-Ozzy Osbourne reunites with Black Sabbath for first studio album since 1978.

-In all honesty, it took a several full-album plays for “13” before warming up to it.

-The new songs initially sounded forced, like the band tried too hard to reproduce their early sound without pushing the envelope any further than they have in the past.

-You can hear the influence of classic Tony Iommi guitar riffs from ” “N.I.B.,” “War Pigs,” and “Black Sabbath” on new tracks like “Loner,” “Age of Reason,” and “The End of the Beginning.”

-While the riffs on “13” are good, I never experienced the warm euphoric feeling like when I first heard the intro of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “Symptom of the Universe,” or “After Forever.”

-Then again, it can be difficult to top the greatest guitar riffs of all-time when you already wrote them.

-Geezer Butler is still amazing on bass.

-It is great to hear Iommi jam out on the 7- and 8-minute tracks.

-Ozzy’s voice is fine on “13,” not washed up like some have suggested.

-After I finished crying about missing Bill Ward on drums, I was able to admit that Brad Wilk keeps the band’s original feel in tact. Although I wonder why Black Sabbath opted for Wilk over the super-talented touring drummer, Tommy Clufetos. I think that was Rick Rubin’s doing.

-In the end, I am very happy that Black Sabbath is back in business. “13” still beats everything else that’s out these days.

Black Sabbath 13 Artwork

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