Heavy metal fans rejoice with the return of the legendary band Black Sabbath. The iconic band has released their first single “God is Dead?” from their upcoming album 13, set for release June 10. This will be the first album released by Sabbath since 1995 and will feature three of the original band members: Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass and of course the human devil himself, Ozzy Osbourne, with vocals.
The album is also being produced by arguably the most well-known producer, Rick Rubin, who has produced other big name acts like the Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C., Weezer, Adele, The Cult, Johnny Cash and the list goes on.
The almost nine minute song begins with a quiet interlude, then slowly builds up like you’d expect from a Sabbath song. “God is Dead?” is a lot more reminiscent of early Sabbath without getting much if any additional modern metal sounds. The lyrics are what are typically expected from Ozzy. Dark, gloomy, depressing, but tries to bring attention to an ideology that has been hit on before. It doesn’t quite have the lyrical impact as something like “War Pigs,” but it’s still an attempt at something more than the superficial.
Now, of course, it wouldn’t be a Sabbath song without a rocking guitar solo right? Well, unfortunately there isn’t one to be found here. After a few verses and choruses, the tempo starts to pick up even more and there is (the only way I can describe this) an ass-kicking riff. It gets hopes high and a solo does start, but it’s short and relatively unimpressive. What the song does excel at is having some intricate, off tempo beats that are still enjoyable to hear in a world of songs that won’t take a chance to switch up the basic rhythm.
According to reviews on YouTube, people seem to be genuinely ecstatic about the song and have high expectations for the new album. The real question, though, is will it be enough to get Black Sabbath back into the public eye? My personal guess, nope. But long time fans are going to stay loyal to their seemingly eternal band until the end of time.