RoD header


blacksabbath 13
Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 7th June 2013
Label: Vertigo / Universal

Album Review

I don’t think it’s possible not to have heard of BLACK SABBATH. Which Heavy Metal fan out there would not know that what has made Britain Great is that it gave birth to Heavy Metal and that this legendary band has a massive part in it? Therefore even a lengthy career doesn’t need a lengthy introduction, so let’s not bother and get the tit bits of interest out of the way first instead: their 19th studio album ‘13’ features the three of the original line-up including the fact that it’s also the band’s first full album since ‘Never Say Die!’ (released in 1978) with Ozzy Osbourne back in the seat as a vocalist.

Rick Ruben seems to be the guy to call up when you want to resurrect a career so here he is. Is it also coincidence that there is a song called ‘Zeitgeist’ here? The distortion would have you think that he tried to hold the pulse on the zeitgeist but why should fathers of Heavy Metal be chasing after the sons? This comes as an obstacle in the opening ‘End of the Beginning’ (though it probably was a plus with it featuring in an episode of ‘CSI’), luckily though within the rest of the album it doesn’t grate as much as there. As a whole it’s a comeback to gloomier, bluesy and proggy sound performed with obvious musical skills that never went away especially when it comes to Tony Iommi and it's what imparts the impression - ‘yes, they still manage to pull it off’ rather than introducing the granddad rock cringe feeling when listening to it.

Brad Wilk of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE (as Bill Ward couldn’t have been had), their session drummer, sometimes thinks himself to still be on the stage with RATM rather than Sabbath but it’s not completely distracting, if not entirely suitable. The bluesy tones especially suit its melancholy existential ponderings and Ozzy really tries to put himself behind them with sincerity that really makes me forgive him the fact he allowed his wife to cash on his caricature in the reality TV bullshit or the gossip magazines, that sad boulevard of celebrity cult. ‘God Is Dead?’ can especially illustrate the existential pondering being poised on a search for hope, in Ozzy’s words: "I was in somebody's office and there was a magazine on a table and it just said, 'God Is Dead', and I suddenly thought about 9/11 and all these terrorist things and religion and how many people have died in the name of religion. When you think about the tragedy that's happened throughout time, it just came in my head. You'd think by now that their God would have stopped people dying in the name of, so I just starting thinking that people must be thinking, 'Where is God? God is dead' and it just hit me."

The hope that Ozzy reaches for is that he believes that regardless of all that, God is still there. My own hope then would be that God is not a bastard but comatose kind of cosmic parent (though it’s still neglect!). It’s a tad bit on a self-conscious side that stands in front of a mirror and wants to appeal. ‘Loner’ for me though has this uplifting, hope-giving thing a lot more,  brimming with delightful solos, and head-banging invitations written over it, not to mention that you’d want to sing along with the old devil. The aforementioned ‘Zeitgeist’ stands in for a slower, stripped by the acoustic element, number albeit don’t expect a ballad. ‘Damaged Soul’ really gives a celebratory tone to the musical times past, not in a nostalgic kind of way but really giving a feel of the best of it, a sense of gratefulness. It’s bluesy, funky, and heavy as hell, Hendrix grinning there behind the curtain somewhere.

Though it goes back to their roots, it doesn’t seek to replicate them or to continue on paving the way, they’re just enjoying their love of music here and all one can do is to have fun along with it.


01. End of the Beginning
02. God Is Dead?
03. Loner
04. Zeitgeist
05. Age of Reason
06. Live Forever
07. Damaged Soul
08. Dear Father


Ozzy Osbourne – vocals
Tony Iommi – guitar
Geezer Butler – bass

Websites /

Cover Picture

blacksabbath 13


Music: 8
Sound: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

Comments powered by CComment