Those already acquainted with Black Label Society will have an idea of what to expect here, but Pride & Glory is more than just a southern rock version of it. The songs do alternate between chuggy sludge rockers and sentimental ballads but the compositions aren't as straightforward as Wylde's recent fodder. The structures are generally looser as "Horse Called War" and "Toe'n The Line" have solid jamming segments while "Harvester Of Pain" and "The Chosen One" mix some moodiness in with the heavier riffs. There is also more instrumentation beyond the trio as "The Chosen One" brings in a nice string section while a banjo dominates lead single "Losin' Your Mind" and the laid back "Hate Your Guts."
This also feels more sincere than anything Wylde has done since. The melodic tracks feel more organic with "Machine Gun Man" having a smooth twang and "Cry Me A River" playing out like a more pleasant version of Alice In Chains' "No Excuses." The lyrics aren't brilliant but they're more real than the mindless doom and gloom peddled by Black Label. This point is enhanced by the vocal performance as the Rickey Medlocke impression is surprisingly soulful for a guy born and raised in New Jersey...
Overall, Pride & Glory's sole album is a southern metal classic that shows Zakk Wylde at the most interesting phase of his career. A few of his subsequent efforts came close to its sound but nothing could ever capture its atmosphere. A sequel is being planned to Book Of Shadows for next year so it's worth wondering if a similar fate could be planned for this...
"Losin' Your Mind"
"Cry Me A River"
"Toe'n The Line"
"Hate Your Guts"