Black Sabbath – 13 album review.

Today’s turn is of a very new album from a very old band that’s been around since 1968. 13 is the name of the newest material released by Heavy Metal founders/pioneers (pick the one option you like the most). 13 is the first Black Sabbath’s album in the last 35 years to feature Ozzy, Tony and Geezer once again (which is 75% of the original line-up) previous one was 1978’s Never Say Die.
After that, Ozzy was kicked out of the band in 1979 and he later pursued a solo career, which I really like as well. Good thing it happened though, Randy Roads anyone?, yeah, I thought so.

I have to say I don’t really know what I was really expecting out of this album but I really like how the overall actual result of the album turned out to be. Hell, I wasn’t aiming too high either, wasn’t expecting something that could fight the spot head to head with quadruple-platinum album Paranoid or anything of the sort, but the actual result really did amaze me. I wasn’t aiming too low either, like many of you non-believers were!, shame on you guys.

I have to note how “full” the album sounds, it fills the space really well, that is some well-achieved feeling of the album, and one of the coolest things in the production, done by no other than Rick Rubin so it figures. It shows newer bands that you don’t necessarily have to make a hundred guitar tracks in each individual song to achieve that “full” sound to it (take notes, losers!).
I like how I can hear the bass so very clearly, very powerful, cool guitars as always by the hand of Tony Iommi. Ozzy’s voice, although it sounds very cool in some songs and fit really well the feeling of the album, it is just a studio thing only ‘cause live Ozzy doesn’t sound like this anymore, we all know this, but I can’t say anything about the prince of darkness, he’s my favourite and could pull any shit he wanted to, he could bang my grandmother and I’d thank him for doing so… anyway. Such a powerful album but clearly lacks Bill Ward.
I also like the fact that they didn’t give up with the lengthy songs.

Also, what’s up with bands naming their albums 13 being so popular these days?.

Album: 13

Band: Black Sabbath (England).

Released: 11/June/2013

Tracklist:

1) End of the Beginning

2) God is Dead?

3) Loner

4) Zeitgeist

5) Age of Reason

6) Live Forever

7) Damaged Soul

8) Dear Father

I’m not a fan of deluxe or bonus editions so… I won’t list those exclusive version tracks.

Length: 53:18.
End of the beginning is pretty ironic, because it isn’t the end of the beginning, it is the beginning of the end. Ozzy makes a really spot-on question: is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? I hope the later and not the former, ha. The last minutes of the song are made of a cool base and endless shredding by Tony, so fucking cool. The song itself is good from the moment it starts ‘til it ends, it also has a powerful sound throughout the whole duration of the track, me likey.

God is Dead? Is the song everybody already listened to and everybody who did, claimed how it was the failure of a song they were expecting “because they were old as shit” and how they were sounding completely different and reuniting once again just for the dough. Well, I wouldn’t dare to claim such sacrilegious things about the fathers of our everything but the moment I listened at it I was somehow with mixed feelings, now I even enjoy it.
It’s a pretty slow song, yes it is. However, it sounds really well and it’s a very well made song. It has highs, lows and peaks. Clean sounding guitar and a bass with an I’M HERE attitude while Ozzy’s singing, and then distorted power chords and riffs kick in, with all this being said, it is boring at certain times and passages and very fun and enjoyable at certain other times and passages.

Loner starts with a riff that sounds really Hard-Rockish, it has a few certain points that I enjoyed -musically speaking- and the really short solo, the voice doesn’t  adds to it all that much. The track is really weak in my opinion, I didn’t like it that much, the weakest track of the album I might dare to say.

The song Zeitgeist introduces us to a side that is rarely seen and very un-Sabbath, An acoustic song featuring percussions –which I dislike– but the bass and the guitar along with the voice are some good sounding shit! Plus, kudos for that clean guitar solo, it is really un-Sabbath-ish of them, but also cool that they put themselves out of the box and actually do these kinds of songs, I think this will be the least favourite song of the album for most of you, but it has some really great things in it.

I like the drum intro of Age of Reason, and how the instruments “integrate” to it. I like the guitar riff and the bass line after the first verse. Drum fills by Brad Wilk are also very nice, he really did a good job with drums, with that being said, he ain’t no Bill Ward, sadly.
It’s a very simple yet very effective little track. I love how full it sounds, I have to say it again, While Tony’s doing his thing with the solo, the drum and bass alone can hold the track just the two of them just right.

Live forever has a very cool beat to it; it reminds me of some 80’s metal beat. It slows down here and there (in the choruses) and then in the verses it retakes the cool beat. Tony’s solos are effective as fuck, after the solo and just moments before the track ends is my favourite part of the song.
And no, Ozzy, I don’t want you to die either, you have to outlive Hanna Montana (and you will) my British fellow.

Damaged Soul brought me back in time (like most of this album). Are we back in the cool 70’s, dude? Peace, Love and Fucking good music!. Cool guitar licks and riffs, I really like how the melody line of the voice works throughout the entire song, leaded and followed by the main guitar lick of the song. The part where it’s just the bass and drums alone, later for Ozzy to join them Is radical.
The warmth of Tony’s guitar tone is amazing, pure tube amp, Old School Style.
Towards the ending part, the song just explodes and rocks even more, some classic Sabbath shit going on in here, filled with lots of cool guitar works, effective basses that hold up it all and some well executed drums accompanied by good vocals. Favourite track of the album.
This song also features a Harmonica played by no other than Ozzy Osbourne.

Dear Father has a voice/guitar working together, playing/singing in some parts almost the same, it’s very cool and it shows why these guys know each other for centuries ago, the verses are actually also pretty cool, with a not-so-clean guitar doing arpeggios and Ozzy’s voice in the spotlight, among all tracks, this is where I like the voice the most, it has lots of different connotations and the changing music helps developing that idea even further.

Lyrics are cool, not the strongest I’ve heard written by Geezer, but they are among my top 5.

I love the final mix of the album, how Rick Rubin made the album sound like and how everybody in the band helped for it to sound like it does, it does sounds Huge. Everything coexist peacefully with everything else, the bass is fucking crystal clear hearable, something that didn’t happen in every Black Sabbath studio album. This is also one of the best albums of black Sabbath in a long time and overall, if I might dare to say so.

I also like the fact that the songs in the album are never stationary, they never settle for anything less, they could just repeat riffs and musical structures again and again and Ozzy could just sing about the same things over and over again an abuse catchy-choruses centred song structures but it’s like they are never conform with that, songs constantly change, sounding very cool, adding much more to it, sounding really alike but different altogether, it’s a weird vibe, it is fresh.
A very nice comeback indeed with Sabbath’s unmistakably signature sound in it with Ozzy’s voice, recognizable by everyone within seconds and doing the mix between raw Heavy Metal and dirty Hard Rock with a Bluesy touch to it only they know how to do to form a final product that is this good. How I would like to be around the scene for the past 45 years and still sound like this.

13 is a cool album, really.

13/10.

13 will be available from June 11th and onwards, get your copy or I’ll haunt your thoughts.

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