Derivative Works, Influenced, Music

Black Sabbath – 13

When I heard that Ozzy Osbourne had returned to Black Sabbath and that they are going to write and record new music, I was excited.  I was expecting this state of the art album, that would stay true to the Black Sabbath legacy, and an album that defines a new modern legacy for the band.

Then I heard that Rick Rubin was hired and to be honest I was concerned.  Rick Rubin was a master producer.  These days, he just gets bands to recreate albums that they have already created.  I have listened to the new Black Sabbath album a lot on Spotify.

The problem that I have with it, is that it tries too hard to recreate the first four Black Sabbath albums.  However, one thing I do like is that they have stayed away from the Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus – Bridge – Solo – Chorus structure.

God Is Dead should have been a fantastic song, only if it was edited down to about six minutes.  The clean tone intro moving into the heavy crunchy riff stays true to the Black Sabbath legacy, while also creating a new modern legacy for the band.  At one stage, Diary Of A Madman popped in my head.  In my opinion, the extra three minutes just drag it out.

End Of The Beginning tries to recreate the song Black Sabbath just a bit too much.  Loner also falls into the same boat, borrowing very heavily from N.I.B.  Live Forever borrows from Fairies Wear Boots.

Zeitgeist on the other hand was surprising, with it’s Emerson Lake Palmer From The Beginning vibe.

Damaged Soul also falls into the surprising category, as it is a blues dirge in the vein of Dazed and Confused from Led Zeppelin merged with Dirty Women, Into The Void and Electric Funeral from Sabbath.  Iommi is at his best when he references the blues genre for Sabbath and I don’t believe he gets the respect he deserves for it.  His lead break is up there with all the blues greats.

Dear Father also has that Into The Void heaviness, however it really borrows a lot from War Pigs and Behind The Wall of Sleep.  I really like that Beatles She’s So Heavy chord progression.

Peace Of Mind is a D side Ozzy Osbourne solo cut.

If there is a song to recommend as almost perfect, it is Age of Reason.  It has everything in it that is Black Sabbath.  It is a nod to the past, a nod to the present and I am sure in twenty years time a new generation of musicians will be crediting this song as an influence.

Methademic is up there as well.  As with Age of Reason, I believe that this song will be talked about by a whole new generation of Black Sabbath fans, brought up on 13.  How good is that sinister acoustic intro, and boogie driven bass verse?  Iommi is in his element, rolling riff after riff.  There are so many blues references that he brings up in the riffs and he makes it sound effortlessly.

Pariah has a riff that is so familiar, I just cant pin point the song.  At first I was thinking Guns N Roses, then I was thinking Deep Purple, then I was trying to rack my brain on a Black Sabbath song.  This is the kind of derivative work that I like.  It’s okay to reference yourself or another band, you just need to do it in a way, that invokes the feeling that Pariah invoked in me; it is familiar, yet i cant pinpoint it.

Overall, it is a comeback album that could set the foundation for the next album.  It has an album that the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Music, Stupidity, Uncategorized

Black Sabbath Debuting New Songs Live

If i was the Black Sabbath management team or marketing team, i would tell them one thing.  Just pick your best new song and play it.  The fans are not there for the new stuff.  They don’t even care about it.  They are there for the classics and if the new stuff is not on par with the classics, don’t play it.

Check out Loner, which is another new song from the greatest thing Ozzy has ever done department, the album 13.  It’s awful.  I know Ozzy is totally out of key and singing the song so bad, it makes the ears hurt.  Even if he did sing it in key, it still can’t help the song, because it is crap.  Watch the clip, every time Ozzy grabs the microphone to move around the stage, he takes one step, stops, realises something and moves back to the microphone stand.  WHY you ask?  That is where his teleprompter is.

So why play a new song if you don’t know the lyrics.  He was doing the same for the Sydney show I saw him.  The normal Sabbath songs that Ozzy performs on his solo tours, came easy to him and he was a different performer.  The other classic Sabbath songs, he had to read,  but not as much as the new ones.  You watch every live clip of the new songs, and Ozzy does the same movements.  His not singing, his reading, making it sound like he is attempting to sing.  It is karaoke in front of thousands, who paid up to $160 to watch them perform.

