“Glorious Christmas Songs That Will Make Your Black Label Heart Feel Good” by Black Label Society

Artist: Black Label Society
Title: “Glorious Christmas Songs That Will Make Your Black Label Heart Feel Good”
Label: E1 Music
Release Date: 11/1/2011
Genre: Holiday Music
Rating: 4/5

After listening to the both the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Twisted Sister offerings in terms of my heavy Holiday fare, I had to admit that I was not sure what to expect from Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society when I learned that they would be doing a Christmas themed release of their own. Truth be told this is more of an EP as it only runs for three tunes but at the end of the day it really showcases some nice playing by Zakk and when it’s all added up it’s some truly charming stuff. Yep, the Black Label Society main Berzerker seems to have a softer side to him and one that really manages to warm the holiday hearts with these three tunes. He begins with the classic “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and with Sister doing this I had wondered just how different a BLS take might come out. The answer is simple – very, very different as all of these tunes are instrumental tracks and Zakk opts to let his guitar do the singing. Having heard Zakk sing with regular BLS stuff and his acoustic releases I had to say that this surprised me since when he wants to do it, he has a very pleasant vocal register. Just listen to him on tunes like “In This River” if you need a quick idea of what I mean.

Throughout the three tracks the guitar playing is spot on and really brings the holiday feeling to the table. Zakk truly manages to sing with the six strings here and while there is the occasional flourish there is nothing overwhelming that will shock the senses. It’s safe to say that if you are listening to a playlist of Christmas music that it would fit right in with a large batch of it. That is by no means an insult it is meant more as a wider audience than you might originally think possible can enjoy this. I would be able to listen to this immediately after some acoustic TSO tracks in all honesty. The cover art looks amusing but I guess there is no interior to speak as not only was this being reviewed digitally, but you need to order a copy in ITunes to get it for yourself. My hope is that they expand this to a physical medium for those who want the actual CD or even get it over onto Amazon.com since there are many who prefer that medium for their legal music downloads. The hard core Black Label Society fan might not take to this all that easily since it is so far off the mark from what they are used to but those who have more of an open mind and just love anything Zakk does or appreciate well delivered holiday fare this is perfect. Merry Christmas everyone.

Track Listing:
1. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
2. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem
3. It’s A Wonderful World

Official Website: www.zakkwylde.com

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