Black Sabbath Live Is 2013’s Last Great Live Recording

Courtesy:  Universal Republic/Vertigo Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic/Vertigo Records

It’s getting ever more expensive to attend a live concert nowadays.  The cost of a pair of tickets alone can run a person well over a hundred dollars.  Factor in the cost of gas, food, souvenirs, and potentially even lodging, and a person can spend quite a bit on just one concert.  The cost of tickets alone is about to go up even more in 2014 for residents of one state thanks to a new tax law that will go into effect in 2014.  Taking all of this into account, it becomes increasingly wise to just pick up a live recording of one’s favorite band, musician, or musical group.  The question is which live releases are well worth the one-time cost for audiences that would rather save some money while enjoying a great concert?  One recommendation is Black Sabbath’s new live Blu-ray and DVD, Black Sabbath Live..Gathered in their Masses.  The first live recording from the band in many years, this live concert recording is one of the best live recordings of 2013. It is so worthwhile first and foremost because of its set list.  The show’s set list more than lives up to the oft-used term, career-spanning.  Just as important to note in this concert is the band’s very performance.  While one band member is noticeably absent, he is replaced quite effectively by another individual.  And his frenetic energy combined with that of the remaining original members exudes something almost magical.  Last but not least important to consider in this concert is the audio and video mix.  Both the audio and video are expertly mixed.  The camera crews take viewers up close with the band throughout the near two-hour concert.  It only adds to that magical sense, completing the overall presentation and making this new recording one that fans both of Black Sabbath and hard rock in general will enjoy time and again.

The term “career-defining” is far too often tossed around for live performances.  Far too many of those recordings are in fact anything but career defining.  In the case of Black Sabbath though, that term is more than deserved.  The band includes nearly every one of the hits that have continued to make it the paramount band that it has remained for decades despite being inactive just as long.  ‘War Pig’s’ opens the show as are the equally beloved ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Black Sabbath.’  It’s all bookended by another massive hit in ‘Paranoid.’  Those that are hoping for something more recent get that, too in the form of ‘Methademic’, ‘End of the Beginning’ and ‘God Is Dead?’  These songs comprise just part of the band’s extensive set list.  There are plenty more songs included in this show that play into its success.  Audiences will each have their favorites when they pick up the new recording for themselves on Blu-ray and DVD.

The set list chosen for this concert is part of the heart of the concert’s success.  Just as important to the success of the recording is the band’s onstage presence.  It’s incredible to think how many years had passed since Ozzy, Geezer, and Tony had performed together under the Black Sabbath moniker.  Drummer Bill Ward was not on hand.  Allegedly there are some hurt feelings between him and his now former band mates for some reason.  That’s not what’s important here, though.  Tommy Clufetos, who records and tours with Ozzy’s own band, handles drum duties on this concert.  And he more than handles his appointed duties, too.  He plays with the same intensity of a young John Bonham.  That’s evident both in the case of his work with the rest of the band and on his solos.  The rest of the band seems to feed off of Clufetos’ energy, too.  That energy is evident throughout the band’s performance, too.  The band may be years older, but they definitely got their audience just as energetic and excited.  Home viewers will feel it, too.  And that’s just one more aspect of this recording that makes it one of the year’s best.

The set list and stage presence of Ozzy and company are both extremely important in the overall enjoyment of Black Sabbath’s new live recording.  There is still one more factor to consider in examining this recording.  That factor is the recording’s combined audio and video mix.  The audio and video mix of any live recording is its foundation.  Far too often, people take this factor for granted.  But there are those recordings that suffer in these areas because of someone that is either inexperienced or simply doesn’t care to do their job the right way. Luckily for Black Sabbath fans, that isn’t the case here.  The video and audio were both expertly mixed.  Even as large as the venue was, the audio is crisp and clear.  The same can be said for the video mix.  It works with the set list and the band’s overall stage show to make Black Sabbath Live…Gathered in Their Masses a recording that is just as worth the money as going to see Black Sabbath live if not more so.  It is available now in stores and online.

More information on Black Sabbath and its tour schedule is available online at http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath and http://www.blacksabbath.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath Members To Make Special Appearance At Grammy Museum

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

Black Sabbath founding members Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler are set to make a special appearance at the Los Angeles’ Grammy Museum next month.  The special appearance is part of a promotional tour supporting the release of the band’s new live DVD, Black Sabbath Live…Gathered In Their Masses

Ozzy and Geezer will take part in a Q&A session and special early screening of the band’s new live DVD during its appearance.  The whole thing will be held at the museum’s Clive Davis Theater.  During the Q&A session, Ozzy and Geezer will share with fans their thoughts on the band’s reunion, a #1 album in 13 and the band’s hugely successful world tour among other topics.  More information on the event is available online at http://www.grammymuseum.org.

