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The New Black Sabbath Song Gives Me Chills

Do you love doom metal? Black Sabbath? Yes to both? Then you will love the band's new song "God is Dead?" from the upcoming album 13. The song just churns and churns and then you get that classic Ozzy snarl. I figured the song would have to grow on me, because that's usually my relationship with every Sabbath tune. Not so in this instance. "God is Dead?" immediately impresses. I wasn't necessarily looking forward to 13, but now I am. The album is due June 11.

Reader Comments (10)

Oh my god yes!!!!!! Sounds amazing!!!! Long live sabbath!!
April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdj
This does sound good. Ozzy's voice isn't overly filtered (nor were his drinks while singing it I suppose), solid bass, and fantastic guitar (with some recycled or reclaimed notes adding a bit of nostalgia). And Wilks does a fine job as well.

I am back on the excited wagon for this release.
April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHim
Okay, this is one of those comments that I need to preface before making. I have been a gigantic Sabbath fan, quite literally since the early 70s when my older Sister used to crank Master of Reality, and I stole the cassette from her because I loved it so much.

So far, this new song has not done much for me. for starters, I don't like the production. I don't know if this is the final mix, but it is overly-distorted in that same vain that death Magnetic by Metallica was. The drums, particularly the snare drum, are recorded very weakly -- more bottom end would have helped. I also don't like Geezer's base sound. when the drums and bass are hitting those accents together, it sounds more like early 90s anthrax than Sabbath because of the bass sound.

Now, on to the song and the performance itself... First, no guitar solo? that really took me by surprise. That said, Geezer's bass solo is killer.

Ozzy's voice sounds decent. they were smart to write melodies that require only a small vocal range because Ozzy's voice cracks badly once he gets above certain notes that he used to hit with ease. Granted, the man is getting older, but he has destroyed his voice prematurely with substance abuse, and screaming "Let me see your hands", 7,000 times per concert night after night.

I think the lyrics are pretty cool.

Overall, to me, the song is just okay, and hasn't gotten me excited about the new record.

On a final note, it ticks me off to no end that Sabbath's publicity machine keeps referring to this lineup as "the original lineup." It is 3/4 of the original lineup so stop trying to convince people otherwise.
April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Musically this sounds like it picked up where Heaven And Hell (the band) left off, and would not sound out of place had it been on "The Devil You Know" album.

Vocals are not doing it for me, they are over produced, too 'clean'... I realize Ozzy's range limitations but there is just no feel here. They probably tracked it line by line, rather than having him sing the whole song a few times and comping the best moments.

I will still check out the rest of this album when it streams, but not rushing out to buy it based off of this track.
April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Except, Heaven & Hell had a great singer & drummer.

All the production comments are pretty much dead on.
Of course all the vocal tracks were tracked line by line.
I dare you to find a single album where that is not the case these days. As inept a singer as Ozzy is, it does still sound weird for him to be using Auto-Tune. Whatever works.
The drum tracks, as noted are thin & lackluster. I believe Sharon probably didn't want too much attention brought to the fact that original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was not used. Most records recorded in Pro Tools have this limp drum sound. It's never going to sound like recording to analog tape. Which is a shame. Other than that, this does nothing more that seal the crypt on Black Sabbath's long recording career.
April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
This song sounds great to me. Maybe not vintage Sabbath but very strong nonetheless. I will be a first day buyer for sure!
April 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbkallday
Like Ace said and I have beensaying for a while now,Pro tools and Auto Tune are ruining the sanctity of music. You could put a tone deaf God Damn Gorilla in the studio and make him sound like Robert Plant for Chrissakes.
I Like the song, it's vintage Sabbath,and I'll most likely buy the whole album, but don't push the band as "original" when Bill Ward is sitting at home guys (and Sharon,who I'm about positive is behind it....)
April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Okay, I got a copy of the full song, not the I Heart Radio version. the distortion that was present in the I Heart Radio version is not present in the copy I have now so at least that's a good thing. However, it allows me to listen to the song more clearly. Ace, I think the reason why the drum track is so weak is because Wilk might be using electronic drum triggers. You can really hear the electronic sound when Wilk is playing those open drag ghost notes on the snare in the verses. Mike, the more I listen to the song, the more I am convinced that it was written during the Devil You Know sessions. those lyrics scream Dio.
April 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbob
Wow, Guys, gotta hand it to ya, you really know your production.

Overall, I do like the song, but, yeah, where the hell's the guitar solo? And where the hell's Ward? Sure woulda been nice to have him on what could be Iommi's swan song.

I just read Iommi's book, "Iron Man", having completed it just a matter of weeks ago. Before we jump to too many conclusions about the lack of inclusion of Ward, I learned from the book that Ward has always been "iffy" in terms of reliability both in the studio and on tour.

I also learned from a friend of mine who was close to Dio, that Iommi has been shuttling back and forth between L.A., where they've been laying down tracks, and England where he's been getting chemotherapy for his cancer. Let's pray, or whatever people need to do spiritually, to get Iommi back 110%.

Also, according to Iommi's book, he generally winds up using the first take when recording his solos and he will often do that last. Just as Bob noticed the distortion of the I Heart Radio version is now no longer present in the current version he has, maybe the final version will have a guitar solo.

I would have to listen again, but does anyone hear a space to slot in the solo? Maybe we're hearing an outtake or rough cut here. Or are they going for the whole solo-free trance-like vibe Page was going for on "Kashmir".

A lot of people cite that song as one of Zeppelin's finest moments but I always found it to be a bit tedious and, well, missing a guitar solo. This song has those qualities. Still, just as with "Kashmir", in the end, there's a lot to love about it.

And maybe those other production issues you all have so adroitly noticed will be gone also. Maybe we're not going to hear a final mix until June and these "flaws" will have vanished.

Can't wait to hear the rest of the album, and, again, let's all pray for Iommi's full recovery and safe return.

FUN FACTS: Sabbath almost signed to Zeppelin's Swan Song label, according to Iommi's book. Thank Heaven & Hell that didn't happen, as they could have wound up being treated like "employees" similar to Bad Company. Did you know, according to Ozzy and other sources, "Paranoid" was inspired by "Communication Breakdown"? Also, John Bonham was Tony's best man at his wedding!
April 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Metalboy!, pulling for Iommi's full recovery is something I know we definitely can all get behind. You also raise a great point in that we may very well be hearing a rough version of this song, and we won't really know anything for sure until June.

I had also heard that Paranoid was inspired by Communication Breakdown. Taking things back a step further, Communication Breakdown was, whether page and Plant want to admit it or not, inspired by Nervous Breakdown by Eddie Cochran.
April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

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