Black Sabbath – 13
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If this is to be the end of things, it’s a better one then we may have hoped for. Sure there’s no Bill Ward, but Ozzy – who’s back after 35 years – Butler, and Iommi plug the gap admirably with an album that stands up in its surety. At times 13 encroaches on Sabbath’s own past as in the soft stepping of the ‘Planet Caravan’-esque ‘Zeitgeist’, but the groove of ‘Loner’ and stunning guitar/harmonica meeting of bluesy ‘Damaged Soul’ prove there’s enough new ideas as well. The recording style is at odds with itself – talk of Pro Tools and vintage set-ups in close breaths – but this isn’t as polished as it could be. It ends the way it began, with that desolate bell and thunderstorm, closing the circle between debut and return – if this is Black Sabbath’s bow out then it’s the one their legacy deserves.
Freelance writer. Most likely found in a mosh pit. Or maybe Bat Country.
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