Zakk Wylde - Book of Shadows II

Zakk Wylde Book of Shadows II cover
Zakk Wylde
Book of Shadows II
Entertainment One Music
I’m of the opinion that once Zakk Wylde grew a beard and opened his mouth-piece, it was “too late”… but I digress, I’m not here to judge Wylde’s antics and general silliness and pseudo-bravado, which has been challenged by real chapter bikers, repeatedly, but to consider his sequel to 1996, first solo album that came out before the BLS days that went from being a bit of a “weird” side-project, to a bit of a minor fan favorite, despite being more of a curio than anything else, until now that is some twenty years later with Wylde choosing to revisit discography with another “solo” piece of work…
With his BLS creativity having been in the shitter, for a long while, Wylde attempts to baptize himself in folky blues, hoping that it might give him some perspective and possibly inspiration… but whereas, the original “Book of Shadows” consisted of some genuinely nice tracks and wasn’t “that” laid back, but featured quite a bit of guitar-abusing, chapter II is not quite like it, despite having a similar outlook/premise. Sounding suspiciously like an acoustic take on 80s hair anthems – with a crappier vocalist, rather than proper blues, this album feels disjointed and ill-advised more like an effort to appeal to a shrinking demographic, rather than to genuinely express the feelings that have been depressed and bottling up.
I’ve rarely been this bored, by an “acoustic album”, but Wylde’s noodling Americana (country blues) sounds really tiresome and with some fifteen tracks at more than seventy minutes, it rarely manages to become endearing enough to give a slam dunking f@#k… as it all sounds like one #$#$#$#$#$# long song. I mean “Sleeping Dogs” (the so called single), that’s reprised with that Slipknot singer, is among the better attempts along with “The Levee” and “Tears of December”… thing only become interesting when Wylde solos, predictably, but quite nicely… ie in “Eyes of Burden”, “The King” and elsewhere, but still even there, things seem too repetitive and unimaginable after a while… with an actual singer and a bit more diversity, I might have been slightly interested, but now I ‘d probably say that if I want a catharsis – I’ll take a laxative and leave the book of snoozes pt 2 to collect dust.