Written by GE 138.
That's a pretty sick looking cover. The actual '13' thing is pretty tame though, which is pretty much how I feel about this album. I'm not even getting into the whole 'original lineup reunion' bullshit, because, let's face it, no Bill Ward, no original line up reunion, simple as that, and this album was promised as an all original reunion release, but whatever. I'm just taking this album based on what it is and how it sounds on it's own, and I'm still disappointed. They totally phoned it on on this album. Every song on here just drones and drones and drones on, and every riff, every beat, it sounds 'very similar' to other classic Sabbath tunes. Opening track End Of The Beginning sounds ALOT like the song Black Sabbath, Loner sounds like N.I.B., Zeitgeist sounds like Laguna Sunrise, etc. I'm sure this might have a little to do with Producer Rick Rubin's influence, as he's done the same thing before with Metallica and ZZ Top. And it's so heavy it's boring, if that makes any sense. All the songs are ragas, averaging in the 7-8 minutes in length category. Snooze. All the elements are there - Ozzy's still singing about the Devil, Jesus, the notion of God being dead, which is funny coming from a self admitted Christian man of the Lord, but whatever. Yeah, nobody does Tony Iommi better than Tony Iommi, and his guitar sound on this release is absolutely ghastly in it's immense size and depth and tone, and Geezer's bass playing is still in my Top 10 of all time, but somehow this just doesn't rock, and it hurts me to say that, because no bigger Black Sabbath fan will you ever find. Is it because the guy from Rage Against The Machine played drums on this? Maybe. Who ever considered him to be a good drummer anyways? Rage's stuff was rudimentary at best, and he definitely lacks Bill's swing and bombast and ability to just sit in the pocket and ride the groove. I had high hopes for this album, I really did, but ultimately, I'm disappointed and can only ponder the 'what if's' about it. Phooey.
Available from Republic / Vertigo Records worldwide.