I don’t know what organized crime has to do with bluesy heavy metal about slamming back beers and slamming skulls, but damn, if it’s this good, I want to be a goodfella too. This is heavy metal the way it was meant to be, no hardcore breakdown or emo vocals here, no whining about breakups or abusive parents, just catchy, to-the-point songs about war, drinking and sex.

Zakk Wylde, the guitar god behind this outfit, is more Neanderthal than wise guy, using his axe to chop through songs like “Suicide Messiah” and “Say What You Will” with even more brutality and less subtlety than his most direct ancestor, Black Sabbath. There’s no noticeable evolution from his previous efforts, but evolution is for pussies.

Despite being of an inferior species, Wylde has figured out that good songwriting is more important than hopping on trends, and he’s pounding out music that he clearly loves. Take that, Homo sapiens. He may not have invented the wheel, but he’s honed it to the point of perfection, even throwing in some piano and acoustic interludes to keep it rolling smoothly. None of this has anything to do with the Mafia, but the Godfather-inspired cover art is cool.

Grade: A

Mafia is currently available.