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Published: 2013/08/01
by Nancy Dunham

Black Sabbath


It’s ok – we won’t tell anyone you’re into Black Sabbath and its new album 13.
It’s tough not to be when you consider this is the first time the original band — well, minus the persnickety drummer Bill Ward — has come together since the lads kicked Ozzy to the curb in 1978 and plucked Ronnie James Dio out of Rainbow to fill the lead vocal slot. And today’s Sabbath band sounds as good — really — as they did when they were in their early ‘70s heyday.

Clearly plenty happened during those 3 ½ decades including Ozzy becoming — in the words of Jay-Z — “not a businessman, but a business, man!” with royal rock status in his own right.

Yet for all the love and kudos heaped on Ozzy and his music, Sabbath is truly an example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The question was if the onetime poor school boys from Birmingham — who cooked up songs that are some of the biggest rock anthems ever starting with the band’s self titled debut (“N.I.B.”, “Evil Woman,” the title track), Paranoid (the title, of course, plus “Iron Man” and “Fairies Wear Boots”) and…Well, you get the idea — could recapture the cool heavy rock that is their trademark.

No doubt. Right from the first track, “End of the Beginning,” lead guitarist extraordinaire Tony Iommi rolls out the big riffs and Ozzy jumps in with his slow, distinctive war chants on “End of the Beginning,” a dark, pounding song that is more than a just a bit reminiscent of “War Pigs.”

And forget naysayers that harp Rage Against the Machine’s drummer Brad Wilk, who plays drums on this album is a poor substitute for Ward. If anything, Wilk and chief Sabbath songwriter/bassist Terry “Geezer” Butler, bring a new energy to Sabbath’s percussion.

Indeed, 13 is no a retread of music past. Consider both “Age of Reason” and “Peace of Mind” put slightly different twists on the big bold Sabbath sound that conjures up the smell of cheap wine and weed to those of a certain age.

Credit uber producer Rick Rubin for shepherding Sabbath back to their classic sound.


There are 4 comments associated with this post

Chris Saliba August 8, 2013, 07:29:02

It was 1992, i was 14 years old and like most teenagers i felt insecure, alone and kind of the odd one out.
One day i found an old L.P my uncle had accidentally left in my mums collection of Cliff Richard and Monkeys records.
It had an odd picture of a pale woman in black in front of an old Church enshrouded in dense woods.
So i sat in my room,chucked my headphones on,closed the door and killed the lights.
I was taken into a creepy yet mesmerising setting,rain distant church bells then DAAAA DAAAAAAAA such a massive explosion of doom, man i was hooked. I felt this sort of dark, secret, guardian/weapon in my life and Black Sabbath was it’s name.
From then till now being 37 with the ebbs and flows in my life Black Sabbath has always been there.
After saying all that 13 didn’t corrupt me as much as back then but it sure made me realise why i love this band so much.
The songs are huge and riffy and well thought out .
My favourite would be God is dead especially when Toni breaks out into that cool riff on his own and everyone kicks in balls blaring.
The album is still growing on me even though ive heard it more than 50 times over.
I’m not saying it takes that many times for me to like it,
I liked it from the first riff, i’m just saying i appreciate it more after listening to it a few times.
God bless Black Sabbath

Debbie Downer August 11, 2013, 02:45:18

So you liked the album? That’s great. Unfortunately a review is not the place to state your opinion of the work, but to disect and analyze the work. What is your break down of the album? What is the flow of the album? Let’s look at some of the new riffs Tommy has come up with. Did you even listen to the album all the way through? I challenge you to do better than this. I beg you to do better than this. You are better than this.

jambandguy August 12, 2013, 15:52:25

I like Sabbath. And will buy the album because music is a nice escape. Not a Sabbath head if there is such a thing but felt compelled to write. It never amazes me how serious people…Debbie Downer…get. It is a website that tells about music for crissake! Not a final exam in a music critic course. so many people write here bitchin’ about spelling or what date a song was first played and by who. Jeez. Relax. Your mother named you right, Debbie Downer. As did my neighbors mother. Dick.

David August 16, 2013, 19:10:18


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