Black Sabbath Live…Gathered In Their Masses will be available on Tuesday, November 25th.  It will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, combo pack, and deluxe box set.  The concert presented in the upcoming release was recorded April 29th and May 1st in Melbourne, Australia as the band kicked off its world tour in support of 13.  The band is currently on the road, touring across South America and Mexico.  Once that leg is done, the band will head overseas to tour Europe in November and December.  A full listing of the band’s current tour dates and more is available online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, and http://twitter.com/OfficialSabbath.    To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath Announces Title, Release Date For New Live DVD

Courtesy:  Vertigo/Republic Records

Courtesy: Vertigo/Republic Records

Black Sabbath has officially announced that it will release a brand new live DVD this Fall.  The band, which just finished off the American leg of its worldwide tour, will release its new live DVD, titled Black Sabbath: LiveGathered in their Masses on November 26th,.  It will be released via Vertigo/Republic Records.  The performance contained on the new live DVD was recorded between April 29th and May 1st, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.

Having wrapped up the American leg of its tour, Black Sabbath is set to make its way to South American next.  The South American and Mexican leg of the band’s tour kicks off Friday, October 4th in Santiago, Chile.  After wrapping its South American and Mexican tour, the band is expected to make its way across Europe through November and December.  A full listing of the band’s upcoming tour dates is available online at http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://www.blacksabbath.com, and http://twitter.comOfficialSabbath.

The band’s new release, 13, debuted at #1 in thirteen countries.  That includes the United States.  The album’s #1 debut marks the very first #1 in the U.S.

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Black Sabbath Celebrate New Release With Special Online Event

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

Black Sabbath’s decades in the making album, 13 will finally see the light of day tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11th.  In celebration, the band—Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi—will hold a special live Town Hall via Google+ Hangout.  It will be streamed live on Google+ and YouTube.  The Town Hall will also be broadcast live on Ozzy’s Boneyard on SiriusXM at 7:00pm EDT.  The band will be joined by both Ozzy’s son Jack (who directed the clips to launch 13) and Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk (who covered the drums on the album) for the event.  Osbourne and Butler will appear live at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art while Tony Iommi will appear live from Birmingham, England.  Jack Obsourne and Brad Wilk will be on hand live from Los Angeles for the presentation.  Comedian Jim Norton will host the show.  Norton is a co-host of the Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM, and is also a host on Ozzy’s Boneyard.

Viewers can tune in to the special event live on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/officialsabbath.  Fans that have SiriusXM can tune in to the even on Ozzy’s Boneyard on channel 38 and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio app for smart phones and other connected devices.  Audiences can also watch the event online at http://www.siriusxm.com

Black Sabbath fans can keep up with all of the latest from the band online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://twitter.com/OfficialBlackSabbath, http://instagram.com/officialblacksabbath, and http://google.com/+blacksabbath

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sabbath’s “13” Well Worth The Wait

 

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

It goes without saying after having listened to it that Black Sabbath’s 13 is one of the best hard rock/metal albums of 2013.  This record has been decades in the making.  And the wait was well worth it, even with someone other than Bill Ward on drums.  Ozzy’s vocals and Tony Iommi’s guitar work are at their peak throughout this record.  So many rock bands have tried hard to emulate Sabbath’s sound since its breakup so long ago.  But few if any have managed to come close since then.  So it is nice to have one of rock’s elite back (even if one member isn’t present) to reclaim its proper place in rock’s upper echelons.

Right from the opening moments of the album’s opener, ‘End of the Beginning’, listeners know they are in for something special on this record.  Geezer’s bass and Tony’s guitar work are pummeling along with Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) on drums in the song’s opening moments before laying back to let Ozzy’s haunting vocals take the spotlight.  Rick Rubin actually made the right choice bringing in Wilk to cover the drums in place of Bill Ward for this record.  When the rest of the band comes back in, the combined wound will take audiences back to Black Sabbath’s glory days.  Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer show that they are still the originators and have not lost a single step along the way.  It’s like old times.  As Ozzy sings here, “Don’t look back/Live for today/Tomorrow is too late.”  It couldn’t have been better said considering this band’s history.

