Sabbath Resurrected

The music is classic Sabbath with hardly any compromising to contemporary standards in the genre.

Written by Shantanu David | Published: August 10, 2013 4:37:53 am

Album:13

Band:Black Sabbath

MUsic:Universal

Rs 417 (Amazon)

****

It was in the end of August 1969,that the world was introduced to heavy metal in the sleepy English town of Workington. A band called Black Sabbath,comprising four members including Ozzy Osbourne,an ex-convict vocalist,and Tony Iommi,a lead guitarist with the tips of two of his fingers sliced off in an industrial accident,played their first gig and created an entirely new genre of music. After a decade of redefining the hard rock genre,Osbourne was summarily dismissed due to his spiralling drug abuse,though the band continued to make a mark in world music. Some 34 years later,the band’s original line-up (barring cancer-stricken drummer Bill Ward,who is replaced by Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machines) came together to bring out their latest offering,13,the standard release of which has eight tracks and a deluxe edition,which has 11.

Essentially,the album picks up from where the original line-up left off,never mind the progressions made in the genre in the last three decades. Black Sabbath really has nothing left to prove. They have come together to just have a good time. The music is classic Sabbath with hardly any compromising to contemporary standards in the genre. And boy,does it sound good.

The album starts in an eerily familiar way with a mid-tempo power riff,a la Iommi,a shimmering on cymbals and an extremely heavy single-toned bass line. And then Osbourne breaks into Is this the end of the beginning? Or the beginning of the end?,and you find yourself grinning. 13 has started with Beginning of the end.

The darkness comes in stronger waves with the next track,God is dead?,despite its rather camp lyrics (Butler’s fascination with simple rhyming is apparently yet to play itself out). But to make up for the simplistic lines,this is musically the heaviest track in the album. The song really belongs to Butler and his uncomplicated bass line,which the man plays with such brutality that it turns a doom metal track into the soundtrack for the Apocalypse. The next track,Loner,is less emphatic on the gloom doom front,but with interesting time changes. A sense of deja vu returns with Zeitgeist,which is essentially Planet caravan (from 1970’s Paranoid) reborn,this time with a Moorish tonal quality. Damaged soul has a blues feel to it,especially with Iommi’s frequent down-tempo solos and strong backing by Butler and Wilk. This is the band revisiting their heavy blues roots from the late ’60s before they decided to exchange their hats for cowls. Dear father,is a brooding piece.

The next three songs,Methademic,Peace of mind and Pariah are more experimental,perhaps one of the reasons why they weren’t included in the normal release. In any case,they are pure ear candy.

shantanu.david@expressindia.com

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