Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Black Sabbath; " 13"

We put the Masters of Reality up on a pedestal due to who they are but have forgotten their Hands of doom have been very human and very flawed in the past.   Unlike David Bowie , Sabbath’s body of work was pretty spotty after Sabotage , with Never Say Die and Technical Ecstasy  being downright silly but having a few good moments, the Dio years were strong and I think I wanted dehumanize to better than in fact it was , we won’t even get into How bad the album Forbidden was, then take into consideration how bad Ozzy’s solo work has been for over a decade Ozzmosis was really the last album worth a shit and the deck is stacked against them as far a my expectations, if you couple this with the lack luster single “God is Dead”.
Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine is the drumming on this and it goes against his normal style but her adapts well, I would have chosen a more metal drummer but oh well…

 the Opener which is the second single that premiered on CSi, which was a very metal choice for them, but thank Sharon for her dedication to besmirching the Sabbath Legacy.  It’s not a bad song, is it color by numbers for them? Yes and with Rick Rubin producing it, there is a very organic warmth to it think somewhere between a Danzig album and the in your face dryness of Reign in Blood.  It sounds like heavier solo Ozzy because of his worn out vocals don’t have the bite they did of the original albums. I think the multi tracked  chorus effected production of his vocals on his solo albums does his voice more justice. But this song passes for what I will expect from a Sabbath reunion of sorts.

“God is Dead” gets another listen to me an here’s hoping the media player I first heard it on was compressing the shit out of it as they tend to do. The vocals sound better than I remember so that helps and I like what he is doing on the verses. The lyrics are reheated cliches I think Geezer should have overseen then more than Ozzy, the melodies are more solo Ozzy than Sabbath.

“Loner” has more of an arena rock swagger to it than I would think they would take , almost going back to No Rest For the Wicked  cock rock Ozzy if it was produced with a Queens of the Stoneage faux sludge. This would be good solo Ozzy and as I have predicted better than post-Born Again Sabbath, but not classic.  The solo is the most concerning aspect of this one because it sounds like Mick Mars not Iommi, who I have long considered to be one of the great under rate soloists.

“Zeitgeist” goes to quick to the Planet Caravan balladry for my tastes, but I the effects on Ozzy’s voice and Geezer showcases some very tasteful melodic playing on his part. Iommi does whip out a cool solo toward the end but overall it’s a little too “ Momma I’m Coming Home” for me. “ Age of Reason” once again reminds me of the one song I use to like off “Ozzmosis” but is not on par for Sabbath but isn’t shabby for an Ozzy solo album, which for practical purposes this is just with Butler and Iommi on the payroll. Which is how Sharon sees it I’m sure and IT would sell more in this day and age with the Sabbath brand rather than as a another solo Ozzy album which most metal fans as a reality tv buffoon who use to be in a really awesome band but tolerate like a crazy uncle.

“Live Forever” sounds like pretty generic metal riffs, that sure at one time they might have left their thumbprint on but it would put them in the same boat like band such as Motorhead who only rips themselves off. The same could be said for “Damaged Soul” but it does so with more conviction and the vocal production works better. Once again there’s too much of a wink at bands they have influenced , in this case Down or bluesier Pantera, with Iommi on  autopilot until it comes to letting it rip on the solos , however on auto pilot these guys are better than the bands they spawned. The vocals on the bridge also sound more like Sabbath and less like solo Ozzy which is a plus in my book.  The closer “Dear Father” has a doomish creep to it and Ozzy’s voice is well aware of its limitations is shielded by suitable production. Is this going to win over any new fans? I doubt it , it doesn't exactly school the kids on the magnitude of influence the originators of metal have had but for old timers it hits enough of a sweet lead spot on the nostalgic heartstrings to satisfy the black masses, but really how many of these songs will they really try to put up against the classics live ?    I’ll give this an 8 as it’s more like a 7 as a Black Sabbath album but the best shit Ozzy has personally done in 15 years .   

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