Black Label Society - Shot To Hell
Roadrunner Records
Heavy Rock
13 songs (44.12)
Release year: 2006
Black Label Society, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Aleksie

It seems the Black Label machine just does not have an easy-does-it-gear in it, no matter what. A year has passed since Mafia. In the review for that album, I predicted that it would do BLS good to take a little break and refresh the riffpot a bit to avoid filler and a burnout. Turns out this society dwelling motherfucker was proven wrong.

Shot To Hell begins with an octane-fueled trio of riffmonsters that give some big promises about the rest too. Especially the opener Concrete Jungle (it’s probably just the title and the fact that it opens the album, but it reminds me of GnR’s Welcome To The Jungle) has a wicked groove that demands fists to be pumped mightily.

After Blacked Out World the record goes on a heavy-light track in alternating between punishing rockers and mellow songs every other turn. I don’t know if it’s fatherhood that has mellowed the Wyldeman just a bit but this album has more ballads than any of BLS’ previous albums (OK, omitting the all-mellow Hangover Music). But since these melancholic tunes follow the usual quality of BLS-ballads – that quality being excellence – I don’t mind one bit. Keyboards and atmospheric synths are used very generously throughout the record. The intro to New Religion is especially beautiful and contrasts the steamrolling riff afterwards even more.

I am also very happy that STH has no pointless minute-and-a-half guitar blitzes as a separate song in the middle of everything serving no other apparent purpose but to display some fantastic chops. The humongous technical abilities come out very well in the actual songs – and thankfully it has been enough for Zakk this time around.

The entire record has a more melodic and a slightly 70’s-ish classic rock vibe in my mind. Even though the spectrum of extremes from heavy to soft have been stretched farther apart resulting in greater dynamics, not much has really changed in the bands music. The muscles are still built around the Sabbath-juiced riffs done in overdrive and Wylde still sounds gruff and overtly masculine, love it or hate it. The vibes of Ozzy in the vocals come up more often than not, especially in the harmony vocals that appear plentifully as well. I would say that Shot To Hell is the Society’s most accessible and versatile album and could bring in many new fans. Old fans should gobble it up as well, provided the increased amounts of melody aren’t a deterrent. I sure as hell dig this record.

Killing Songs :
Concrete Jungle, The Last Goodbye, Give Yourself To Me, Nothing's The Same, Hell Is High, New Religion, Sick Of It All, Devil's Dime & Lead Me To Your Door
Aleksie quoted 88 / 100
Ken quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Black Label Society that we have reviewed:
Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
Black Label Society - Catacombs of the Black Vatican reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Black Label Society - Order of the Black reviewed by Jake and quoted 69 / 100
Black Label Society - Skullage (CD/DVD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Black Label Society - Sonic Brew reviewed by Khelek and quoted 92 / 100
To see all 11 reviews click here
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