Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath
‘God Is Dead’

www.blacksabbath.com

It took 35 years for Black Sabbath to write and release a new track and here it is, an 8:51 minute heavy metal journey for 2013.

God Is Dead‘ is the first piece of music released last night from their new album ’13’, Black Sabbath’s first studio LP with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978. The question is though, is this any good?

The song was produced by legendary producer Rick Rubin, famous for his work with the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Slayer and plenty more. It was said that he asked the band to deliver something for him to work with that would be up there with the first 4 Sabbath albums. On reflection, ‘God Is Dead’ has taken elements of those classic breakdowns we all know so well; the graveyard production and those trademark Iommi heavy riffs and even Ozzy’s voice sounds like he just about gets away with it, although some will argue that he clearly has nothing left to give due to the effects on this recording. For me, the end section of this track is where it all comes together. Seven minutes in, Sabbath are absolutely flying, Ozzy is on point and you are shipped back to 1970 where it all began.

You have to give it up to them on actually making this record. We are talking about 60 year old men here. Most old codgers can’t even make it to the john in time, let alone write and record a nineteenth album. The Stooges made a complete mess of their comeback record this month; in comparison, this track kicks its arse.

The chances of this song going down in rock history like classics such as ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’ or ‘Paranoid’ though is slim. ‘God Is Dead’ lacks any of the songwriting skills needed to be logged in the Sabbath hall of fame and lyrically it’s about as entertaining as the news of Rolf Harris being arrested this morning. The fact that the band have left drummer Bill Ward out of the band for this whilst he is fully active in Orange County and added Audioslave’s Brad Wilk adds more mental torture ahead of the release of 13, but have a listen and make your own opinions.

Overall, this tells us that metal’s darkest lords could have have some good stuff up their wizard sleeves and with the positive force from Nietzsche here on their cover, maybe their new album scheduled for release on June 11th will pull off a miracle we never thought would ever happen.

New Black Sabbath album announced without Bill Ward

Rock legends BLACK SABBATH have announced the title of their new album, ’13’ over the weekend, which will be released this coming June. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler are all involved, but Bill Ward’s involvement on drums has been overlooked following last summer’s tour where Ward was also not involved.

Bill Ward has been replaced by Brad Wilk who has previously hit drums for Rage Against The Machine. So sad to think that they could do this to Bill after all these years. We also noticed that their new website has chopped Bill’s image from every photo.

Bill Ward issues contract beef with Black Sabbath

Oh dear. This was posted on the Sabbath’s drummer’s facebook page 2 hrs ago:

Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,

At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.

Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.

Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”

The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, Ialso have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.

If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.

So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.

My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.

That’s the story so far.

Stay safe and stay strong.

I love every single one of you.

–Bill Ward

Original Black Sabbath line-up to reunite

Black Sabbath will return with their original line-up for a tour and new album.

Tony Iommi told local press in Birmingham that he and Ozzy had written new material in June, adding:

“We’re really looking forward to it and I think the stuff we’ve been writing is really good…It’s more back to the old original stuff…It’s all been very hush-hush. Ozzy’s been the worst at trying to hold it back. He’s doing a lot of TV and he’s being asked stuff about a reunion and he’s going, ‘Well, I never say never.’ He told me, ‘I don’t know what to say.”

Bill Ward, who recently had an operation, is the only member not 100% simply due to health problems but everyone is hoping he’s able to be a part of the reunion. It’s the first time this line-up has toured since 2005 and the album will be their first since 1978.