13 offers listeners plenty of heaviness.  For all the heavy moments, worthy of raising the horns high, it also has a more subdued moment in the song, ‘Zeitgeist.’  This is such an interesting song in that it is a full-on acoustic opus.  In lieu of drums, Wilk has opted instead for perhaps a pair of bongos.  And Tony and Geezer have both gone acoustic, too.  There is something about this combination (along with Ozzy’s vocals) that makes for a work that could easily be compared to the likes Pink Floyd, believe it or not.  It is also the album’s shortest track.  It clocks in at just over four and a half minutes long.  In that short time, it makes for one of the album’s most interesting moments.

If any one song on this new album stands out more than the others, it is ‘Live Forever.’  This is the second shortest song on the record.  It comes in at just under five minutes long.  It’s also one of the album’s heaviest numbers.  Yet again, it’s more proof that Ozzy and company haven’t lost any steam in the three decades plus since the band’s last album.  Of course, having mega-producer Rick Rubin manning the boards doesn’t hurt, either.  Rubin really brought out the best of the band on this track.  Tony’s guitar solos are incredible to say the least.  They are the sort of solos that will have young guitarists around the world trying to emulate him, putting their own takes on his work on YouTube.  And yet again, Brad Wilk is just as impressive behind the kit.  He shows here, and throughout the record just how versatile he is as a drummer, pounding out some impressive polyrhythmic patters without missing a second.  And Ozzy sounds more in control of his vocals here than anywhere else on the album.  That isn’t to say that he sounds bad anywhere else.  The way that Ozzy laments in this song, “I don’t mind dying/Cause I’m already dead/Pray not for the living/I live in your head/Dying is easy/It’s living that’s hard/I’m losing the battle/Between Satan and God” could so easily be interpreted in direct relation to everything that Ozzy has gone through in recent years.  Considering recent reports concerning his admission to having been addicted to certain substances over recent years, instead of staying clean, it sounds like a personal statement that he perhaps felt during that time.  If so, it’s a powerful statement, especially with the song’s musical backing.  Though interestingly enough, the rest of the song sounds like a tongue in cheek stab at the religious establishment, considering Ozzy is actually anything but the “Prince of Darkness” that he has been made out to be.

‘Live Forever’ is one of the best of the best on Black Sabbath’s new album, 13.  It musical side and lyrical side together make it quite the interesting track.  Though, it’s just one of eight total tracks on the band’s new album that any long-time Black Sabbath fan will enjoy.  There are seven other tracks on this disc that any true metal and hard rock purist from which they can choose as their favorite.  The album will be available in stores and online June 11th via Republic Records.  The band will tour in support of the album beginning July 25th in The Woodlands, Texas.  Fans can keep up with the band’s tour dates and more on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath and on its official website, http://www.blacksabbath.com

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath Reveals Dates For Full North American Tour Schedule

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

The hatchet has largely been buried between the members of veteran hard rock band Black Sabbath.  After over three decades of waiting, fans of this groundbreaking band will finally get to hear new music from the band this Summer.  And in support of the new album, titled 13, Black Sabbath—Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler—will hit the road in support of the album with a full North American tour.  Drummer Bill Ward will be replaced on the band’s upcoming tour with a replacement drummer.  Tickets for the band’s upcoming tour will be available Friday, May 3rd.  Fans can get early access to the pre-sale tickets on May 2nd when they RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/147056262140133/?context=create or at http://bit.ly/Sabbath_RSVP.

The band’s upcoming North American tour begins Thursday, July 25th at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston, TX.  It spans nineteen dates that will take the band from the East Coast to the West and even into Canada.  The full list of tour dates is available below.

DATE                    CITY                     VENUE

+Thu- Jul 25          Houston, TX          Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

+Sat-Jul 27           Austin, TX             Frank Erwin Center

<Mon-Jul 29          Tampa, FL             Live Nation Amphitheatre

+Wed-Jul 31          W. Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre

~Fri-Aug 02          Bristow, VA           Jiffy Lube Live

*Sun-Aug 04        Holmdel, NJ           PNC Bank Arts Center

+Tue-Aug 06        Detroit, MI            DTE Energy Music Theatre

+Thu-Aug 08        Uncasville, CT        Mohegan Sun Arena

+Sat-Aug 10         Philadelphia, PA     Wells Fargo Center

^Mon-Aug 12        Boston, MA           Comcast Center

*Wed-Aug 14        Toronto, ON          Air Canada Centre

+Fri Aug 16           Tinley Park, IL       First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

