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  • Axl Rosenberg

BLS: BLACK LABEL STREAMLook. It’s entirely possible that I give Zakk Wylde more shit than he deserves. We hurt the ones we love the most, and vice versa. When I was a kid, Zakk was a GOD; Vince and I worshiped the ground he walked on. I can’t quite tell if his playing has actually gotten more boring or my tastes have just matured as I’ve gotten older, but I don’t think he has the old magic; Slash isn’t exactly breaking any new ground artistically, but at least he still sounds more or less like Slash. Zakk’s playing has turned into a parody of itself; nevermind that it doesn’t have the grace or scope of No More Tears – it just sounds, at least to my ears, like mindless noodling, with a laughably silly number of those guitar squeals to remind us who’s playing. It would be like if every modern Woody Allen scene had a moment where the Woodman jumps from the bushes and yells “I’M JEWISH! REMEMBER ANNIE HALL?” Yeah, dude. We remember. It was awesome.

But BLS is not terrible. I’ll still take it over Korn or Suffokate or In This Moment or Five Finger Death Punch or Hellyeah or any number of other bands. (I was about to say I’d take it over Ozzy, but after considering my argument for a moment, I realized I don’t feel that way; at least Ozzy will play some old hits fondly remembered, but the most I’d have to look forward to at a BLS show is the worst betrayal of “No More Tears” imaginable by a dude who actually wrote the original.)

So, yeah. Order of the Black, the new BLS album, is streaming here. It’s a BLS album. It’s not the worst thing I’ve heard so far this week, but I can’t listen to more than a few songs at a time without getting bored, and I have a not-so-sinking feeling that I may never actually make to the end of the record. In that regard, I won’t be fit to judge, and y’know what? I can live with that.

Make up your own mind and then tell us what you think in the space where you do that. Order of the Black came out Tuesday via E1.


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