One Little Indian release a brand new CD boxset dedicated to the wonderful Black Box Recorder. The package includes previously unreleased material and a DVD containing live footage and official music videos. Sleeve note writers include John Moore, Sarah Nixey and Luke Haines. It includes the albums England Made Me, Facts of Life, Passionoia and a 16 Track Bonus CD of Unreleased material, BBC Sessions, Single versions, remixes etc plus DVD with Live The Forum on 27 October 2008 and 5 Videos.
With nine albums issued rapid-fire style over an eight-year span (1999 to 2006), the time was certainly right for a Black Label Society compilation. And in 2009, it arrived in the form of the CD/DVD double-disc, Skullage. Included are standouts from all of the Black Label Society releases, as well as a tune each from Zakk Wylde's pre-BLS projects, Pride & Glory, and his 1996 solo album, Book of Shadows, plus live tracks. Throughout it all, Skullage certainly shows off the six-string talents of the Wylde one, especially on such BLS favorites as "Doomsday Jesus" and "Suicide Messiah," as well as "Stillborn" (which features vocals from none other than Ozzy Osbourne), and the mellow sounds of "Won't Find It Here." Add to it a DVD of video clips and live performances, and you have both the perfect career overview for the longtime Wylde devotee, and a solid introduction for the new fan.
"Twilight Cruiser" is a very melodic, somewhat melancholy album. The Zeppelin-esque sound is still there, but it's tempered by a much more emotional and personal approach. …
Shot to Hell marks Black Label Society's debut for Roadrunner Records, following a six-year relationship with Spitfire summarized on the previous year's Kings of Damnation: Era 1998-2004 compilation. Shot to Hell may mark a new era for Zakk Wylde and company, yet not much has changed artistically, no doubt to the relief of fans. Over the course of 13 songs, the band showcases impressive musicianship, incorporating occasional moodiness and balladic touches into its otherwise charging style of metal. The usual comparisons to Alice in Chains, Pantera, and Corrosion of Conformity are as apt as ever, with Wylde's vocals especially reminiscent of AIC. The album-opening "Concrete Jungle" is an instant highlight, kicking off the album in high fashion, while the piano ballad "The Last Goodbye" is another, highlighting Wylde's songwriting talent, as is "Nothing's the Same," another mellow song. While Shot to Hell offers nothing that past Black Label Society releases haven't, and nothing revelatory enough to convince those so far unconvinced of the band's continuing worth, anyone interested in more of the band's consistent output from year to year should find plenty to enjoy here.
A singer-songwriter can be anything from an unwelcome pub musical disaster to Bob Dylan. I have a negative disposition when I see an artist describe themselves as such as there is a great chance of being underwhelmed due to the liklihood is that the music is compiled simply of a man and a guitar…and the man could be anybody from an unwelcome pub musical disaster to Bob Dylan - and Bob Dylan has been done. If I do say so myself I am usually rather good at accurately comparing one musician or group with another, but Russell Joslin has left me stumped. This would mean that for one man and a guitar, he appears to have created a sound that hasn’t really been done before. It’s not a new genre and it’s not some abstract form of experimentation, it’s just what decent singer songwriter music should be, a man telling his story which if he’s telling it right is from a unique standpoint.
Recorded live in November, 1984 - an acoustical concert with no amplification except for a bass amplifier on For Macho - during the "Berliner Festspiele", at Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin. The clarinet was once one of the leading voices of jazz. During the Swing era clarinet players like Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw were Kings, but more recently the instrument has been all but forgotten in jazz circles. We should therefore thank World Saxophone Quartet member Hamiet Bluiett for his personal attempt at a revival with "The Clarinet Family." Recorded for the Black Saint label during a live performance in Berlin in November 1984, Bluiett trades in his trademark baritone sax for the alto clarinet, and joins forces with fellow clarinetists Don Byron, Dwight Andrews, Gene Ghee, John Purcell, J.D. Parran, Sir Kidd Jordan and even the great Buddy Collette on this eclectic tribute to the instrument.