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.

Kerrang! Awards Gallery feature 2012

kerrangawards2012logoA few pints in and we arrive at the brewery with Enter Shikari to find free booze on tap and some strange frogspawn type food on the ends of wooden spoons. I had to try one but looking back I have no idea what it was. It stayed in my stomach though, washed down with a mohito and a can of weak beer, lunch was done.

Welcome to the Kerrang! Awards 2012, one of our favourite piss up’s of the year. The lovely organisers decided to give us seats next to none other than Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne who sat with his wife Sharon and Kelly. Thankfully there was no dog shit to be seen under the table like in their house of madness. I did check.

As bands and hangers on guzzled champagne, Tenacious D’s Jack Black hit the stage to massive applause and picked up a Service to Rock award, various other awards were handed out to Mastodon, Machine Head, You Me At Six and others, an Aussie comedian laid into the Queen, Slash walked his walk and we threw sausages at emo kids.

We won the Award for stickering up the bogs and playing records badly at the after party. Now we have large hangovers. Thanks Kerrang! Hopefully next year we can can share frogspawn with Slayer. Enjoy the pics.

Ozzy and Sabbath celebrate being the kings of all metal!

blacksabbath_kerrangawards

Enter Shikari won best live band. Rou Reynolds won best skateboard hat of the night and Hero of the Year Award. Drummer Rob Rolfe won the award for the best piss into a bottle on the night.

entershikari_kerrangawards2012

Bring Me The Horizon took the Best Video Award, no pissing involved here.

Ever wondered why Kerrang! Icon Slash is so called?

slash_kerrangawards2012

Yep, of course we drank Tony Iommi’s beer. It was Carlsberg though so no wonder he left it.

The Best British Newcomer Award was well celebrated by While She Sleeps.

whileshesleeps_kerrangawards

Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols welcomed us with open arms.

glenmatlock_crossfire_zacleeks_james sherry
Hawk Eyes love a bit of sausage. Fact.

The man with the best riffs in the biz knows. Inspiration Award won hands down.

blacksabbath_kerrang_awards2012

Pork cocktail anyone?

Find the full award list from the night here.

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

Tony Iommi diagnosed with cancer

The sad news that Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with cancer was announced over Facebook.

The statement says:

“With the news that Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan – the ‘iron man’ of rock n roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery”.

The original band members stated they would move to the UK to continue working on their first album in 33 years so that Iommi could be a part of the writing and recording process whilst he receives treatment.

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.