‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ is a well-produced, solid release.
01. Fields of Unforgiveness
02. My Dying Time
04. Angel of Mercy
05. Heart of Darkness
06. Beyond the Down
08. Damn the Flood
09. I’ve Gone Away
10. Empty Promises
11. Shades of Gray
12. Dark Side of the Sun (Bonus Track)
13. Nomad (Bonus Track)
Released April 8, 2014, ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ is Black Label Society’s ninth studio album and features former Breaking Benjamin drummer Chad Szeliga. ‘Catacombs’ delivers that BLS sound we fell in love with on albums like ‘The Blessed Hellride’ and ‘Stronger Than Death.’
The blues influence on this album makes it stand out from previous releases. Songs like ‘Believe’ and ‘Shades of Grey’ have slow tempos infused with Zakk’s classic groove guitar sound.
Released as a single on January 21, 2014, ‘My Dying Time’ conveys a dark, ominous sound that is almost a compilation of every other BLS album released.
There are three ballads on this album, which is awesome: awesome because Zakk writes great ballads that covey a mixture of emotion. The bitter sweetness of each ballad captured in the music along with the words. Zakk and crew probably do not get much recognition for their ballads, but they should because they convey that melancholy feeling with a glimmer of joy.
‘Dark Side of the Sun’ and ‘Nomad’ are the two bonus tracks on this album and adds to the character. The Black Sabbath influence heard on ‘Dark Side of the Sun’ is wonderful. Heard in the tempo, guitars and vocals Zakk lets his time with Ozzy shine through on this one. I cannot covey enough the haunting sound of Ozzy in Zakk’s vocals and the eeriness of the guitars on this track. Not to mention, Zakk’s guitar skills are intact which is evident at about three and a half minutes into this song.
Overall, ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ is a well-produced, solid release.