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Black Sabbath - 13 CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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3.75 | 313 ratings

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5 stars Black Sabbath Blasphemy. 13 is my favorite Black Sabbath album ever. There, I said it. 13 = bad ass Black Sabbath. Tis sad, Bill Ward chose not to attend the electric funeral. However, Rage Against The Machine's drummer Brad Wilk hooks into Geezer Butler's berserker bass , riding an exorcism of bazookas and eyrie thunder. Ozzy, the parodical son returns, delivering his best vocal performance since Sabotage. Tony Iommi cranks dozens of fat vintage thick riffs. The man is a riff- monster! It's Alive!

The material is primo and Butler's lyrics ripen like pomegranates smoldering in hell. In the twilight of life, Butler's meditations unearth cursed death fetishes, graves and tombstones yawing, beckoning, inexorably dragging your life, my life toward annihilation, " Is this the end of the beginning? Or the beginning of the end?" Heaven and hell unleashes impending doom as Iommi and Butler weld black diamonds and blood rubies onto their iron man, heavy metal crown. 13 sounds like 1972 yet, it sounds fresh. Catastrophic doom and destruction abound. More hooks than a Hellraiser movie marathon. Iommi's addictive riffs and Ozzy's vocalizations get in my head and I can't get them out!

1. End of the Beginning- Witches sway to a Walpurgis Night doom dirge , Iommi rips out a raw nerve, guitar solo, foreshadowing the accursed 13.

2. God is Dead- Geezer strains Nietzsche through a murder's guilt grater. Riffs crank, caught between Wilks gloomy funeral percussion and Iommi's creepy silky guitar picking. What undead lich resurrected Ozzy from reality tv hell? God maybe dead but Ozzy still kicking...hard-

"Blood on my conscious and murder in my mind. Out of the gloom I rise up from my tomb into impending doom Now my body is my shrine

The blood runs free The rain turns red Give me the wine You keep the bread..."

3. Loner- Most bands would spread all these riffs out over an entire album, an entire career! But not Tony Iommi. The man continuously packs four or more killer riffs into a single song over and over again and again.

4. Zeitgeist- Favorite Black Sabbath slow-mo acoustic song ever! Melodic hypnotic drums. Soaring gorgeous vocal. Beautiful sad guitar lead. Shivers down my spine crescendos.

5. Age of Reason-

"Mystifying silence Talking Peace on Earth. We should judge each other For ourselves not what we're worth.

Sustainable extinction, A fractured human race. A jaded revolution Disappears without a trace.

Always felt that there'd be trouble. Mass distraction hides the truth. Prozac days and sleepless hours. Seeds of change that don't bear fruit."

Hydra fanged bass riffs and guitar crescendos sucked into the mouth of a rhymical Ouroboros.

6. Live Forever- "I don't want to live forever. But I don't want to die" Can you empathize with how Geezer feels? Ozzy's sincerity bleeds through. Convincingly, Ozzy makes the song his own. Classic Sabbath galloping wraith rhythm section... charge!

7. Damaged Soul- Bluesy Ozzy dirge crawls across broken glass. Electric cables stripped of insulation. Harmonica. "I don't mind dying cause I'm already dead. Dying is easy. Living is hard." 13 is a sobering album.

8. Dear Father- Iommi is amazing! Listening to Tony makes me realize how anemic other heavy metal guitarists are.

"DearFather, forsaken You knew what you were doing In silence, your violence Has left my life in ruin, yeah"

And the albums ends...Thunder, rain, and church bells ringing. Full circle.

omphaloskepsis | 5/5 |


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