Sjak : An album title like ‘Grimmest Hits’ makes you suspect that the meanwhile tenth Black Label Society studio record has become a compilation album, but on second thoughts this successor of the in 2014 released ‘Catacombs Of The Black Vatican’ luckily just contains original material. The last mentioned record contained not very many real memorable songs in my opinion and that shortcoming has been resolved in a great way by the band on this ‘Grimmest Hits’ album.
With Black Label Society everything is centered around the heavy, skull splitting riffs of main man Zakk Wylde and his companion on the six strings Dario Lorina and that isn’t any different on the twelve songs on offer here. However, the fine guitar work of both gentlemen is now packaged in better song material and as such ‘Grimmest Hits’ is a lot easier to digest than its predecessor. Opening track ‘Trampled Down Below’ immediately shows that and sets the standard for the rest of the album. The typical vocals of Zakk Wylde fit perfectly here and the guitar solo is just magnificent. With tunes like ‘Room Of Nightmares’, ‘Illusions Of Peace’ and ‘Disbelief’ there are more lovely heavy songs to be found on the album, but (luckily) it’s not full pedal to the metal all the way.
By means of the more melancholic and melodic songs ‘Seasons Of Falter’, ‘The Only Words’ and ‘Nothing Left To Say’ the necessary variety is guaranteed and that makes sure that the album stays interesting from start to finish. The bluesy ‘The Betrayal’ reminds me quite a lot of Zakk’s other project Pride And Glory and that ensures a nice balance between heavy stuff and more subdued material. This variation and the quality of the song material on offer make this ‘Grimmest Hits’ certainly one of the better Black Label Society albums and in all honesty I didn’t quite expect that after the somewhat disappointing predecessor ‘Catacombs Of The Black Vatican’.