Perhaps we can forgive Ozzy Osbourne for saying, “I told you so.”
It’s been 30 years since trailblazing heavy-metal group Black Sabbath recorded its last album of apocalyptic songs, and clearly, things have gotten a lot worse on Planet Earth.
The gloom-and-doom sound of Osbourne, “Geezer” Butler and Tony Iommi (original drummer Bill Ward has been replaced by Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine) provides an updated soundtrack for the would-be doomsday era in which we live. Throw in some nostalgia for the rough-and-tumble era of early English metal, and you’ve got a compelling case for buying a copy of “13,” the new fire-and-brimstone album produced by Grammy winner Rick Rubin.
It’s the group’s first studio album with Osbourne (the former reality TV star) since the ghoulish “Never Say Die!” in 1978.
The dirge-like, eight-minute “End of the Beginning” is the opening track, followed by another eight-minute song, “God Is Dead?” (the latter is the album’s first single). “Faded dreams and nuclear fission,” Osbourne sings in his trademark whine on “Zeitgeist.” “Damaged Soul,” a blend of hard rock, blues and bad-ass boogie, is the most entertaining tune.
With its thunderous riffs and demonic decibels, “13” lives up to the band’s legacy as creators of the heavy-metal genre.