Music Review: Zakk Wylde – Book of Shadows II (2016)

Zakk Wylde - Book of Shadows II

Purchase Zakk Wylde – Book of Shadows II

Guitar virtuoso and metal madman Zakk Wylde is back with his latest solo album, Book of Shadows II, the follow-up and companion piece to 1996’s Book of Shadows. Twenty years ago, Book of Shadows was released in anonymity practically with none but Wylde’s die-hard fans knowing about it. To that point, Wylde was responsible for the Pride & Glory album and had a few classic Ozzy Osbourne tracks under his belt. Two decades later and everyone knows who Zakk Wylde is, but his notoriety is more for Black Label Society than Ozzy Osbourne. Actually, people tend to forget that he was Ozzy’s partner in crime for quite a lengthy stint. Heck, Ozzy is even Wylde’s son’s godfather.

Back to the music though. Wylde is best known for his over the top use of artificial harmonics and lightning fast leads, but he has a mellow side that is second to none. Most of his melodic work is drenched in southern roots and his voice is made to fit with this style of music. Book of Shadows still goes down as one of my favorite mellow albums of all time with some classic songs including “Sold My Soul,” which still has one of my favorite solos of all time.

Book of Shadows II opens with “Autumn Changes” and sets the stage for the remainder of the melodic pieces to follow. “Tears of December” introduces a little more depth with the guitar work and some nice solo work. “Lay Me Down” brings that familiar electric guitar sound showing Wylde at his best during the solo laid over the clean guitar rhythm.

“Lost Prayer” takes the tempo up a notch and works fabulously well. “Darkest Hour” does what “Sold My Soul” did on the original album and makes a really nice song with a solo that is simply amazing.

At the end of the day, any album by Zakk Wylde is something to get excited about, whether it is Black Label Society or his solo work. His solo work is something to behold and Book of Shadows II is no different. His vocals are still as solid as ever, but the guitar work is what has carried the man throughout his career.

Zakk Wylde – Book of Shadows II Tracklisting

01. Autumn Changes
02. Tears of December
03. Lay Me Down
04. Lost Prayer
05. Darkest Hour
06. The Levee
07. Eyes of Burden
08. Forgotten Memory
09. Yesterday’s Tears
10. Harbors of Pity
11. Sorrowed Regret
12. Useless Apologies
13. Sleeping Dogs
14. The King

Zakk Wylde – Tears of December (Book of Shadows II)