The irony of all this is that Ozzy went public with his version of Bill Ward’s ousting recently.  The thing is, it is clear that even Ozzy cant go on for a two and a half hour show.  Ozzy mentioned that Bill had post it notes on his drum kit, so that he can remember what to hit on certain songs.  So, how is that different from a teleprompter.

If these four songs are indicative of the album to come, it’s going to be a disappointment.

God Is Dead, is way too long for what it is.

End Of The Beginning is a dead set joke where they rip off their own Black Sabbath song.

Methademic has the best title i have seen in ages, but it is a shit song.

Loner = Methademic.

People have commented on the brilliant guitar riffs from Iommi.  I admit, those four songs have some cool riffs.  As a guitarist, I can appreciate that.  Cool riffs can’t make the song great, and to have a great song, you need more than just cool riffs.

To be honest, the song titles sound way better than what the songs sound at the moment.

I don’t know why Black Sabbath isn’t releasing the songs to be downloaded via iTunes or to be streamed.  It’s just a stupid business model that they are operating on.  The live versions out there, are pretty poorly recorded and Ozzy sounds completely out of tune, so get on the front foot and change peoples perception of the songs.  Release the auto tune, melodyne processed songs.

It looks Sharon cant compete with the Internet age, the best distribution system ever.

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Music

Black Sabbath – Allphones Arena, Sydney, 27 April 2013

Black Sabbath are legends of metal. Black Sabbath are legends of stoner rock.  Black Sabbath are the forefathers of metal.  The accolades go on and on.

I was just walking into the venue when the band kicked off their set at 8.30pm.  That is by far the earliest i have ever seen a headlining band start.  Usually it’s 9pm or later.  Leading off with the classic War Pigs from the Paranoid album.   Tommy Clueftos on the drums, is a great metal drummer.  He was bashing that kit, like it is the last show he is ever going to play.  But he is no Bill Ward.  He doesn’t have the jazz swing feel of Bill Ward.

CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 1; Bill Ward’s initials are BW.  Brad Wilk, the drummer from Rage Against The Machine that replaced him in the studio for the 13 album also has the same initials, BW.

CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 2; Bill Ward is born on the 5th May.  Brad Wilk is born on the 5th September.  (okay i am grasping at straws here).

CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 3; Black Sabbath was formed in 1968 as a heavy blues rock band named Earth.  Brad Wilk was born in 1968.

Coming off War Pigs, Into the Void and Under the Sun where let downs to me.  Snowblind and Electric Funeral dragged it out even more.  To use a phrase from Bill Ward, it was downer rock.  Why they played those songs, instead of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sweet Leaf, or a vocal version of Symptom Of The Universe is beyond me.  You could see the energy in the crowd lift when they went into the first minute of Symptom, just before the drum solo and again the same for the first minute of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, just before Paranoid.

End of the Beginning is laughable.  Rick Rubin got them to recreate the song, Black Sabbath.  The two songs are identical.  I looked around at the audience, and everyone was laughing it off as some sort of joke.

Ozzy has said that 13 is the best album he has ever done.  From the two songs i have heard so far, Ozzy seems to be forgetting that he has already done those songs.

God Is Dead! sounded better live, however the vocal melodies are weak, the song is too long and Ozzy was reading the lyrics off the teleprompter for the two new songs, so he was stumbling around a little bit with that.

Geezer Butler is the star for me.  His bass work is unbelievable.  He is not just a bass player, he is a back up guitar player as well.  Ozzy is a walking miracle.  People have taken lesser drugs and have overdosed.  Ozzy still keeps on going.  For the state he is in, he gave 100%.  Clueftos on drums gave 500% and Iommi on guitar was the Sheriff in town.

I can tick Black Sabbath with Ozzy off my childhood list of bands i needed to see.  Would i recommend them at $160 a ticket? No.

 

Complete Set List:

War Pigs, Into The Void, Under The Gun, Snowblind, Electric Funeral, Black Sabbath, Behind the Wall of Sleep which ended with a Geezer Butler bass solo, N.I.B., End of the Beginning (new song from 13), Fairies Wear Boots, Symptom of the Universe (for 1 minute and then the drum solo), Iron Man, God Is Dead?, Dirty Women, Children of the Grave and the encore started with the intro to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, before they went into Paranoid.

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