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 Black Sabbath 13 Review

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GuyIncognito
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PostSubject: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:17 am



Alright, it's been 35 years since the Sabbath has released an album with Ozzy Osbourne and the question on everybody's mind is whether or not the band still has the ability to create an album is a step above mediocre. The last album produced under the Black Sabbath name was Forbidden, a rather forgettable album (I had to actually look it up because I forgot the name), showing the band to kind of go out with a whimper. About 14 years, Sabbath released another album with the Mob Rules lineup under the name of Heaven & Hell. The Devil You Know was Dio's last studio album and had some memorable songs on it. It showed that Iommi & Butler could still create some decent music. Now, 43 years after Sabbath's first studio album, and though I was upset about the absense of Bill Ward, I'm still pleased with what they were able to pull off.

The album starts off with The End of the Beginning. This song has a nice Black Sabbath (song) sort of intro to it and eventually picks up the pace. It feels like it drags on at parts in the beginning and near the end. The playing by Geezer, Tony, & Wilk are very strong while Ozzy's voice feels strained. This is a pretty good opening track and I'd rate it a 6/10.

The next song, "God is Dead?" came out a few weeks ago and I thought it was a very meh track. It felt lazy and really dragged on. It was boring and the lyrics were cheesy. It has a fantastic doomy feeling at first, but the lyrics and length of the song really killed it. Ozzy's singing again is quite weak and the only great moment of the song is the jam at the end. At almost ten minutes long, this song feels like a chore whenever I've listened to it. When I first heard it, it sounded like it was a throwaway song from The Devil You Know. And the music video that accompanies it now is just as bad. It's full of vague against society messages and has all the visual effects you'd use in Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. I'll give this a 4/10

The third song "Loner" feels like a throwback to NIB. It sounds a little like that song but without the sludgy dirty feeling to it. It's sounds a lot more polished. The chorus is catchy and feels like something you'd find on an Ozzy solo record. After the meandering chore of "God is Dead?" this song is quite refreshing. It's among the shorter songs on the album and doesn't overstay its welcome. "Loner" gets a 8/10

Now onto "Zeitgeist", the estranged cousin of "Planet Caravan". The drumming is similar, creating an almost identical atmosphere to it. At first when I heard it, I didn't much like it but now it's grown on me like the strange little parasite it is. This one gets a 6.5/10

The rest of the album really starts to pick up pace. In "Age of Reason", Iommi has some very heavy riffs and commanded my attention. With the dreamy softness of "Zeitgeist" this song kicks in your teeth and keeps you from falling asleep. This solo at the end is great and overall, the song never loses its pace. Like previous Sabbath Epics, it was able to keep my attention throughout the song. It's an 8/10.

"Live Forever" is another weakish track. Ozzy's singing isn't very great and the lyrics are cheesy once again. It's a typical song by an old band talking about the end. It's a rather forgettable track other than Ozzy crying "I don't wanna live foreva! But I don' wanna die!" That's about all it does. 5.5/10

The penultimate song on the album "Damaged Soul" is my favorite on the album. I call it the Carl Panzram of the album. It degrades the rest of the record like Panzram did some 1000 unfortunate men in the 1920's. It has the bluesy/metal sound that Sabbath first displayed on Black Sabbath. It has mutliple guitar solos and Ozzy breaks out the harmonica. For Cream/Hendrix blues fans this is a great flashback to that kind of sound with the heavy twist created by Iommi. It thunders on and shames the rest of the album for not being this song. I'd say it's the only song that really can stand alongside Sabbath's classic albums, but Ozzy's weak singing brings my rating from a 10 down to a 9.5/10

The final song, "Dear Father" is a pretty decent closer. It starts off a bit weak but grows as it goes along. Ozzy's singing is weak at first, but gets better as it goes along. At first it feels like he's singing for another modern solo album except for the occasional "Oh yeah". The song feels more evil than most of the others on the song and is a fitting end to this unlikely reunion. The song ends with the rumbling of thunder and the bells that chimed at the beginning of "Black Sabbath". 8/10.

Based on the average of the songs I've rated, the album gets a 7/10. I'd say it's their best album since Mob Rules or Dehumanizer. And as far as their work with Ozzy, it's better than Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die!, but still falls behind the rest of their 70's discography. It was nice to hear the band release another album that still shows why they are regarded as the creators of heavy metal, but it doesn't have that instant appeal that the older records had. I didn't expect it to be another Paranoid or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and I was right not to think so. It matched my expectations so I'm rather pleased with it. It's worth a listen, but it may end up gathering some dust aside from a track or two that I may regularly listen to. The lyrics are rather cheesy at times but Iommi still holds the title of riff master. His work on this album is still quit epic. Songs that I would most recommend from this album are "Loner", "Age of Reason", "Damaged Soul", "and "Dear Father"

That's my first music review, I'll see if I improve with future albums. It may have helped if I did this as I listened to the entire album, but I did it most from memory.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:22 am

good review,still unsure about it though. saw part of their music video and thought it was pretty good though.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:26 am

And since I'm a cheap bastard, I didn't get the bonus songs so no reviews on them. Also, I probably should have expanded more on Tony & Geezer's overall excellence throughout the record. Most of the problems stemmed from Ozzy
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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:09 am

I think this record may be testament to bands like the Rolling Stones: you have to know when to quit. A shame about the actual songwriting being decent, but if you didn't see this album coming and think "Ozzy will fuck this up a way or another despite his legacy," then I'm not sure what to tell you. I think he checked out.

I checked out the video too and it was everything I expected it to be. They're going to have some trouble trying to recapture the grandeur of their otherwise incredible career.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:22 pm

Personally, I would never ever put Rolling Stones in the same sentence as. Black Sabbath. But yeah.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:15 pm

Personally or not, if you can't see the easy comparison that they're both old news that took their shot at influencing music, then came back far too late, then I apologize for my offense.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:38 pm

relax man, i just wanted to get my same sentence joke in

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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:29 pm

I listened to it. It's sad when the clone bands write better music than the original. It's also on the bottom tier of Sabbath material since stuff like Tyr and Headless Cross are miles ahead of this album.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Sabbath 13 Review   Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:50 am

Well my new album high is over with this album. I guess I wrote that review a little too prematurely. I was still in the honeymoon phase with the album. I see it as a solid effort, but aside from probably 2 or 3 pretty good songs, it isn't anything special. However I'll still rank Steven Wilson & Rush's latest albums among the best of their respective years.
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