behind the group, having wrote all the songs in the album. He is showing his amazing guitar skills all throughout the album, as you can clearly see in the 1-minute long track 'Speedball'. His singing abilities may not be as good as his guitar's, but his voice is still pleasurable - and the band's sound certinly wouldnt be the same without it.
The band behind Zakk dosent offer any real quality, and instead just follow Zakk's lead, but Zakk's writing makes up for it, and the riffs are just good. Despite the band redneck Texas attiude, the lyrics are overall great, as opposed to what one would think. The production is bearable.
One other thing that I have just found out, was that 1919 Eternal was dedicated to Zakk's father, who died recently before the release of the album, and its telling us the story of him as a soldier in the war. The artwork is based on a nazi poster used to recruit Dutch.
1919 Eternal was released in March 5th, 2002. The record label is Spitfire and it is 60:08 minutes long.
Zakk Wylde – vocals, guitars, bass guitar
Robert Trujillo – bass (tracks 3, 4)
Craig Nunenmacher – drums
Christian Werr – drums (tracks 1, 3, 4)
Produced by Zakk Wylde
Associate producer – Eddie Mapp
Engineered by Eddie Mapp and Sam Storey, assisted by Lou Michaels and Kent Hitchcock
Editing by Kent Huffnagle
Mastered by Ron Boustead
Management – Bob Ringe (Survival Management)
A&R – Paul Bibeau, Tami Fukatami
Art concept – Zakk Wylde
Art direction and design – Zakk Wylde and Peter Tsakiris (Drunken Monkey Studios)
Illustrations – Adam Guyot (Eternal Art Tattoo, Canyon County, CA)
Photography – Maryanne Bilham