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Considering the fact that most of us were not even born when the band made their first appearance on stage, leaves GeekShizzle a bit humbled to even consider a review of one of the biggest Heavy Metal acts to still walk the earth today.

The album “13” is the first album written and recorded by Black Sabbath in 35 years with Ozzy as the lead vocalist. There were hopes of a reunion of Black Sabbath in 2001, which took a backseat as Ozzy continued his work on a solo album. Some may have been lucky enough to attend the reunion concerts which lead us to believe a studio album may be in the works, however none come to pass.

The album is produced by the award winning and legendary Rick Rubin (co-president of Columbia Records), more known for his work producing albums for Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Green Day, Johnny Cash, Metallica, Neil Diamond, Ours, Jakob Dylan, Adele and Weezer. The production value of the album is commendable with instrumental and rhythm arrangements which provide many twists and turns, throwing a new spin on the classic Heavy rock sound. Older fans will appreciated the old school, to the grind and take no prisoners approach one should expect from the legendary rock band. The “contemporary” production tricks provide a new twist without the poppy comebacks, Ozzy’s awful solo albums were well known for.

Bill Ward was replaced by Brad Wilk, the drummer from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave. Ward failed to join the band for the history making reunion due to financial disputes. Ward, as the original drummer would have been ideal, however Wilk’s all too familiar kickass style provides a contemporary feel which fans will appreciate. Tony Lommi often unleashes his free spirited solos of meandering menace accompanied by Geezer Butler’s grumbling bass.

Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath

I was wondering if Ozzy’s age and medical history would have affected his ability to produce the goods. Age is but a number when it comes to the old battle axe. Ozzy’s vocals are well received with minimal vocal processing. Understated and slow for an opening track, “The End Of The Beginning” is in many ways the announcement of the rebirth of the Heavy Metal rock band. “Loner” brings us a little closer to the “Ozzy magic” with the melody passing through your bones, a cold shiver as the groove descends down your spine. Switching pace with “Zeitgeist”, which takes you away to a far flung place and then you are throw back in the dark pits with “Age of Reason”.

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Highlight tracks: “Loner”, “Zeitgeist”, “Age of Reason”, “Methademic”, “Peace of Mind” and “Pariah”

Conclusion:

Rick Rubin did a fantastic job at bringing Black Sabbath back to life. The record is not over-produced, providing a rawness that sends you back to the old days when music was produced “on the fly”. Lommi slashes many long lasting and interesting solos backed by Butler’s earth trembling bass riffs. Wilk’s energetic, powerhouse presence on the drums, resonates throughout the album. The older albums still holds a special place in my collection with the screeching younger Ozzy scaring the neighbours. Black Sabbath remains timeless in a forever changing modern-day music scene. Their heritage is cemented in this album and well worth the listen.

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[kkstarratings]

 

 

Track list (Deluxe Version)

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No. Title Length
1 End of the Beginning 08:05
2 God Is Dead? 08:52
3 Loner 04:59
4 Zeitgeist 04:37
5 Age of Reason 07:01
6 Live Forever 04:46
7 Damaged Soul 07:51
8 Dear Father 07:20
9 Methademic 05:57
10 Peace of Mind 03:40
11 Pariah 05:34


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