The best metal album of 2012 was Pallbearer’s fantastic Sorrow And Extinction, an album heavily indebted to Ozzy-era Black Sabbath. Yes, of course, all metal is heavily indebted to Ozzy-era Black Sabbath — they’re the primogenitors of the whole thing — but Sorrow was especially so, due to the combination of doomy, downtuned, beautifully powerful guitars and the vocals of Brett Campbell, whose delivery and timbre bore many important similarities to Ozzy’s — and Ozzy remains the most effective metal vocalist of all time. Along with being a remarkable record in its own right, Sorrow served as a serendipitous companion to news of a new album from a reunited Sabbath. Hey, why not? After all, Ozzy’s voice has aged terrifically well, and there’s no reason Tony Iommi can’t continue to write crushing riffs, right? Put the two of them, plus original bassist Geezer Butler and Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk, in a studio with Rick Rubin, and the odds seem pretty OK that something of value will be recorded. Today, we’ve got the first track to be released from that album, 13 (as in 2013; it’s the band’s 19th LP overall and their ninth with Ozzy, their first together after a 35-year split). And “God Is Dead?” is just about as good as you could possibly expect from three dudes in their mid-60s. Actually, it’s much better than that. The nearly 10-minute track has like half a dozen (or more) towering, ominous riffs from Iommi, some great bass runs from Butler, and a classic-era performance from Ozzy, whose voice really is ageless. Listen.

Comments (24)
  1. Needs more Bill Ward…


    This is legit Sabbath, all things considered.

  2. Holy crap. This is killer.

  3. Pretty good. Surprised at the new direction incorporating sampling. Though not sure “IHeartRadio OnDemand” is the best sample choice.

  4. I’m sure it *is* epic, but the “iHeart Radio on demand” sprinkled throughout really ruined it for me.

  5. Shout out to your boi, Nietzsche!

    Put the ideas of history’s most tortured soul, Ozzy’s Black Sabbath, and 21st century mid-song advertisements for some damned radio station and what do you get? AWESOME POSTMODERNISM.

    Opossum out!

  6. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  7. Just me, or does Geezer Butler look like Walter White in that picture?

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  9. Surprisingly good

  10. We blogged this metal pearl as well – They are over 60 and still kicking ass!


  11. Iommi’s style spawned a million imitators but the original is unmistakable. Very very good.

  12. Black Sabbath – “Where Am I?”
    Black Sabbath – “I Live Here?”
    Black Sabbath – “But, I Don’t Have a Son?”
    Black Sabbath – “Did You Take My Money?”
    Black Sabbath – “Oh, Did I Mess My Trousers?”

  13. what can i say,,,,fuck yea?

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