Genre: Southern Rock
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Entertainment One Music
Year: 20016

Zakk Wylde has always been in the centre of disputes between different crowds, about different bands, concerning different genres of music; and the list goes on. Zakk’s complexity of expression through various styles nonetheless, has touched many people in different ways. This time Zakk Wylde breathes life into his solo project, with which twenty years ago had released the mighty full length “Book of Shadows”. Continuing the legacy, Zakk Wylde released in April the “Book of Shadows II” via Entertainment One Music and proved that time can only work in his favor.

“Book of Shadows II” is the second full length of Zakk’s solo project and it’s characterized by the mature songwriting and the brilliant instrument arrangements. Again, we are exploring Wylde’s mellower, soft side through passages of early soft / hard / blues rock, southern rock and Americana. Despite the fact that loads of listeners (either loyal or “passers-by”) claimed that the “Book” is tiring and uninspired, I have to say that’s complete bollocks. As I figure, most of them formed an opinion about the “Book of Shadows” by comparing it to the BLS stuff Zakk had released; an approach that’s not based on equal foundations (as those genres haven’t got much in common) and it’s actually unjust concerning the effort needed to write such music and to an extent cause a particular chain of emotions. Of course, from the lot are excluded those who doesn’t share the same cup of tea in a broader musical perspective. In “Book of Shadows II”, as logic suggests, you’ll find loads of acoustic guitar that blends in an amazing way with the bass guitar, while the percussion is the backbone of the structures, lending a helping hand when needed. Of course, Zakk’s guitar is plugged in for various passages within the tracks, especially the solos. Even though the record lasts for over an hour, the continuity of the tracks is easy – flowing, therefore the album doesn’t get boring. Ultimately, the record’s stronger feature is Zakk’s peaceful and soulful voice. These kind of tracks do not need a show-off of vocal extent, just the appropriate amount of warmth and an inviting sweetness that reeks of loving / caring emotions. Nothing better than this.

“Book of Shadows II” is indicated for lovers of classic rock tunes, especially for those who like to have relaxing background music in their stereo, while sitting on a comfy chair, drinking some of the finest bourbon. Definitely worth the candle.