Fireworks

Black Sabbath - '13' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     November 02, 2013    
 
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The first new album from Black Sabbath in a million years will be brilliant, won’t it?

Alright, OK. The first new album from Black Sabbath in a million years. This will be brilliant...won't it?? Well first off, we all have to remember that it is not the original B.S. as to be the original B.S. it has to include Bill Ward, which, like last year at Download, it doesn't, and this is a thorn in my side. (Brad Wilk does the drumming here).

Right, got that off my chest. Secondly, if a band gets back together after a million years, do we really expect them to come out with stuff as good as their past best right from the start? Well, I wouldn't, while it would appear that everyone else did, judging by the pre-release reviews. And let's not forget, if the sheep paradigm kicks in straight away, then they were on to a loser right from the start, weren't they?

Track one then, 'End Of The Beginning,' sounds like typical Sabbath, doom laden chords to start, transforming into up tempo, storm trooping riffs, with the unmistakable voice of Ozzy. I had heard a stream of 'God Is Dead' on t'interweb and thought it was OK even then, and 'Loner' seriously reminds me of something else, probably done by Sabbath on an earlier occasion, but I just can't put my finger on it. 'Zeitgeist' really threw me as I think it sounds awfully like Alice Cooper, both in the style of the song and in the way Ozzy sings it.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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If I do have any serious criticism, then it is probably the fact that the album seems to plod on at times, maybe because of the slow tempos of some of the songs, 'Age Of Reason' in particular, which is 7 minutes long, (five tracks on here are all over 7 minutes; 'God Is Dead' is almost 9:00), and features a quite lengthy guitar solo and not many lyrics. 'Live Forever' is a little more up-tempo and considerably shorter at a little under 5 minutes, while 'Damaged Soul' goes back down to a pace that you just want to kick it up the arse until it does actually pick up at 6:20. There is also another lengthy guitar workout from Iommi and a bit of harmonica from Ozzy, and not many lyrics, again. Final track 'Dear Father' is probably the nearest to 'old style' Sabbath that you will get on here, with some classic sounding choruses, a dramatic change for the middle 8 and a feeling that this what they should have gone for throughout the whole album.

To my mind, nothing will ever eclipse the album 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,' and we all know how long ago that was, so as I said, it is easy to slate them for this album, and it's not the greatest, but what do you expect after all this time off? I just like to think that better is still to come.

Andy B

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