I watched Black Sabbath at the Allphones Arena, in Sydney last night and i was wondering, if they are still relevant.
Black Sabbath owned the beginning of the 70’s. Towards the end of that era the band was bleeding and Ozzy was fired. The beginning of the 80’s, saw Black Sabbath have the Heaven and Hell period, with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. After that, you can say the band didn’t really set the world of fire, however i must admit that i have a soft spot for the Eternal Idol and Headless Cross albums with Tony Martin on vocals. The Dehumanizer album in 1992 with Dio was an attempt to make both Dio and Sabbath relevant in the 90’s, however it didn’t really hit the mark.
In the crowd around me, there was an audience of young and old. Fan T-Shirts of the younger generation showed a lot of Ozzy colours (especially the Diary/Blizzard era), so it is safe to say, that Ozzy’s solo career has played a big part in Sabbath finding a new audience. That is how i got into Sabbath, from Ozzy’s solo career.
Then I saw Machine Head, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Rob Zombie and Metallica t-shirts on fans. These concertgoers are fans of those bands, checking out Black Sabbath, as all of those bands have mentioned Sabbath as an influence. Rob Zombie is one person who speaks very highly of Sabbath.
One thing that really irks me, is Rick Rubin. He was an extraordinary producer once upon a time. Not anymore. Black Sabbath did wrong taking him on board for the new album. From what I have heard so far, it is a dead set joke. It is basically Black Sabbath 2013, covering Black Sabbath 1969 – 1972.
Black Sabbath of the 70’s questioned authority, challenged institutions and preyed on people’s fears of heaven and hell. They don’t do that anymore. Why is why the current music they are releasing sucks.
What happened to the two new tracks Psycho Man and Selling My Soul from the Reunion CD? They are better than the two songs they have released so far from 13. I was re-listening to God Is Dead! again. I have given this song a few go’s now, trying to find something to like about it, as all the celebrity metal / rock musicians have spoken what a great song it is.
It is still mediocre. Then I came across a song called In Due Time from Killswitch Engage. It got me interested. It hit a nerve inside of me, and I needed to know more. The melody in the music is captivating and heavy, the chorus is unbelievable melodic and catchy, the screaming in the verses borders on insanity… SHADOWS GIVE WAY TO LIGHT…
Listening to In Due Time brought back memories of Live In Love from Times of Grace, which is more or less Adam and Jesse from Killswitch. After listening to Live in Love, I went back to the 2009 Killswitch album and cranked The Forgotten, hearing Howard Jones singing it and if he is reading this, he will never be forgotten.
When i listen to Sabbath, i think of Randy Rhoads and the unbelievable version he did of Children of the Grave on the Tribute album. When i listen to Sabbath, i think of Ronnie James Dio. When i listen to Sabbath, i think of Ozzy. To me Ozzy is more relevant than what Sabbath is. Ozzy really didn’t have to go back to Sabbath for a new album, he didn’t need it.
So is Black Sabbath still relevant. For their influence and legacy, YES. As a band writing new music, NO. It is great that they are attempting to release a new album, however as i have mentioned previously, if it is not great, people will move on. Our time is short these days.
Life has its highs and it’s lows. Careers are the same. I don’t want to waste time listening to lame music anymore, I’m ready for great. Black Sabbath have been away for a while now. The Ozzfest shows gave them some leverage again. People saw them, appreciated it, but no one was eagerly waiting for them to reform and do a new album.
The new Black Sabbath album will be a hit. It will sell at least a million in my view. These days, it’s not about the hit record anymore, it’s about sustaining the buzz. In my mind, 13 is already in the rearview mirror and it hasn’t been released yet.