New Music

Black Sabbath’s 13 = Metal’s Magnum Opus

  • June 16, 2013
  • 3 min read

Black Sabbath 13
Heavy metal godfather’s Black Sabbath return to their thrones 33 years after their last record together with the original line-up (minus drummer Bill Ward who left due to contractual disagreements). The most shocking thing about this record is that it sounds as though they never left each other. They pick-up very differently from where they left off too. The members of Black Sabbath are all clean from drugs, married with kids and getting along; very well we might add. Not only have they overcome the odds with their most recent release 13 but they’ve actually went well beyond expectations of every critic. Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine notably takes the place of original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward on the album and fills the spot rather nicely.

The thrash of Tony Iommi’s guitar sets right in on “End Of The Beginning” giving birth to the tone of this tenebrous record. Ozzy sings “Is this the end of the beginning? Or The Beginning of the end?” The methodic and slow build-up of the song lead to a classic Iommi guitar solo that echoes early Sabbath pre-Master of Reality era.

“God Is Dead”, the first single Sabbath released, is one of the more memorable tracks from 13. Iommi gives us a classic Sabbath metal riff and the doom gloom sound on the track is a sound that Sabbath can proudly say they created. The song takes off right before we hear Ozzy sing “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide…” The band leads us into a metal frenzy similar to “Faires Wear Boots.”

Geezer Butler’s lyrics resonate against the hard pounding drums, murky vocals and high power riffs/solos. Butler’s work especially shines through on the track “Loner”, in which Butler writes about a man suffering from a psychiatric disorder that leads him to a life of isolation. Ozzy ominously sings “He keeps himself concealed, a solitary man, an enigmatic child a riddle never solved.”

The track that deviates from the rest of the album is probably one of the most stellar tracks of all. “Zeitgeist” uses a bongo drum, an acoustic guitar and an arty jazz run at the end that still has a metallic heft. The track is a continuation of Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan.” Once again Ozzy’s voice is distorted as though he’s singing through water or a thick fog.

“Live Forever” is quite possibly Sabbath’s finest heavy metal track in years. The satirical grit and growl of Ozzy and the condescending lyrics of Butler work perfectly together against a bed of instrumentals that carry power similar to “Hole In The Sky” from Sabotage. 

The nearly eight-minute track, “Damaged Soul”, has all the elements of a classic Sabbath song with a harmonica reminiscent of that on “The Wizard”, heavy echo on Ozzy’s vocals, stupendous guitar thrashing by Iommi, hypnotic drum beats & powerful bass work by Butler.

The last song on the album ends as Sabbath’s first album began – – a steeple bell ringing, thunder and rain. “Dear Father” has the potential to become a huge commercial single for Sabbath and showcases Iommi’s incredible guitar tactics here.

The founding members of heavy metal reign the genre with this marvel of metal proving that age, drugs, death, life changes, world changes and technologic changes haven’t come in between them and their abilities to make some of the best music of their careers.

-Chris Ryan

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About Author

Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan is an accomplished promoter, event planner, producer, activist, counselor, poet and blogger. Within the course of two and a half years Chris Ryan has worked with some of NYC's most established promoters/event planners, been named 2007′s GaySocialite of the year, granted a promoter of the year award from NYC's most famous gay establishment, Splash. He's worked in some of NYC's top venues including; Avalon, Capitale, Cipriani, Cielo, Pacha, Element, Le Poisson Rouge, XL, G Lounge, Plumm, Hilton Hotel, Indigo Hotel, Spirit, Myst/Quo, Splash, The Ritz, Vlada, Roseland Ballroom, Heaven, etc. In 2008, Chris Ryan has begun to unveil some of the most innovative & unique parties New York City has ever seen. The Fusion events "fuse" together all disciplines of art into an event that remains diverse yet cohesive at the same time. won best gay promotions website from NYC Event Patrons in 2008 & he was granted an award from the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Gov. Patterson & Michelle Clunie (QAF) saluting him for his hard work in nightlife. Chris Ryan has also begun working with many renown companies, including; doctors, lawyers, physicians, modeling agencies & more. Chris Ryan has been responsible for wide-scale promotions for all these companies & generating tremendous business. Chris Ryan has even started to become National with events taking place in LA & Miami this year. In May of 2009 Chris Ryan received the very prestigious honor of being named a "40 Under 40″ Gays in America by the Advocate Magazine. He also created three successful parties that generated over 1,500 patrons each. In January of 2010 Chris Ryan was featured as one of the top promoters to look out for in Noize Magazine Chris Ryan joined forces with legendary promoter/event producer, Lee Chappell and created one of the most talked about events of all 2010, Desire @ Capitale. Chris Ryan and Lee featured one of the most outstanding artists NYC has ever seen, "Oh Land." Her performance coupled with an exquisite and unforgettable set design added to this extravagant event that held over 1,000 patrons in one of NYC's most successful PRIDE events! Chris Ryan then joined forces with legendary Pacha promoter, Rob Fernandez in addition to Jake Resnicow and Tommy Marinelli to bring one of the largest and most successful parties worldwide to NYC, MATINEE. The event on Governor's Island saw over 2,000+ attendees and one of the most ambitious productions ever. In 2011 Chris Ryan started Emerge Music Promotions with business partner Darren Melchiorre. Emerge Music promotions began signing artists with plans to develop and market the artists to the community at large. Emerge Music promotions has big events planned for 2012 and 2013. Chris Ryan debuted the IMAGE events which took place on top of two of NYC's most beautiful rooftop venues, Rare View and Indigo Hotel. The events were blogged everywhere and featured the fashion designs of several clothing designers, artists and photographers. Chris Ryan felt that fashion and art should be displayed at every event and attracted the likes of Malan Breton, Calvin Klein and even Katy Perry. Chris Ryan began an extremely successful event which incorporated the concept of a house party into a nightclub atmosphere. The event Twist'D at G Lounge has been one of the most talked about events in NYC and allows it's audience to play nearly-naked Twister, beer pong, flip cup & more with other attendees. Chris Ryan was granted an excellence in volunteering award from AVP (Anti-Violence Project) for all his efforts in supporting the organization. 2013 has a very promising landscape on the horizon and Chris Ryan is complacent in saying "you haven't seen anything yet!"

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