Black Sabbath – 13



Here I am on the eve of the official release of the new Black Sabbath album.  I’ve been spinning it since Saturday and…

Let’s address two things before we dive in:

  1.  There is no Bill Ward.  I followed that story pretty closely as it unfolded and I do believe the truth is somewhere in the middle.  I also think they legitimately wanted him on board.  He wanted to be paid for benefit gigs, maybe he wanted more or too much money overall.  Maybe he deserves a substantial pay increase…I don’t know.  But let’s face the fact that he was not in good enough shape to play out a couple of different times the band got together.  Does he still have the chops?  Maybe not.  The fact is he is not on the album.  Live with it.  If you are boycotting the album because of this misfortune you are a fool and you are missing out.
  2. The cover art just plain sucks.  You would think that with the 35 or so years they’ve had they could come up with some better art work for fucks sake.

Haters will hate and they will die alone and miserable having missed out on one of the greatest albums in the BLACK SABBATH catalog.  Negativity is easy, the human psyche gets easily sucked up in the negative, jumping on the bandwagon and bashing whatever victim is the object of their hate.  To take a positive stance often means to take a risk and make oneself vulnerable.

With that said I will declare that all haters can piss off!  This album is fucking awesome!!!  I could get all super descriptive but I am too busy rocking so again I will just simply state something along the line of “this kicks fucking ass!”

I can see Rick Rubin bringing the Sabs together and while making them listen to those first 6 albums picking out the coolest parts of each album and ordering them to write a new song around each idea.  I say that because it’s all here.  ‘13’ is so fucking classic, I mean you get that the first time you listen to it.  I’m on probably my 20th or so listen and I still get goose bumps.  They pull out all the stops from classic Ozzy “oh yeahs” to the 70’s guitar tones to the ‘Planet Caravan’ tripped out jam of ‘Zeitgeist’ and the harmonica.  Yeah that’s right!…Ozzy gets busy on the ol’ harmonica again and it sounds so perfect.

Everyone turns in the performance of (arguably) their careers.  Iommi comes out the winner with some mind blowing guitar work that just blows my fucking mind!  Damn!  How does he do that?  Geezer is probably the busiest bass player ever, the man is a maniacal genius.  Ozzy’s voice is remarkably strong and fits in these epic jams so perfectly.  Is there a little auto tuning going on in there?  Maybe…probably…If so Rubin did a great job of keeping it real and making the Ozman sound human, not robotic.  I was scared of what Ozzy would sound like but damn!  He sounds great and like I said earlier, turns in his best performance since maybe ‘No Rest for the Wicked’.  Oh…and the drummer just plain kills it!  He does a great Bill Ward impersonation keeping it true to the SABBATH sound if just a little more aggressive.

Lyrically I get the feeling that through many of the songs they are exploring their own mortality and questioning what lies beyond.  Listen to and read the lyrics and I think you’ll pick up what I am laying down here.  It’s inevitable right?  With Dio having passed a few years ago and Iommi’s own battle with cancer I think it’s safe to say Ozzy and company know that the Reaper is watching them closely at this point.  “I don’t want to live forever, but I don’t want to die.”

Every song is stand out track.  It’s really hard to pick a favorite but it seems like the album gets better as it progresses.  ‘God is Dead’ was the first single and although it had some great parts I wasn’t that sold at first.  But I have to say the song is growing on me.  For reference I will name a couple of my faves and that would be ‘Loser’ and ‘Damaged Soul’.  Fucking epic!

On a side note I’m pretty sure the Sab dudes were getting high as fuck while writing and recording this masterpiece.  You just get that vibe…If ya’ know what I mean.

I declare album of the year…I don’t know how this could possibly be passed up by anyone else.  As a lifelong fan I am ecstatic that they were able to capture the spirit again and be able to do something like this not just for the fans but more importantly, for themselves.  They are certainly going out on a “high” note.


I really wanted to include a clip of ‘Damaged Soul’ but couldn’t find a good one…here’s ‘Loser’ though…Dig it.




~ by thrashpunx on June 10, 2013.

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