Well, we were always going to write SOMETHING about it—in this brave new world of hit-chasing and crowd-pleasing, a new Black Sabbath record is quite the boon. Especially if, as you may have noticed, the site in question is known for being something of a holy abattoir. Let’s examine the facts first, shall we?
Fact 1) Black Sabbath used to be pretty brilliant.
There, that’s the facts.
Nothing about 13 is going to change that ‘used to be’ into ‘are’. Not a thing. There are some decent bits, there are some absolutely terrible bits, there’s way too much of it and the artwork is pathetic. Ozzy is drenched in so many effects to mask his ailing pipes that it sounds like Stephen Hawking burst into the studio—obligatory heavy metal horns raised—skidded his wheelchair to a tyre-smoking halt in the vocal booth and refused to leave until he’d overdubbed the whole thing in his best ‘sad robot’ voice.
New drumming man Bradley Wilks has decided to stamp his personal brand on the record by playing so rigidly you could use the drum tracks to satisfy an entire army of porn starlets to their squealing, shuddering completion. Meanwhile, the famed bass of Geezer ‘Geezer’ Butler rumbles away in the background like a disinterested JCB.
There’s a couple of pretty sweet riffs in there though, thanks Tony.