September 27, 1986

September 27, 1986 was a warm sunny morning as I was getting ready to head off to school. I sat down at the kitchen table and opened the local newspaper. A tiny article caught my eye, I read the headline “Metallica Guitarist Killed”. This blew my 17-year-old mind. I really couldn’t wrap my brain around the reality of it. It seemed so senseless. This was the first time in my life that someone who had contributed something of value to my life had died. I was crestfallen.

A musical titan was lost that day and Metallica hasn’t been the same. RIP Cliff.

Banging your head like it’s 1983: Satan “Life Sentence”

Best metal album of 2013, no metal band is touching this. This is freaking glorious. Makes me feel 12 again. Has that NWOBHM feel without sounding like a local band. Epic riffs and soaring vocals song after memorable song. Break out the air guitars and wave that fist with no shame.

A little history: Satan formed in 1979. They put out a forgettable 7″ in 1982 with a different vocalist. Before they realeaed their debut “Court in the Act” singer Brian Ross, of Blitzkrieg fame, joined the band. The album came out Ross left. They turned into Blind Fury then back into Satan, then into Pariah. Two members joined Skyclad with Sabbat vocalist Martin Walkyier. Satan reformed in 2004 for some European festivals.

Trial by Fire from Court in the Act.

Review: Black Sabbath “13”

I’ve dreaded this. There is no good reason for this to exist. Maybe because of the mortality shock for Iommi. Other than that, this is not needed.

This is the best Ozzy has sounded since the 80’s. Is it studio trickery or real? Sounds real to me. Geezer and Iommi’s playing is top-notch. Brad Wilk’s drumming is fine, an improvement over Vinnie Appice who plods too much.

The music is fine. It’s not embarrassing but it sounds too much like an echo of earlier work. There are too many moments of “that kind of sounds like” going on here.

The middle of the album tracks 3 through 7 work best. There is a bit more life in those songs, not entirely Sabbath paint by numbers. A little expanding on well-traveled territory.

Lyrically “13” is ham-fisted in places, nothing really embarrassing, but nothing that stands out.

This doesn’t feel like an album. It’s 8 songs (11 if you get the deluxe version, adding 3 disposable songs) thrown together. It’s missing the vitality that even “Never Say Die” had. Sure you may not like “Never Say Die” but there was a feel to it. This just is.

I’ll take the first 33 seconds of “Air Dance” over this whole album.