Black Sabbath will make a huge return in June with 13, their first album with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler since 1978's Never Say Die! What's more, today marks the 43rd anniversary of the original U.K. release of their debut album, Black Sabbath, and the band is celebrating by releasing this glimpse into their studio as they record the new album. "You can't always repeat what you've done, you've just got to go on," says Butler in the clip. "It'll be today's version of where it was 40 years ago, I suppose.
April 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, Black Sabbath threw a super secret private party for a hand-picked group of media members and VIPs to get the first listen to their upcoming album, ‘13.’
The event began with Jack Osbourne, who welcomed the crowd and showed a mini-documentary about the making of the album. After the film came the preview. In total, eight of 13's songs were played, and, based on their perceptions – both of which were very positive – here is a track-by-track breakdown of what can be expected when it is released on June 11.
‘End of the Beginning’ — At eight minutes, it’s a little long for an album opener. Still, the “understated, melodic eeriness” of it, coupled with the musical interplay of Geezer Butler and new drummer Brad Wilk over some vintage Tony Iommi riffs, make it a winner.
‘God Is Dead?’ — This was the song featured in the 27-second video of the album art. The lyric concerns “a bleak future and questions the existence of a higher being, given some of the hard times on Earth” and also scored points for its B-section, with a riff reminiscent of ‘Holy in the Sky.’
‘Loner‘ — A “more traditional rocker” in the vein of ‘N.I.B.,’ with Iommi and Wilk singled out for their work on it.
‘Zeitgeist‘ — The mellowest and, according to black-sabbath.com, weakest song of the eight played, who finds it “evocative of Planet Caravan.” However, Ozzy Osbourne‘s vocals and the “stark and desolate imagery” were noted by Loudwire.
‘Age of Reason‘ — Arguably the album’s strongest song, and one that the entire audience loved. It features several time shifts, a breakdown and a killer guitar solo.
‘Live Forever’ — A good song, but not great, with another lyric about mortality (as if that’s a shock) and several “fist-pumping, headbanging moments.”
‘Damaged Soul’ — Black Sabbath doing what amounts to a nearly eight-minute heavy blues jam. Your feelings about the song will be contingent upon your willingness to hear that.
‘Dear Father’ — This was featured in the video of the band in the studio, where producer Rick Rubin asks Osbourne to do another take. One riff evokes the song ‘Black Sabbath,’ which could be deliberate. The song ends with the sound of a thunderstorm and church bells...just perfect.
Following the preview, the three members of Black Sabbbath – Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler – appeared onstage and thanked the audience for attending.
"It's different altogether now," Butler adds later. "We have much more of a thing going than what it was [in those] days." Ozzy also feels invigorated with their current incarnation, which features Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk as replacement for Bill Ward (who dropped out of the reunion in May). "I wanted to sound current," says Ozzy, "yet still have that Sabbath vibe." 13 will be released in June and is produced by Rick Rubin.
until next time,