Published on June 14th, 2013 | by AlexandreG.0
Black Sabbath – 13 Album Review
It’s with special emotion that we make a review of the new album from the veterans Black Sabbath. A lot of fans weren’t even born when Ozzy Osbourne were a member of the band in the 70’s. After 35 years three of the four original members of Black Sabbath (vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler) reunited for the highly anticipated new album ’13 ‘, the successor to the 1995 album Forbidden which buried the good name from the band into the mud, even the members from that time (Iommi, Martin, Murray, Powell and Nicholls) have spoken badly of that album.
The gauge isn’t very high at this point because of that bad album, but it was with great anxiety that we awaited the first single from ’13 ‘, ‘God is Dead ‘. It’s not a bad song as many are claiming, but it’s not a great song either, for a very simple reason: it’s too long! ‘God is Dead’ would be perfect if you jumping from the 4th to the 7th minute!
Much of this anxiety comes along with knowing the age that the members present, and if they would not leave the fans disappointed. Under the tutelage of producer Rick Rubin, it can be said that Black Sabbath struggled to return to the origins: there are elements of blues and mysticism that marked a lot the Ozzy era, and of course a lot of hard rock.
‘Is this the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end?’ asks the 64 years old Ozzy Osbourne, during the first moments of the second single, ‘End of the Beginning’. This song debuted on the television crime drama ‘CSI’ in early June just a week before the album release, and it’s a kick ass heavy metal song, immediately obvious that Tony Iommi proves (again and again…what nonsense he doesn’t have to prove anything at all!) that he is still a master of bringing one awesome guitar riff after another. The following track is ‘Loner’, the groove sound of the Geezer Butler bass throwing energy to the striking voice of Ozzy. ‘Zeitgeist’, will be clearly marked to be compared to ‘Planet Cavern’ from the ultra acclaimed classic Paranoid album, from 1970. ‘Age of Reason’, is again well conducted by Tony Iommi riffs. Special emphasis on the keyboards that give a climate more composed at times. ‘Live Forever’, show why among many other titles, Black Sabbath is also considered the pioneer of Stoner Rock. The track sounds deep, especially if we have in mind that in last year Iommi won a fight against cancer: ‘I do not wanna live forever, but I do not wanna die.’ For the final battle, the band offers us his best performance in ‘Damaged Soul’, highly inspired by the blues, dragged by steady and constant riffs, really great song. In the lyrics, several references to evil, God, demons and Satan… is the all time Black Sabbath. ‘Dear Father’ a well chosen track to close the album. The talent seems to be the few things that can overcome the time for this guys.
A word to Brad Wilk, who replaced Bill Ward on drums: in the album there are moments, such as on the sinistert moment that opens ‘Dear Father’, where Brad Wilk achieves a real chemistry with his elders. He is a really great drum player with a proven track in bands like RATM and Audioslave, but in general it’s difficult to forget the power of Bill Ward which was an integral part to the band’s signature sound.
Black Sabbath survived to a massive list of obstacles: fights, controlling wives, embarrassing reality shows, contractual disputes that separated the original members for 35 years. Even so, the magic is still present. Cohesive and heavy work, bringing back all the qualities that the band’s fans love. The band managed to produce a final piece that can be enjoyed by a Metal fan or just a fan of good rock. And please do not compare this album to the early years, it will be a mistake. Just enjoy…
All lyrics written by Geezer Butler, all music composed by Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Butler.
01. End of the Beginning
02. God Is Dead?
05. Age of Reason
06. Live Forever
07. Damaged Soul
08. Dear Father
Ozzy Osbourne – vocals, harmonica
Tony Iommi – guitar, acoustic guitar
Geezer Butler – bass guita
Brad Wilk – drums, percussion