Saturday, June 29, 2013

REVIEW: BLACK SABBATH - 13


So it took me almost 3 weeks to listen to Black Sabbath’s new album, and I’m ashamed. I decided to head into listening to this album a few ticks before midnight, fittingly unsober, and live-Tweet my experience. Below are my streaming thoughts.

  1. Here we go. "End of the Beginning." Sounds like the title track on Black Sabbath's self-titled. Just needs bell tolls.
  2. Ozzy should have asked himself all of these questions when he was making that dirty MTV money.
  3. Nice groovy riff reminds me of "Under the Sun." Entombed did a pretty crunchy cover of that I 1st heard as a "Same Difference" bonus track.
  4. Iommi can play that solo over and over while I do any shitty chore and make it look awesome. Heavy metal dish washing, here I come.
  5. Go get those higher register notes, Oz. Atta boy. Reminds me of when Tom Petty hit those "Freefallin" notes at the Super Bowl.

  1. "God Is Dead?" Only song I've already heard already, but this time it's about 400 times louder and I'm considerably less sober.
  2. This is really heavy, folks. And this vocal pattern is ultra catchy, even if Ozzy's voice has been fixed by robots.
  3. I like the idea of God and Satan on his shoulders. Those angels are like God's interns, no power. Go straight to the top.
  4. Forgot about this riff in the 6th minute. Makes me want to set myself on fire and ride a motorcycle to Hell's drive-in theater.
  5. Pretty sure there are too many voices in Ozzy's head for him to hear what one specifically is saying.

  1. "Loner" sounds like "Sweet Leaf" a little, huh? Like if they milked it of its swagger and made the guitars sound like RATM.
  2. Speaking of Rage, Brad Wilk was a great choice for this album in theory, but so far it's been really uptight.
  3. My top choices for drummers on this album: 1)Joe LaCazze/Eyehategod. 2)Kyle Spence/Harvey Milk. 3) Brad Wilk. And, oh yeah, Bill Ward.

  1. "Zeitgeist." So far sounds like if Rick Rubin was ruining a Pink Floyd song.
  2. This song would be so much better if Brooklyn band NAAM recorded it.

  1. "Age Of Reason." Did someone tell Wilk to sever all of the personality out of his drumming? That dude's good, what's going on here?
  2. Can hear a little of Edgar Winters' heavier stuff in this song. Makes me wish I was listening to "Frankenstein."
  3. Half-way through the third minute this gets interesting. Flashes of hardcore, at least it's an influence past 1974.

  1. "Live Forever." Depending on how you pronounce "live" it could also mean and endless concert.
  2. Vocals wayyyyy high in the mix. Too bad because this heavy bluesy momentum is formidable.
  3. When Ozzy says "Waiting for the rising of the moon" it made me picture him as a werewolf with round purple sunglasses.
  4. The doomy part of this song makes me think of "I Want You "She's So Heavy" from The Beatles. Way underrated heavy riff.

  1. "Damaged Soul." You should always buy shipping insurance before mailing a fragile soul. Common sense, Geezer.
  2. Sounds like an "End of the Beginning" remix meant as a soundtrack for tongue kissing in a dark smoky room.
  3. Most of these songs aren't bad, but Iommi is the only performer who sounds immortal on these record.
  4. 6+ minutes in, and the harmonica finally makes sense. I wanna wear fabric torn from a priest's robe as a bandana and rock out.

  1. "Dear Father." Lyrics sound serious, was hoping it was a letter penned in college asking daddy for drug money.
  2. Sounds like Geezer is doing some cool stuff in that mix, but Rubin hid the bass. SEEN AND NOT HEARD, BASS LINE.
  3. 4 minutes in the song grows balls, and then the vocals are so loud that they shrivel immediately.
  4. FINALLY, WILK SHOWS UP. These are the sort of loose, flashy, mostly unnecessary fills that made Sabbath a real rock band. Nice ending.

  1. “Methademic.” The intensity vanished for a little bit now, and this music would fit on Ghost's debut album, before they adopted BC.
  2. Not among Iommi's best solos on this album. Sort of sounds tired, like maybe blood sugar is low and he needs some yogurt or a banana.
  3. Song was crazy uneven, but a few of these moments are the hardest Sabbath has rocked on this album.

  1. "Peace of Mind." I'll take "obvious wordplay" for $100. And "uninspiring riffs" for $200.
  2. Another good Wilk performance at least, even though musically they sound more like Mr. Big than Black Sabbath right now.
  3. They need to either Jethro Tull it up with a flute or Focus it up with rock'n'roll yodeling. Oh wait, Focus had flute too. FOCUS IT UP.

  1. "Pariah." How dare Ozzy ever utter the words "addicted to sobriety," even if it's about someone else.
  2. These riffs would have fit in with Kansas before they tried turning into shitty arena rock and changed their name to Black Kansas.
  3. Clean guitar is only there to make the distortion sound heavier. It's like Bud Abbott to Lou Costello.
  4. Rhyming "pariah" with "desire" deserves a high five and a hug.
  5. ALBUM OVER. Inconsistent, but I had a good time. 6/10, would have a 7 if Rubin kept his beard out of everything.
  6. Also, I like the album cover just for reminding me of the Nicolas Cage/Neil LaBute "Wicker Man" shitshow of a remake. #BlackSabbath

So 6/10 isn’t bad, right? As expected, moments of inspired rock’n’roll and some of their heaviest riffs to date, but revisiting their best work (either unintentionally or on the sly) and the frustrating production from Rick Rubin knocked off a few points. I’m not too upset by the whole enterprise, and I’m not even mourning how I spent a Friday night. Adequate job, guys. Adequate job.



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