Acoustic, Folk, Intimist, Melancholic, Rasping vocals
""Book Of Shadows" is a disc apart in the discography of the guitarist, a declaration of love for American folk music and a jewel of sensitivity that has become cult."
NUNO777 (21.04.2016)  
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Zakk Wylde is an instinctive and free musician who doesn't let himself be imposed or locked into a style or fashion. As a guitarist of Ozzy Osbourne since 1988, he lived a first solo adventure with his heavy southern project "Pride & Glory" in 1994. The writing of "Ozzmosis" and the calls of Guns' N' Roses in 1995 are part of a context during which the shredder nourishes desires of elsewhere. A thousand miles away from where we expect him, it is a declaration of love for folk music that will guide the composition of "Book Of Shadows".

If, at first sight, everything opposes "Pride & Glory" and "Book Of Shadows", there remain similarities which bind them like two versus two sides of the same coin. Already in "Pride & Glory", we could hear the softer side of the American, his talent to write rich melodic progressions and discover that he was an accomplished piano composer ('Fadin' Away') as comfortable on a Les Paul as on an acoustic guitar ('Lovin' Woman'). Then, they are two very personal works and doubly filled with symbols and emotions whose inspiration proceeds as much from the praise to God (one does not count any more the praises to "Jesus" or "Lord") as from the modest evocation of his close relations. "Book Of Shadows" adds an extra dimension to the opposition between hell and heaven, Satan and God, and death and life, which is reflected in the mysterious iconography and lyrics of the album.

"Book Of Shadows" is much more than a collection of melancholic acoustic ballads. We can hear a multitude of instruments with well-defined roles and contributions in many harmonic arrangements. Surrounded by James LoMenzo on bass (already present with Pride & Glory) and Joe Vitale on drums, Zakk provides an overbearing rhythm section whose raw, organic and crystalline presence shapes the rough edges of the compositions. The guitar, classical in its great majority, but also 12 strings, bringing depth, or electric in complement via arpeggios, chords and soli, shares the first roles with the piano. "Book Of Shadows" is also finely arranged, without ostentation, with the good measure in violins and solemn organs (the intro of 'Sold My Soul').

The tone of "Book Of Shadows" is fundamentally intimate, except for the saturated '1.000. 000 Miles Away' which is different in the entire set, and unfurls through melancholic ambiences ('Way Beyond Empty', 'Dead as Yesterday', 'Too Numb to Cry', 'Thank You Child', in which the sensitivity and the emotion are at the surface) as well as cultivating a dark intensity ('Sold My Soul', Road Back Home', 'Throwin' It All Away' in homage to his friend Shannon Hoon) or more energetic in folk and luminous mid-tempi ('Between Heaven and Hell', 'What You're Look'n For', 'The Things You Do'). The interpretations of Zakk Wylde, enhanced by magnificent choirs, with this warm and generous voice in the subtle expression of virility, fragility and modesty, give all their charm and elegance to the songs.

"Book Of Shadows" is a pivotal record in the career of Zakk Wylde, emerging in a period where he emancipates himself from his spiritual father Ozzy and launches into a solo adventure that will culminate two years later in the first album of his band Black Label Society. It is also and above all an album that has become a cult, whose authentic content and introspective nature make it still enchanting twenty years after its release.

More informations on

01. Between Heaven And Hell
02. Sold My Soul
03. Road Back Home
04. Way Beyond Empty
05. Throwin' It All Away
06. What You're Look'n For
07. Dead As Yesterday
08. Too Numb To Cry
09. The Things You Do
10. 1,000,000 Miles Away
11. I Thank You Child

James Lomenzo: Basse
Joe Vitale: Claviers / Batterie
Zakk Wylde: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
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