Black Sabbath - 13

Black Sabbath 13 cover
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath, after having done the reunion album with DIO and following his unfortunate demise, seem to do the only logical thing, left to do other than curl up and die – which could have as well happened, when Tony Iommi was diagnosed as well, with some form of cancer, which he seemingly (?!) he seems to have escaped (!?) just marginally and that is an Ozzy reunion album. That was I suppose the original desired, artifact, with the “Psychoman” and “Selling My Soul” singles, being attempts, to do an album, but, deemed too lame and to tame at the time to constitute material worthy of inclusion... right now, probably just because time is running “low” on the fore-runners of the “genre” there are no such considerations, so it's whatever… floats the boat and whatever they could come up with...
I suppose a thing to look into would be the fact that this is not a real “reunion” album as it's missing Bill Ward, instead substituting him with Audioslave and RATM’s Brad Wilk... who’s trying to imitate Ward’s rather monolithic style and while he succeeds up to a point, can’t really masquerade the fact 100%. He does sound, different I suppose... slightly but he does then there’s Ozzy. He’s really borderline acceptable. Somehow, he’s managed to sound better than the robot on say “Black Rain” but gosh… he sounds “corrected” as if, it’s someone else singing his lines with a synthesized voice?! It’s almost THAT bad. TIRED. ZERO EFFORT!
Well, there are GB’s bass grooves of course and Tony’s riffs but even those, don’ sound as fresh or inspired... here. There’s no mega-hit, just some kind of reasonably good moments. All in all there are 8 songs normally, on the formal edition of the album, so, there are not too many of them to begin with.
“End of the Beginning” has a very slow and sad rhythm, almost a funereal atmosphere... not too far away from the eponymous, song that gave the band their name. It does, gain a bit speed after the middle and around the solo... but all in all it’s quite a pessimistic piece, that’s not too bad as an introductory idea, but I suppose, it’s too typical, and too formulaic.
“God is Dead?” that sounded like a complete turn on its own, makes a bit more sense sequenced here, being a mid tempo riffy composition, with a nightmarish verse, that pretty much changes a bit into a chorus, that is nothing more that a different verse… a different rhyme… again... it’s not as bad as first perceived...
“Loner” is a rather stoned out, jammy, hazy tune that seems to lazily dwell in mid tempo territory. While it ain’t too bad it can’t be deemed as something amazing either.
“Zeitgeist” tries to be a modern day “Planet Caravan”… and I suppose maybe it succeeds – somewhat, being possibly one of the most alluring compositions on the album with it’s totally stoned out mode. Obviously, being completely stoned out, while listening to it, is recommended, and it’s likely that it was conceived in some such state…
“Age of Reason” manages to have the first, really GOOD, riff of the album. Something really original, that sticks to the mind. Even the cp, sounds inherently EVIL. GREAT, just GREAT! Ha, ha! Even, Ozzy, makes half an effort here, I suppose... Possibly the best song of the album! On the downside, it sort of veers a bit instrumentally towards the end without any apparent reason, in a jam fashion, they could have really edited it down from 8 minutes to something, more compact, say 5-6 (?) without missing too much.
“Live Forever” is another of those things based on one cool idea on guitar and a cool vocal melody, that interchange for the whole duration of the song, but it sort of wears a little thin after a while… leaving the song to be a rather forgettable experience and not some notable highlight as it should have been.
“Damaged Soul” is yet another slow and pessimistic song with treble guitars playing over some nasty bass overtones… and an Ozzy just spiting vile about all the hardships of life... it’s rather dire... and sorta bluesy in a weird unconventional way.
“Dear Father” is the final song and it’s characterized by a repetitive phat buzzy riff, that’s got Iommi’s signature all over it, heck even Ozzy sounds pretty good on it. It’s pretty heavy and doomy and gloomy for the most part, with the slight exception of a part from somewhere in the middle of the third to somewhere beyond the middle of the fourth minute where things pick up some steam. Oh... and by the way you might just want to check out, how the song ends haha...
OK. The granddaddies of the genre return after 30 or so years with almost their original line-up, just because, Sharon, couldn’t agree on the money. It’s not a terrible album by any means, but it’s not anything groundbreaking. It’s better than I would have thought it would be but worse than you would have hoped it would be. Much worse.
Some $%$#-in mouth magazines will hail this to no end, so they can $ell an extra copy, but hey – all I can say is, that at least, this beats – easily Orchid – all the way to hell and then back. And Ozzy, is like 69! Or less! At least this is the original! I suppose it’s time for them Orchid boys to do an EP… I suppose this album, had to happen, sooner or later, since none of them would die! (oops) Now, having done this and taken this first step, maybe, Black Sabbath, could even try to do an album “TOGETHER”... although that would be like pipe-dreaming... Well until...16? Then?