Evil never dies, and neither does Black Sabbath.
In the wake of a handful of kinda-sorta-reunion dates last summer (drummer Bill Ward remains on the sidelines), the reconvened Black Sabbath announced more details about their upcoming album. Titled 13, the Rick Rubin-produced batch of songs will hit stores in June. Rage Against the Machine skinsman Brad Wilk will be sitting in for Ward, and the album represents the first under the Black Sabbath name since 1995’s Forbidden (which only featured one original band member, and was also super-terrible), and the first Ozzy-led Sabbath collection since 1978’s Never Say Die! (which was also pretty underwhelming).
The band also announced a handful of new tour dates that will take them to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan starting in April.
This year is only a few weeks old, but it has already proven to be a pretty underwhelming year for comebacks. Justin Timberlake, Destiny’s Child, and David Bowie have all stormed the gates after long layoffs, and all three have elicited more shrugs than gasps. Sabbath’s legacy is already set in stone, as their incredible five-album run from 1970 to 1973 (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath) not only brought modern heavy metal to the masses but also pushed the boundaries of how loud — and heavy — arena rock could be.
But Sabbath was only just okay during their shows last summer, and Ozzy Osbourne’s 21st century solo output has been spotty at best, and both Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi worked on the totally acceptable Sabbath-esque Heaven & Hell album in 2006. (The less said about Iommi’s solo work, including his Santana-esque solo album that saw him team up with modern stars like Dave Grohl and Serj Tankian, the better.) Rick Rubin does have the ability to take artists past their prime and making them sound vital again, but 13 has an uphill battle in front of it.
What are your thoughts on a new Black Sabbath album? What will the addition of Wilk bring to the recording? And what’s your favorite Sabbath song? Leave your darkness in the comments.
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