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Black Sabbath - 13 (2013) review

Black Sabbath "13" (Vertigo, 2013)

Sometimes it is hard to perceive new music from old classic bands or to understand it right from the first listening. So, after almost 3 months from the release date, and practically day-to-day listening, here are a few of words about this album.
First thing you`ll notice when you start playing it is of course modern production. Rick Rubin did a great job in modernizing the Sabbath`s well known sound from the 70s and 80s. Even though it`s modernized it is still the same 40+ year old Sabbath, with well-known atmosphere and blood shaking sound.
“The end of the beginning” is actually the best way of opening the album, with Iommi`s traditional style dark and slow, painkilling and hell raising kind of riff. Ozzy`s singing sounds nice, probably better than on many of his latest solo albums. Rubin managed to force him to play sing long octaves, like he did before he started his solo career in the 80s, and got into the whole melodic hard n` heavy music. A lot of doubling the vocal tracks, point up the unique color and energy of Ozzy`s voice. Second song “Is God dead?” is another BS`s classic sounding tune. First two “eight-minute” songs open the story called “return of the metal gods”. Third song “Loner” is probably one of the album`s highlights, reminding of their mid-70s creations. It is followed by fantastic “Zeitgeist” (Spirit of the age), recorded in the manner of Paranoid`s “Planet Caravan”. Even if in many reviews, these two songs are being linked, this is a new song with fantastic lyrics and great music. “Age of Reason” is another BS heavy tune, accompanied with great riff by genius Iommi. “Live Forever” with Ozzy shouting “I don`t wanna live forever, but I don`t wanna die, I may be dreaming or whatever, I live inside a lie!” is a true example of heavy driving tune. Album closes with two heavy rocking songs – magnificent anathema “Damaged Soul” and dark “Dear Father”. One hour of pure old school heavy metal.
Geezer Butler did great work with lyrics through the entire album, leaving impressions of experienced and wise poet.
There`s not much to say about the musicians… Three veteran-legends plus Rage Against the Machine`s drummer Brad Wilk, who came in for Bill Ward (who was slowing down the whole reunion thing with legal issues, leaving the other band members on hold for a long time before Iommi told him that they are moving without him).

With three months until the end of 2013, we can surely say that this is the best metal issue so far this year. Is it psychedelic? Well it`s Black Sabbath – of course it`s psychedelic baby!

Review made by Andrija Babovic/2013
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Jelena Bajic said...

Great review! And I agree that it's the best metal record issued this year:D

northierthanthou said...

I wasn't too impressed with this one myself, but I'm happy to see them still going. Didn't imagine that possible back in High School.