Saturday, July 23, 2011

Black Label Society - Mafia (2005)

The infamous Black Label Society released one of their most powerful albums, back in 2005, entitled "Mafia." This is the bands sixth studio album. Zakk Wylde and his crew really went above and beyond in the album delivering nothing but solid heavy metal music with massive amounts of distortion and bone crushing guitar solos.

The first song off the album is "Fire It Up" which really had me hooked after the first time I heard it. Nothing but heavy guitar riffs chugging away throughout the song. This is definitely that fists pumping, head bashing music that we all love. The vocals are loud aggressive yelling by Wylde. Constant kicks and snares keep the tempo even while smashing cymbals fly everywhere. The guitar solos are intense and full of energy. They will leave you begging for more. Good thing this is only the first song so you know there's more to come.

"What's In You" is the next track on the album and it holds some pretty powerful tones to it. The chorus is catchy yet simple and easy to remember. You're probably going have it stuck in your head for a couple of days. The guitar riffs are screechy and melodic. You'll find similar features in "Suicide Messiah." Detailed drum fills and constant cymbals will have you bobbing your head immediately. The heavy chugging of guitars will pull you into the song as the chorus hits. Also the guitar solos are absolutely ridiculous. Each note soars through the air, while drums provide a solid bottom to the track. The fills and rolls are godly as they follow up to each and every riff.

"Forever Down" starts off softly with beautiful piano notes. This quickly changes however, as electrifying guitars coming rolling in with a bang. The chorus is, again, very catchy, followed by a mean solo that will sweep you off your feet. The song is only three and a half minutes long, but its solid and gives you no time to rest. The following track is the popular "In This River," which was dedicated to "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, former guitarist of Pantera. The song has mainly piano riffs with some guitar notes layered on top. You can really feel Wylde's emotion in his lyrics and performance.

The build up in the beginning of "Spread Your Wings" really keeps you at the edge of your seat as your waiting for it to drop. Melodic guitars come flying at you with heavy distortion and aggressive tones. "Been A Long Time" has some pretty dirty riffs as well. The structure is unique as the beginning goes back and forth between slammed guitars and vocals. The solo is extraordinary as each note screams with violence. Things quiet down however, with "Dirt On The Grave" which incorporates piano and acoustic guitar riffs. Another moving ballad from Wylde. You find the final song to be full of deep lyrics as well. Make sure to check it out.

"Mafia" is another incredible album that was well written and well recorded. It's got some party songs as well as some emotional ballads, and has a solid range of variety in genre. Black Label Society has had their ups and down in the metal industry, and this album was by far one of their ups. This is an album of theirs that you won't want to miss!


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