You’ve got 35 years between the end of Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne, and the reuniting of Black Sabbath with Ozzy; as far as studio albums go.
In the meantime, after 1979, Ozzy became a household name on his own, making 11 albums. Black Sabbath ALSO recorded 11 albums post- Ozzy, (I’m counting Heaven and Hell with this) with 5 other vocalists and numerous other members; with Tony Iommi being the only constant. Now I’m NOT going to count the other individual projects that other members had because then it’s just getting ridiculous.
So. The album, with the now cliche and overused album title 13.
You take the first 4 albums from Black Sabbath, put them in a blender, take the classic elements of what the band is known for, and literally… 13 is just that. You could NOT make a more by-the-numbers Sabbath album. Which is EXACTLY what everyone has waited 3 1/2 decades for.
You can hear direct traces of Black Sabbath and War Pigs ( End of the Beginning, God is Dead?), N.I.B. and Sweet Leaf ( Loner), andPlanet Caravan ( Zeitgeist) spread throughout. So much so that you’ll instantly feel like you’ve heard the songs before… and you’re glad that you do.
The simple fact of the matter is this: You are a fan of Black Sabbath. You are a fan of this album. All 11 songs are very listenable and enjoyable.
NO Bill Ward is not on this album. Unfortunately. However. When you listen to the songs, you honestly don’t think about it.
If this happens to the very last Black Sabbath studio recording. I don’t think we’ll complain. But I do think with this rejuvenation, they should continue with atleast 1-2 more while they still can. Tony Iommi‘s never going to run out of riffs. That’s a given.
My only real grievance with anything is the lyrics. Certain songs completely contradict what Ozzy was just saying, aaaaand there’s a lot of things we’ve heard before by many other bands. But aside from that. Really. I think it sounds pretty damn great, and Ozzy sounds great for a man in his mid-60’s.
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