Black Sabbath - 13Tuesday 16 Jul 2013
Duration: 53 minutes
The priceless advice from Glengarry Glen Ross is that when everyone thinks one thing bet the other way, but with 13 Black Sabbath really should've gone with the flow: while legions of bands try to recapture the fat sound of Ozzy and co's Seventies masterpieces, producer Rick Rubin gets the sludge to-polish ratio wrong on the comeback.
That and Rubin's too-polite drums for super-sub Brad Wilk are, however, the only disappointments on a record that offers more than anyone had a right to expect.
Re-energised by their Heaven & Hell outing with the late Ronnie James Dio, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler are riff and rumble ravenous here, while Ozzy sounds more relevant and less affected than he has done in years.
As in the golden age, the megalithic and the mellow co-exist, with all eight tracks offering up nuggets on first and repeated listens – a real album album. And while the toll of advancing years gives 13 a profound poignancy, you come away inspired by the legends' defiance, and convinced that they have even more to offer.
Come whatever may, this belongs on vinyl beside the classics: it won't be reached for as often, but you'll still grow old together.
Tracklisting: End of the Beginning - God is Dead? - Loner - Zeitgeist - Age of Reason - Live Forever - Damaged Soul - Dear Father