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CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Grimmest Hits"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Grimmest Hits, Zall Wylde, News, Hardrock, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Southern Metal, Blues, Spinefarm Records, BLS, Black Label Society

CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Grimmest Hits"

(8/10) One thing directly in the beginning. The title „Grimmest Hits“ is misleading. It transports the idea of a „Best of...“ which is not the case at all. „Grimmest Hits“ features 12 new songs. After having clarified this I must also say that the title fits the longplayer very well, but more in the sense of grim songs that are all hits. „Grimmest Hits“ doesn‘t include any filler. Zakk Wylde, Mr. Riff Power, delights again with his excellent guitar play that‘s embedded in well-done songs, combining metal, rock and blues to a great total. Black Label Society found their own sound and trademarks, all coming back on the new record. 

Wylde‘s guitar opens the album - how could it be different. „Trampled Down Below“ is the name of this excellent opener that also includes a rolling bassline and the typical vocals, all  immediately reminding of Zakk Wylde‘s Ozzy Osbounre days. A mighty solo part completes an well-done opener in the typical Black Label Society fashion. 

Most of the songs are rocking and loud. Regardless if you listen to the bluesy „Seasons of Falter“, the roaring single release „Rooms of Nightmares“ or the doomy „Disbelief“, it‘s all awesome metal songs. 

Next to these songs, each with a lot of riff-power, it‘s the calmer moments that are best when it comes to this longplayer. „The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away“ is such a soulful moment, a song with a Southern rock touch that gives you the shivers. Another tune that shows the more sensitive and emotive side of the Black Label Society is „The Only Words“. For me it‘s this track being the real highlight on the album. Intensity and emotions don‘t need loud sounds. Sometimes it‘s the counterparts that make a difference and „The Only Words“ is one of those.

„Grimmest Hits“ is a excellent album that combines powerful riff energy with a down-to-earth approach. Nothing on this album sounds forced or feels strange. It‘s an album that’s authentic and real, exactly what was expected. Good stuff from one of the most influential contemporary metal guitarist. 





  1. Trampled Down Below
  2. Seasons Of Falter
  3. The Betrayal
  4. All That Once Shined
  5. The Only Words
  6. Room Of Nightmares
  7. The Love Unreal
  8. Disbelief
  9. The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away
  10. Illusions Of Peace
  11. Bury Your Sorrow
  12. Nothing Left To Say


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2018



Veröffentlicht am 7. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Corrosion Of Conformity, COC, No Cross No Crown, Sludge, Doom Metal, Southern Metal, Heavy Metal, Rock, Nuclear Blast


(9/10) One of the first highlights in 2018 will hit the shelves mid-January. Southern doom metal pioneers Corrosion Of Conformity will return with a new longplayer, the first one since 2014. Next to a long waiting time of four years it’s another fact that created even more excitement. “No Cross No Crown” is the first album with Pepper Keenan since the 2005 release "In the Arms of God". The singer/guitarist wasn’t part of the last two records but returned in 2014 to the quartet that also includes Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin.

“No Cross No Crown” is C.O.C. tenth studio album and it features 14 new songs. The new record sounds like a seamless continuation of where “In the Arms of God’ ended in 2005. It wasn’t the ambition of the four-piece band to sound like on earlier releases but it shows that the chemistry between the four works very well. It’s the spirit that connects them, a fact that leads to a typical C.O.C. sound that’s also present on the newest strike.

The first song that was written for the album is “Wolf Named Crow”. It’s a typical C.O.C. rocker with heavy riffs and Keenan’s dog named Crow being the centerpiece when it comes to the lyrics.

The album starts slow and calm with “Novus Deus, a one and a half minutes intro. “The Luddite” takes over and stands for the first cornerstone of the album. Down-tuned guitars, a hard-working rhythm section and excellent vocals show C.O.C. at their best. What becomes already obvious that early is the ease that comes with album. Nothing feels forced. The opener, as well as the rest of the album, is done by four guys that follow their passion for great rock songs. Working on “No Cross No Crown” wasn’t a burden or a ‘must’. It’s an album that sounds authentic, organic and real. It represents the dedication of everyone involved and is a pure treat for fans of mighty riff-based rock music.

C.O.C. is best when they reduce pace. Songs like the slo-mo “Nothing Left to Say” is as heavy as hell. This number, but also “Old Disaster”, show the influences of doom legends like Black Sabbath, bands that are an inspiration for the quartet without acting as a blueprint.

What brings extra variation into the longplayer are the smartly placed interludes like “No Cross”, “Matre’s Diem” and “Sacred Isolation”, adding an extra arc of suspense to the album. All three tracks are calmer moments on the album which help to make the heavy songs even heavier.

“No Cross No Crown” is the massive return of Corrosion Of Conformity. It’s a real delight listening to the songs on this extremely well-done album. C.O.C. is back at full force and their tenth album is a ‘must have’ for each metal fan.





  1. Novus Deus
  2. The Luddite
  3. Cast the First Stone
  4. No Cross
  5. Wolf Named Crow
  6. Little Man
  7. Matre’s Diem
  8. Forgive Me
  9. Nothing Left To Say
  10. Sacred Isolation
  11. Old Disaster
  12. E.L.M.
  13. No Cross No Crown
  14. A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Southern Doom Metal

Release Date EU: January 12th, 2018