Zakk Wylde

Book of Shadows

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After spending several years with Ozzy Osbourne and recording one album with the heavy Southern rock trio Pride & Glory, guitarist Zakk Wylde released his debut solo album, Book of Shadows, in June of 1996. Naturally, the album is a guitar showcase, with each song boasting a dazzling guitar solo or two. That much was expected. What is a surprise is the musical diversity apparent throughout the album. Wylde does kick out some heavy riff-driven rockers, but he also detours into blues, country, and folk on occasion. That diversity ensures that Book of Shadows is more listenable for the average listener than most guitarist-led albums. However, Wylde's songwriting skills remain weak; although the playing is memorable, the melodies rarely are. Nevertheless, there's enough prime instrumental work here to make it a very worthwhile listen for guitar aficionados and a few of the tracks should satiate fans of straight-ahead heavy boogie rock. [Book of Shadows was reissued in 1999 with a bonus disc, containing the non-LP cuts "Evil Ways," "The Color Green," and "Peddlers of Death."]

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