13 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

One benefit of being an established veteran band is that you know your audience likes what you do, so if you stick to what comes naturally it’ll be enough to satisfy most fans. Here, Zakk Wylde sticks with the hard rock that’s made him a guitar icon. He doesn’t try experiments with the new electronics available; he plays the crunchy metal that’s served him well for decades. The album before Catacombs had been the live and largely acoustic Unblackened, and elements of that album’s subdued approach appear appropriately here on the ballads “Angel of Mercy” and “Scars.” Songs such as “Fields of Unforgiveness,” “My Dying Time," and “Heart of Darkness” depend on the electric guitar attack that sets up solos of no small impact. “Damn the Flood” picks up the speed for a touch of Led Zeppelin–like boogie, and the somber “Shades of Grey” serves as the proper album’s finishing piece. The deluxe edition adds two impressive bonus tracks: the charging “Dark Side of the Sun” and the more dramatic “The Nomad.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

One benefit of being an established veteran band is that you know your audience likes what you do, so if you stick to what comes naturally it’ll be enough to satisfy most fans. Here, Zakk Wylde sticks with the hard rock that’s made him a guitar icon. He doesn’t try experiments with the new electronics available; he plays the crunchy metal that’s served him well for decades. The album before Catacombs had been the live and largely acoustic Unblackened, and elements of that album’s subdued approach appear appropriately here on the ballads “Angel of Mercy” and “Scars.” Songs such as “Fields of Unforgiveness,” “My Dying Time," and “Heart of Darkness” depend on the electric guitar attack that sets up solos of no small impact. “Damn the Flood” picks up the speed for a touch of Led Zeppelin–like boogie, and the somber “Shades of Grey” serves as the proper album’s finishing piece. The deluxe edition adds two impressive bonus tracks: the charging “Dark Side of the Sun” and the more dramatic “The Nomad.”

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