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Black Label Society's "Unblackened" DVD Review

On Unblackened, Zakk Wylde works to blend his Jekyll & Hyde sensibilities while expanding the band's sound with new textures.

Black Label Society
E1 Music

There are two sides to Zakk Wylde: the mad, swaggering Viking shredder and the sensitive crooner who isn’t afraid to sit at the piano and put his heart on his sleeve. On Unblackened , Wylde’s latest live album with Black Label Society, he works to blend these Jekyll & Hyde sensibilities while expanding his sound with new textures. The seated front line (Wylde, plus bassist John DeServio and “evil twin” guitarist Nick Catanese) is a bit unusual for a BLS show, but whatever the band lacks in Slayer-like headbanging they make up for with ample musicianship. “Losing Your Mind,” Wylde’s first single from 1994’s Pride and Glory , reveals just how much groove is in his criminally underrated rhythm playing. On “Takillya (Estyabon),” Wylde even pays homage to Al Di Meola with burning nylon-string runs. This is the sound of a shredder shedding labels and following his muse.

Must-hear track: "The Blessed Hellride"