I first heard “A Love Unreal” from Black Label Society on Friday, 19 January 2017. I overdosed on it. I started writing a post on Saturday, but I got side tracked because Def Leppard’s entire catalogue was finally available on digital platforms. So I spent the last seven days overdosing on the mighty Def Lep, which will be another blog post soon.
So back to Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society.
Since 2014, I have been playing “Angel Of Mercy” non-stop. It’s made my 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 end of year lists. It’s always in my Top 100 Spotify songs I play each year.
With “A Love Unreal” Zakk has orchestrated another candidate.
The guitar solo on this song is a 10 out of 10 for me.
After hearing it, I felt like I can do anything. It’s inspiring in its movements, phrasing and the way it’s all worked out and put together is classy.
It’s a song within a song. God damn, the whole solo section is 1 minute and 20 seconds long. There are pop songs on the charts which are 2 minutes long.
I shared my thoughts about the song with my kids. My eldest heard the song, loved it, added it to his playlist and keeps on telling me how he listens to it and gets lost thinking about achieving goals.
The intro is on a classical acoustic and it sounds out the vocal melody from the chorus. It’s ominous, doomy and sad, but hopeful as well.
And when the distortion kicks in, it’s heavy and groovy. Breaking desks time.
Hand me your doubts, worries and fears
Within this embrace they shall all disappear
A love beyond, a love unreal
This sadness you felt you will no longer feel
We are born into a culture, a tribe which has taken generations to create. Our ancestors who came before us built their own society, invented a way to communicate and solved a lot of problems so we could work on other problems that lurk around the corner.
But no matter how much we advance society, we cannot eradicate doubts, worries and fears. They still exist. The more connected we get, the more alienated we feel. The more we engage socially on-line, the less we do in person. But when we find that right person to engage with and love, when we have our own children, well, that’s a love beyond. No computer or technological gadget can capture that feeling.
This world and all that there is
I give it to you, all to you
Hand me your love and all that you are
Could you promise as I promised you
In many ways, our sacrifices or commitments to each other and our tribes/culture is a small payment to our ancestors who sacrificed and stood up for their rights, to give to us a love unreal. Some of these ancestors we have met in grandparents and some we will never meet.
And that solo. That damn solo. Always has to be a solo.
Do you know it goes for 1 minute and 20 seconds?
Paraphrasing Charlton Heston, “God damn, he blew it all up.”
It’s heartfelt and melodic. If Zakk needs to shred, he shreds at the right time to move from one section to another. It usually doesn’t go more than half a bar. In the end, the solo is melodic like David Gilmour’s melodic lead in the “Comfortably Numb” outro. And every time I hear it, I get goose bumps.
And then it kicks into a section inspired by Black Sabbath.
Hear my words
I speak no lies
The dawn of the new
With open eyes
Our work is to ensure that our great grandchildren have a society to live in, which gives them a voice and they are free to see and decide what is right and what is wrong. It’s only fair. My grandfather went to war for these rights only for us to vote in leaders who want to turn a democratic society into the very same dictatorship our ancestors overthrew. Our leaders want to control the internet and the media. Corporations want our leaders to pass laws to protect their profits. But, it’s changing. Being online and connected has also given us a voice.