The band’s first #1 album in many countries
Almost two months ago, I posted on my excitement and anticipation for the new Black Sabbath album. After listening to it a few dozen times since it’s release, I offer up my track-by-track review of the album.
- “End of the Beginning”
– This is the modern day version of the song “Black Sabbath” Not a copy or remake by any means, but a nice recreation of the sound and thundering bass that most of us long time Sabbath fans have played millions of times over the years. A great track to start an album by.
- “God Is Dead?”
– The lead single, which is a great song, but as with most lead singles from any band, this one gets old after a while. I had a good 10-12 listens before I started skipping this track. It’s still got some staying power, but one that I don’t need to acknowledge each time.
– My second favorite song on this album. It’s the recreated comeback of the song “Fairies Wear Boots” and a touch of “N.I.B.” that echoes in part of the chorus/riff transition. Vocals and guitar are spot on here.
– Easily the weakest track on the album. I admit to skipping this one a lot, but I played it at least 12 times just to see if there was any part of it that would grab me a different way. It didn’t.
- “Age of Reason”
– My favorite track on the album, hands down. Which is odd, since it’s the one that sound more like an Ozzy solo creation than something Black Sabbath would create. It’s all Tony on this one that makes me like this one the most. Ozzy’s vocals are great, but again.. song construction and his vocal tone remind me of his solo work.
- “Live Forever”
– One of the two darkest tracks on the album. Heavy riffs, dark beats. Deep vocals. Very old school Sabbath sound. I hear parts of tracks from “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and hints of the end of the song “Black Sabbath” (a minor redeux maybe?). Strong stuff here.
- “Damaged Soul”
– Riff borrowed right out of something on “Vol. 4” but totally not ripped off. It’s the modern sound that makes this another stellar track. Plus the harmonica makes the slightly cheesy lyrics of God and Satan seem not so… cheesy. And Tony’s best solo on the entire album.
- “Dear Father”
– More borrowed sounds, but this is the darkest song on the album. Which is a perfect album ender [not including any of the bonus tracks, if that’s the version you have]. Another set of sounds found on the song “Black Sabbath” ends this song well.
I give most of the credit on this album to Tony Iommi. He fucking kills it and brings it. Rick Rubin’s production is pristine, but damn if Tony isn’t a guitar god that’s reborn on this new album. Geezer’s bass is as dark as ever. Ozzy really sounds great. And guest drummer Brad Wilk brings the past to the present with his masterful skin pounding.
My only wish is to hear some outtakes before Bill Ward left the project. Other than that, I give this album a top notch score. If you are a Sabbath fan and don’t have this album – WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Seriously, go get it.
Then listen to it and leave a comment below.