Book of Shadows II
If you immediately think of Zakk Wylde as a guitar-shredding beast from Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society, Book of Shadows II offers the tamer, acoustic counterpoint. As he did on 1996’s volume one, Wylde taps into his introspective side, setting a vulnerable tone that recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young, and Elton John. “The Levee” and “Useless Apologies,” with their acoustic strums and Hammond B-3 organ, sounds like a long-distance trucker’s best friend. Ever the guitar showman, he rips some solos on “Lay Me Down,” “Darkest Hour,” and “Lost Prayer.” But Zakk’s thoughtful mood is center stage here, and songs like “Tears of December,” “Harbors of Pity,” and “Sorrowed Regret” show even the most muscular, bandana’d rocker can have a soft side.