Track List Band Members
1- End Of Begining Ozzy Osburne- Vocals
2- God Is Dead? Tony Iommi- Guitar
3- Loner Geezer Butler- Bass
4- Zeitgeist Brad Wilk- Session Drummer
5- Age Of Reason
6- Live Forever Produced By: Rick Rubin
7- Damaged Soul Official Site: http://www.blacksabbath.com
8- Dear Father Label: Vertigo
As is always the case, at least for me, when you hear of a come back or reunion album, you always get nervous. Will it at least be good? Will it ruin the legacy? Will it deliver? I will say that this one delivers. It is refreshing to hear that they didn’t disappoint on this one. Big riffs, melodic solos, great bass lines and yes you can even understand Ozzy singing. The only thing that is missing is Bill Ward. Ward was replaced by Brad Wilk on drums for the album (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave). He did a superb job filling in. Rick Rubin, I believe at least brought the classic sound back, now every track isn’t going to knock your socks off but I think the album does what it’s supposed to do.
End Of The Beginning opens the album, and if you listen to the lyrics, one would think they are taking a tongue in cheek approach to their reunion and record release. But, you could easily find this song on Paranoid. The band didn’t spare anything on this track. This is an 8 minute song, that says something, to open a reunion album with. It puts you in your comfort zone of what is Black Sabbath. The riffs and guitar solo followed by the drums is classic Sabbath. Then we move onto the single, God Is Dead? This (another 8 minute song!), is another track that could have been on one of the early releases. So far so good.
Loner is my favorite song on the album, bar none. If I were them I would release it as a single. This track should be played on every radio station. It is awesome! It almost fits as the sequel to Iron Man. Listen to the lyrics and you will understand. I could write about every track on this record. It is that good to me. Ozzy’s evil laugh on Zeitgeist, is just classic! The bass line and heavy groove that Geezer Butler puts though on Damaged Soul (also, my second fave on the record) is just what the doctor ordered. His performance throughout the record is inspiring. I think one needs to go through this album and just listen to what a masterful job Rick Rubin did to bring back that earthy classic, gloom and doom sound back to Black Sabbath. Tony Iommi doesn’t let down at all. The solos, the riffs, I don’t think he could have done better than this.
In closing, I think the band has been true to its heritage and came up huge winners on this one. The tour which will feature Tommy Clufetos, from Ozzy’s solo band. I can’t wait to see it. In most cases, in scenarios such as this, you don’t usually want to hear the new material, but this time I can’t wait. Black Sabbath in this case can actually makes you believe that one can’t say Never Say Die about them!