ETA June 2013
What They’re Saying
After playing the whole we’re-not-getting-back-together-AHA-we-ARE-getting-back-together back-and-forth right up until they announced their reformation, Black Sabbath have been equally reticent about letting details slip about the new album they’ve been promising will be out sometime in 2013. Obviously the diagnosis of guitarist Tony Iommi, with Lymphoma, as well as the prolonged contractual hoo-hah with original drummer, Bill Ward, have added unforseen delays to the project, but they’re cracking on and getting down to the business of recording their new album right damn now if the photo Ozzy Osbourne published on his Facebook page last week is anything to go by:
Of course, the big news that broke this weekend just gone (on the 13th no less – ha ha, nice one guys), is not only that the new album is going to be called 13 (something that Ozzy himself hinted at back in June last year), but that the studio drum work on 13 is being provided by none other than Brad Wilk, drummer of rap-rock pioneers, Rage Against The Machine. Nope, we didn’t see that one coming. We wonder if Tommy Clufetos did either, or whether he found out via Twitter, i.e., the way Zakk Wylde found out he wasn’t in Ozzy Osbourne’s band anymore?
There are a few other snippets of information that have snuck out about the album – unsurprisingly, don’t expect Sabbath to suddenly be chucking out an ill-conceived dubstep album. Geezer Butler has said of the new album that “it’s really back to the old Sabbath style and sound”. Metal Injection have collated a number of known facts about the album together here – the band are allegedly recording fifteen songs in total, with twelve of them being used for inclusion on the album, with the remaining three being used as bonus tracks for various special and/or limited edition versions of the album. You know what we’re talking about right? There’ll be an iTunes-exclusive track, and a physical copy exclusive, and a oh-God-thiis-just-encourages-people-to-illegally-download-the-bonus-tracks-they-don’t-have version (probably). Hey, we’ve just realised – twelve standard tracks with one added bonus track is thirteen. Thirteen? 13? Get it? Yeah.
Oh, NME have the video of Ozzy talking about the recording and hinting about the name from last June, but because NME are all a bit possessive about sharing content and stuff like that, we can’t embed it without engaging in some cheeky content ripping. So you’ll have to go over to NME.com to watch it. Sorry.
Thrash Hits verdict:
We’d be idiots to say that the first Black Sabbath album for 18 years, and the first featuring Ozzy, Iommi and Butler for THIRTY FIVE BLOODY YEARS isn’t a big deal. It’s a BLOODY BIG DEAL. They might have only confirmed the title of one song so far – the cheerily-titled ‘God Is Dead’ – suggests the band. The last full album that Tony Iommi played on, Heaven & Hell only studio album The Devil You Know, was a veritably feast of riffs, and we’e got no doubt that he’s been cooking up something equally as tasty in the four years since that record first appeared.
That Rick Rubin’s producing it is something of a mixed blessing, sure, he’s worked on some veritable classic metal albums, but not everyone who’s worked with him is entirely complimentary of his “producing style” – just ask Slipknot’s Corey Taylor. Likewise, while we’re longtime fans of Rage Against The Machine, we’d still rather have seen Ozzy, Tony and Geezer come to an arrangement with Bill Ward to work on this album – let’s face it, this will probably be the final Black Sabbath album (bear in mind, this album has been mooted in some shape or form since 1997 – over sixteen years ago), and no matter how good Wilk’s work will be on it, it would’ve been a fine and fitting end to Black Sabbath’s recorded legacy to see the four founder members reunited for one last album. Oh well.