7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
It's a slow grower...,
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This review is from: 13 [VINYL] (Vinyl)
"God Is Dead" is definitely a killer track, helped with plenty of airplay on the likes of Planet Rock. They're now playing the opening track "End Of The Beginning"...but I can't help feeling I've heard it all before..."End.." is definitely based on the exact same structure as the title track "Black Sabbath" on the debut album all the way back from 1970. Same quiet version of the opening power riff which Ozzy then sings slow lyrics over, followed by a double-time riff to close the track. Not as dynamic though as the original. Nowhere near. "Loner" is ok. Heard it about 6 times now and I still couldn't sing you the chorus (and yes, I can sing!). Track 4 "Zeitgeist" is a reasonable rework of "Planet Caravan", complete with conga percussion and similar vocal effect on Ozzy's voice. But it's still a rework. "Age of Reason" is another typical Iommi riff-fest, but where's the classic Sabbath hook of a "Fairies Wear Boots", "Tomorrows Dream", "Paranoid", "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" etc...even "Never Say Die" if we really have to look for some commercialism. "Live Forever" is another track which promises plenty and falls short. Is it Ozzy's lacklustre vocal delivery throughout I wonder? Sure, the guy's nearly 70 years old and about 40 years beyond where he should be given his legendary lifestyle. No one really expects him to hit the notes of 20, 30, 40 years ago of course. But it sounds flat and more like a demo performance. I'm constantly waiting for the killer vocal. And it doesn't happen. Expectations too high, obviously. I'm actually bored before the album plays out its last two tracks...which do little to change my opinion: it's okay; formulaic; lacking in dynamism; not bad for a 'swan song'.
I'm sure in 30 year's time I'll think of this as classic Sabbath and will probably love it, I just wish it was an instant classic, not such a slow burner. Could have been the best thing since "Bloody Sabbath" back in 1973 (the very first heavy metal album I EVER heard and instantly loved for its genius, song writing, production, musicianship and originality...).
With regards to the vinyl release, the sound is superb. 2 discs. Lovely Vertigo swirl labels. Takes me back. Packaging is significantly better than the pre-release CD copy I purchased with my Sabbath tickets for December 2013. Lyric inner sleeves at least. The CD copy I got had a boringly plain 2 sided insert, with the bare minimum of information. Vinyl always trumps CDs anyway!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Jul 2013 23:13:21 BDT
White Chicken says:
Couldn't disagree more with this review. Ozzy sounds incredible, best he has in 20 plus years. What are you expecting The Writ or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath!? End of The Beginning does have the similar beginning to Black Sabbath but it doesn't bother me in the least and it is personally my favorite song on the album. The tempo changes and singing near the end are a thing of beauty. This album is a five star powerhouse that hasn't left the CD player since I got it. I am thinking about getting the album as I have heard it sounds better but I have to get a turntable first.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2013 12:43:16 BDT
Freefall Vertigo Rocks says:
That's the beauty of music. No one is right or wrong, it's all personal taste. Ozzy sings in exactly the same register throughout the album, so to me it's boring and monotonous. However, definitely get the 2LP vinyl set, it sounds better and looks better. Like I say, it'll probably be one of my favourites in years to come...it's just not there yet.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2013 16:33:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jul 2013 16:33:42 BDT
White Chicken says:
Agree with you the register of Ozzy's voice although he does go high a few times just nothing like the past glory. From what I heard, this was done on purpose so he would be able to sing the songs live. I guess to be more specific about what I loved about his voice it was the fact that it wasn't over processed and over produced in the studio like his solo stuff. Rick just let him sing and it sounds great. Keep listening my friend and I hope this one will grow on you! My personal favorites are End of the Beginning, God is Dead, and Zeitgiest.
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