It was first announced back on November 11, 2011 (11-11-11) that the original line-up of Black Sabbath, with a lot of prodding from producer Rick Rubin, would reunite and record their first album of new material in over thirty years.
It hasn’t been an easy road from there, with Tony Iommi battling lymphoma, and drummer Bill ward leaving the band over financial disputes, but the new album is indeed finished, and ready for release on June 11.
The new Black Sabbath album is called 13, and Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine did the drumming duties. (Tommy Clufetos did the Lollapalooza gig last summer, but it’s unclear who will be the touring drummer for upcoming Sabbath dates this year).
Three songs are over seven minutes long, and several song titles include End of the Beginning, God is Dead, Epic, Dear Father, and Methademic.
We have Rick Rubin to thank for this reunion, because as Ozzy recalls, he would run into Rubin, and the producer would often ask, "Any chance of Sabbath reforming? If you do, I would love to produce the album." And indeed, Rubin got his shot to hopefully deliver an album that can stand toe to toe with the band’s best.
As Rubin told Blabbermouth.net, "My goal is to make something really great that I can listen to forever. That’s the whole heart of it. The idea that we’re making an album that hopefully can sit aside the best Black Sabbath albums is exciting. We’ve worn out the old ones!"
Ozzy told Triple M radio in Australia, “The album is mindblowing, [that’s] how good it is. I put it on my CD player, expecting me to be unhappy with the end result, but this big grin came on my face and my hair on the back of my neck [stood up]…It’s better than my wildest dreams…It’s the album we should have made after Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.”
Often when Rubin produces a band, he wants them to go back to what made them great in the first place, which is certainly admirable, if not really obtainable.
While Metallica could never make an album as incredible as Master of Puppets again, at least Rubin got them back in touch with the spark, and the resulting album, Death Magnetic, was very respectable. With a Sabbath reunion, it would be ridiculous to think they could ever make another Paranoid, but a respectable album would be just fine.