Veteran British rock journalist Geoff Barton has penned a review of “13”, the first BLACK SABBATH record in 35 years to feature singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler all playing together, for the new issue of Metal Hammer magazine. He writes, in part: “Gripes? No Bill Ward; replacement drummer Brad Wilk is a little fussy and doesn’t quite have the feel. Similarly, Rick Rubin is no Rodger Bain; the production could be much more primitive. And, with a running time of nearly 70 minutes in deluxe form, the album is overlong. Nevertheless, this comeback is better than anyone could have expected.”
You can read the entire review at MetalHammer.co.uk.
“13” is due out June 11 on Vertigo/Republic. This marks BLACK SABBATH‘s return to Vertigo, their original label, and the group’s first studio album together since 1978’s “Never Say Die!”
Details of the album’s deluxe edition surfaced on April 19, with the band revealing that the eight-song effort will be accompanied by three bonus tracks called “Methademic”, “Peace Of Mind” and “Pariah”.
Several versions of “13” are available for pre-order, including a standard CD, a double CD that includes a second disc of exclusive bonus audio, a heavyweight vinyl album in a gatefold sleeve and a “Super Deluxe Box Set” containing the double CD, the vinyl album, an exclusive DVD documentary on the band’s reunion, 13 photographic prints and hand-written lyrics.
“13” track listing:
01. End Of The Beginning (8:05)
02. God Is Dead? (8:52)
03. Loner (4:59)
04. Zeitgeist (4:37)
05. Age Of Reason (7:01)
06. Live Forever (4:46)
07. Damaged Soul (7:51)
08. Dear Father (7:20)
Deluxe-edition bonus tracks:
09. Methademic (5:57)
10. Peace Of Mind (3:40)
11. Pariah (5:34)
Total running time (with bonus tracks): 68 minutes, 42 seconds
The drum tracks on the album were laid down by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE sticksman Brad Wilk following original drummer Bill Ward‘s decision to bow out of the reunion.
Osbourne went on the BBC in England to discuss the band’s new single, “God Is Dead?” and the inspiration behind the track. Ozzy explained, “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.”
Ozzy added that the question mark at the end of the title is his way of showing that he’s not sure about the answer himself, saying, “At the end of the thing, there’s still a bit of hope because there I sing that I don’t believe that God is dead. It’s just a question of when you see so many dreadful people killing each other with bombs, and blowing the tube trains up and the World Trade Center.”
Ozzy told an Australian radio station that “13” is “mind-blowing,” adding, “It’s better than my wildest dreams; it’s so good.”
SABBATH kicked off its world tour in support of “13” on April 20 in Auckland.
“God Is Dead?” audio stream: