Black Label Society / Zakk Wylde

Sonic Brew

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In the press material for Sonic Brew, Zakk Wylde calls his new project Black Label Society, a band featuring himself and drummer Phil Ondich, "Alcohol Fueled Brewtality for the Next Millennium." Translated, that means Sonic Brew is a boozy, balls-to-the-wall metallic hard rock album that is unashamed about being a hard rock album. To be blunt, nothing on the record sounds as if it's designed for the year 2000 -- it sounds like classic '80s metal. Wylde isn't a great singer or songwriter, but he can write a riff and drive it into the ground while spitting out furious solos. The thing is, he's so unabashed about his love for this music that it winds up being quite entertaining. Few other albums in 1999 sound like this, and that will be enough for fans of unpretentious, boozy, bloozy hard rock, since they aren't getting much of it at the close of the 20th century.

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