Black Sabbath – 13
Black Sabbath’s return wasn’t much of a deal for me. First of all, without Bill Ward they’re not really Sabbath, however with Iommi and Geezer still there I hoped they would bring back some of the old stuff. They clearly did not.
The first track released was God is Dead? and it clearly wasn’t a great choice. Having said that, the better tracks on the album are only marginally better. When you hear a Black Sabbath song after years, you, would expect to get goosebumps like the very first time you listened to the intro of Iron Man. This wasn’t even remotely close. Iommi was always known for the “epicness” in his riffs, and the first song released from a new album after several years did not have any epicness in it, neither in the riffs nor the leads. Sign of things to come? Definitely. After listening to the whole album, with a predetermined mindset of wanting to like it, I was disappointed. Like I said, the epicness was amiss. There were no riffs I could take back, no orgasmic solos that would give me goosebumps. The latter half of the album is a tad better than the former. The production too, not a favorite. Though the bass stands out like a Pakistani in Ecuador, it does not quite how I would like Geezer to sound. I would much rather have him sound like the way he did in the intro N.I.B, modernization of this lord of low frequency’s tone borders on the blasphemous. Ozzy sounds much better than expected, albeit I was never a fan of his, admittedly so.
An utter let down, for such a legendary band. Especially after a bundle of years. Quote unquote, Rick Rubin has shat all over this one. Well, thankfully there are only 8 songs to endure. I shall look for memorable riffs and orgasmic solos in other doom bands. A Sabbath album is still a Sabbath album, credit to them for making one, if not for much else. It’s not a Sabbath album we deserve, but it’s the one we need right now.