ALBUM REVIEW: Zakk Sabbath - Doomed Forever Forever Doomed

ALBUM REVIEW: Zakk Sabbath - Doomed Forever Forever Doomed

*Doomed Forever Forever Doomed will be released March 1st, 2024*

All-star Black Sabbath cover band Zakk Sabbath have been worshipping the heavy metal icons since 2014. Their debut EP "Vertigo", showed the band cover legendary tracks like the band's name sake, "N.I.B." and "Wicked World". With Zakk Wylde on guitars and vocals, Robert "Blasko" Nicholson on bass guitar and Joey Castillo on the drums, the band would hit the studio to record a true tribute to the band and Sabbath's greatest works. The band would record and release a full double album of the band covering, in their entirety, the Black Sabbath classics Paranoid and Masters of Reality. Would Zakk Sabbath deliver an amazing homage to the band that laid the groundwork for heavy metal?

Disc one is Paranoid. Opening with the legendary "War Pigs". With that classic 70's sound in the guitar, but with modern day production, the mix is a beautiful marriage of classic 70's analog sound, but infused with the cleanliness of modern day mixing and production. Joey Castillo's pounding drums just hit so hard in the production with so much boom behind it. Blasko's high bass tone just matches, almost beating the original tone, and rings so prominent. Zakk Wylde's vocals on the classic has some similarities to the mighty Ozzy Osbourne, but with more grit and gravel in the delivery, which works well with Wylde's take on these Sabbath classics. The song is so well done, with new embellishments. Blasko's bass rings so deep and heavy during Wylde's solo, adding more gravitas and oomph to the song's already heavy sound. With "Paranoid", the chugging guitars have more depth and lower tone, which sounds so good with the bass accenting the chugging effects. Wylde's vocals ring true in his homage to his "Bossman" Ozzy Osbourne and the band nails these songs backwards and forwards and everywhere inbetween. I LOVE the mix and production of "Planet Caravan". The guitars sound so tranquil and the vocals are beautifully harmonized and have just the right amount of depth and reverb to it. Everything is perfectly balanced, with no instrument or Wylde taking over, its so perfectly done in its mix. Capturing the aura of the original.

Then the classic "Iron Man" comes on. With Wylde's wailing distortion wall, and Castillo's pounding bass drum, the song just sets the tone for that legendary riff to start. The guitar tone is nostalgic to that classic Sabbath sound, along with Wylde's take on the tone as well. Musically, Wylde sings the song a lot deeper than he did with the other songs so far, but it still sounds Sabbath-esque in the sound and delivery. "Electric Funeral" has that heavily distorted, Wah-like effect opening with Castillo's snare drum punching through in-between the chugs from Wylde and Blasko. Wylde's vocals are ominous and eerie, as he channels Ozzy and nails it pretty well, especially with the vocal effects. "Hand of Doom" has Blasko's deep, gritty bass tone, along with Castillo's stick hits on the snare, before the guys kick the door into the sludgy, classic heavy metal sound in-between the calm downs on the verses to the rising boom of the chorus. The instrumental "Rat Salad" shows these musicians really shine on. Castillo's shines on the track, leading the charge on the track, while Wylde and Blasko bounce off each other and channel the legendary Iommi and Butler on the track. The closing classic "Fairies Wear Boots" has that chugging, pummeling bass riff by Blasko as Wylde wails and wails on the track. I can picture Wylde smiling as he plays this, channeling his younger self jamming these classics out as a kid. A very strong homage to a legendary album by this impressive trio of musicians.

Disc 2 is Masters of Reality. With that legendary opening cough, "Sweet Leaf" starts this album off. That sludgy, stoner/blues guitar tone sounds pretty darn good in a pair of headphones. Wylde is belting it out as the band rises and swells in the performance of the track. He also has the right amount of reverb on his vocals to mimic that 70's atmosphere of the original. Blasko and Castillo take turns boosting and raising the rhythm section beautifully, without overshadowing or dominating the other. "After Forever" has a deep, reverb and chorus heavy opening riff, with little flurries on the bass. Very upbeat guitar tone compared to the original. Castillo's drum punch hard throughout the track and cut through the mix really well.

After the short acoustic instrumental "Embryo", comes a classic with "Children of The Grave". That dreaded, chugging, brooding guitar tone as the drums join in, instantly gives you that head banging, stink-face energy right off the bat. I love Blasko's bass tone on the song. Wylde's wailing guitar highs at the end of his verses, matched with his bellowing cries, channels the aura of Sabbath and I don't know if any band could do a good of a job covering this classic. Following the more complex and heavenly acoustic instrumental "Orchid" comes "Lord of This World". With its driving drums by Castillo, the band has got that classic stoner/doom hybrid sound that Sabbath has on this record. Wylde's vocals are probably the strongest I've heard so far, and the band is just a powerhouse rhythm section overall. Making me wish Zakk Sabbath would write original music in the vein of Sabbath. Personally, this is my favorite track off the original Masters of Reality, and to be honest, I don't know if I like this version more than the original, but it's darn close. "Solitude" has its beautiful piano opening, with an almost vinyl record effect to it, creating a retro effect while Wylde delivers a sorrow-heavy and emotional performance of the track. His wailing, emotional guitar playing at the halfway mark hits beautifully and hangs in the æther of the track. The album's closer "Into The Void" has that gritty, slow motion, in your face guitar tone. So much attitude and stank in that guitar tone, it takes you back to hearing the original record. The band closes their cover of the track with the same homage and tribute to this classic album, with Wylde leading the charge on one of the best tribute bands out there today.

With Doomed Forever Forever Doomed, Zakk Sabbath paid a perfect tribute to two of the most iconic and influential records in heavy metal history. This all-star trio NAILED the sound of the original Sabbath sound, but brought it to the modern day. Wylde's guitars and vocals are on point and he channels Ozzy very well on some of the band's legendary classics. Blasko's bass playing and tone is so prominent in the mix, it channels the nostalgic energy of Butler playing on those classic records. Castillo's playing is dynamic and perfectly performed in tribute to the legendary Bill Ward. Zakk Sabbath is a band that is doing tribute and homage to the next level and paying tribute to the band that started all of heavy metal. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of Black Sabbath.

SCORE: 9.5 / 10

Disc 1

1) War Pigs

2) Paranoid

3) Planet Caravan

4) Iron Man

5) Electric Funeral

6) Hand of Doom

7) Rat Salad

8) Fairies Wear Boots

Disc 2

1) Sweet Leaf

2) After Forever

3) Embryo

4) Children of The Grave

5) Orchid

6) Lord of This World

7) Solitude

8) Into The Void

FFO: Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Saint Vitus

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