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The Power Of The Riff reviews “13”


With our great pleasure we publish this wonderful review written by a hugest Sabbath fan and our brother blogger Austin Sheils. This words come directly from the heart and soul of a true die hard:

“Here it is the final day of judgement, the day all Sabbath fans have awaited for what has seemed like an eternity and then some. The first album be bear the Sabbath name in 18 years and the first Sabbath album with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer in 35 years, that my friends is older than a lot of those who will pick up a copy of this album myself included being only the ripe old age of 32. It's not been an easy road by a long shot for Sabbath to finally get to where they are today we all know the history which I will not go into only to say this is the single most important Sabbath album ever. An album born from human heartache, struggle and the undeniable bond of friendship. Like the mythical phoenix from the ashes a Sabbath reborn and here we have the musical document that is 13, a triumph of Sabbath proportions. A good title for the album would have been Perseverance such is the hardships the band had to go through in order for us fans to have this new Sabbath album. And what about the music how does it live up to the Sabbath of old. This album it is clear from the moment the first note comes like a proverbial storm from your speakers to be exactly how the band envisioned it and said it would be, a modern version of how it was back then. This album really could of followed the first three albums and only for the modern production nobody would tell the difference. I hear a lot of detractors saying how Ozzy can't handle it anymore that he couldn't sing as well as he once did although Ozzy in his prime was able to sing a song like "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' or "Symptom of the universe" two extremely demanding songs which he may no longer be able to sing but yet he still has that one thing no other singer could ever have and that is his unique Ozziness which he still has in abundance, the ever eternal peter pan of metal. Ozzy with out a doubt puts in one of the performances of his life and at times reminds of his Blizzard of Ozz period. Geezers bass lines are forever the pummelling backbone to Tony's riffs and yes the master still has more than one or two tricks up his sleeve and then some after all these years, churning out memorable riff after riff in only the way the he can. It is something truly beautiful to behold Tony Iommi with a guitar in his hands. Geezer still has a lot of interesting things to say in his lyrics and it seems age has not quieten or dampened his curiosity to explore those deepest darkest corners of the human mind. And the big question is Bill's presence missed and the answer honestly is no. Brad Wilk puts in a great performance and really adds an extra touch to the music with his drum fills, that said for any Sabbath fan Bill would of been the icing on the cake but sadly it wasn't meant to be. Of course there are familiar moments but this is only to be expected coming from a band who has such a unique and distinct signature sound. It feels like meeting a dear old friend after many years out in the wilderness once you press the play button on this monster of an album all the years in between fade away as if 35 years ago was yesterday. "The beginning of the end" gives us an up to date "Black Sabbath" and "God is dead" is a thought provoking journey through pure Sabbath perfection. We also get a surprising part two to "Planet Caravan" in "Zeitgeist" which just floors me to hear such magic again after all this time, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would hear Sabbath do a song remotely like this again, it almost brought a tear to my eye. My favorite song has to be "Damaged Soul" which brings the band full circle to the first album with an unbelievable blues jam and some of Tony's greatest guitar work evoking the spirit of the greatest blues men who have gone before. I can understand the casual Sabbath listener being disappointed but for all those veteran Sabbath fans or those who own all of their albums I can not understand this being anything less than a welcome return of a dear old friend and another timeless album to add to our collections and become another part to the soundtrack of our lives. Welcome back Sabbath in all your glory. I write a lot about music but Sabbath are the only band where the English language fails me for I could never put into words what the music of Sabbath means to me and at the end of the day any review of this album is a mere futile attempt to describe the perfection of the universe.”

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Austin Sheils for Power Off The Riff,  9 June 2013


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