+Sun-Aug 18        Indianapolis, IN       Klipsch Music Center

+Thu-Aug 22        Vancouver, BC       Rogers Arena

*Sat-Aug 24        Seattle, WA           Gorge Amphitheatre

+Mon-Aug 26        San Francisco, CA  Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View

+Wed-Aug 28       Irvine, CA              Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

+Fri-Aug 30          Phoenix, AZ           US Airways Center

+Sun-Sep 01        Las Vegas, NV       MGM Grand Garden Arena

*Tue-Sep 03        Los Angeles, CA     Los Angeles Sports Arena

 

*Previously announced date.

^On sale Friday, May 3

+On sale Saturday, May 4

~On sale, Friday May 10

<On sale, Saturday, May 11

>On sale TBD

Before the band hits the road and the album hits stores, fans can get a glimpse of what is to come now.  The band has released 13’s lead single, ‘God is Dead?’, and fans can check it out now on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVfUimq2KeI.

To get more tour information and all of the latest news from Black Sabbath, fans can go online to the band’s official website, http://www.blacksabbath.com, its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, and via Twitter and Instagram at http://twitter.com/OfficialSabbath and http://instagram.com/officialsabbath.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath Announces First New Slate Of Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

Black Sabbath has announced the first handful of dates for its upcoming tour in support of its much anticipated new album, 13.  Four shows have been announced.  All four are American dates.  The current slate of dates is available below. 

DATE                  CITY                 VENUE
Sun, 8-4             Holmdel, NJ           PNC Bank Arts Center
Wed, 8-14         Toronto, ON           Air Canada Centre
Sat, 8-24           Seattle, WA           Gorge Amphitheatre
Tue, 9-3            Los Angeles, CA    Los Angeles Sports Arena

 

Tickets for these tour dates go on sale beginning this Saturday, April 20th.  Fans can actually RSVP for early access to early tickets by going online to http://bit.ly/Sabbath_RSVP.  Those early tickets will be available this Thursday, April 18th.

Along with the early tickets being available this Thursday, Black Sabbath will release the first single from 13, ‘God is Dead?’  The song will debut across Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s forty-plus Active Rock and Mainstream Rock radio stations nationwide.  It will debut this Thursday at 3pm/12pm PT. 

For all of the latest updates on the band’s tour, its upcoming album, singles and more, fans can follow the band online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://twitter.com/OfficialSabbath, and http://instagram.com/officialsabbath

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath Releases Cover Art, Track Listing For Long Awaited Album

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

It’s been over three decades since the members of Black Sabbath released any new material.  This Summer, one of rock’s greatest bands at long last returns.  The band will release its first album in thirty-five years in 13.  And now, fans of this legendary band are getting their first hint of the album.  The band has released the upcoming album’s artwork and track listing.  The album consists of eight tracks.  The shortest of those songs clocks in at just over four minutes long.  The album’s longest track clocks in at nearly nine minutes. 13 will be available June 11th.  Rage Against The Machine Drummer Brad Wilk joined the band to record the album in place of former drummer Bill Ward.  Renowned producer Rick Rubin manned the boards for this album.

The track listing is as follows:

1.  End of the Beginning (8:07)

2.  God is Dead? (8:54)

3.  Loner (5:06)

4.  Zeitgeist (4:28)

5.  Age of Reason (7:02)

6.  Live Forever (4:49)

7.  Damaged Sou (7:43)

8.  Dear Father (7:06)

The band will tour in support of 13 beginning next Saturday, April 20th.  The current tour dates take the band across Europe.  A full list of tour dates is available on the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.Facebook.com/BlackSabbath.  Fans can pre-order the upcoming album—which will be available on CD, vinyl, Deluxe 2-CD Set, and Super Deluxe box set—through the band’s official website, http://www.blacksabbath.com.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath Prepping First new LP In Nearly Thirty-Five Years

Courtesy:  Vertigo/Republic Records/MSO PR

Courtesy: Vertigo/Republic Records/MSO PR

One of the most legendary of metal’s bands is coming back.  The one and only Black Sabbath will release its brand new album titled, 13 in June.  Currently, the album has no definite release date.  However, it is known that original members Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Iommi, and Geezer Butler will all be back for this record.  Drummer Bill Ward has been replaced on the album by Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk.  The album was produced by iconic producer Rick Rubin.  It will be released worldwide on the band’s original label, Vertigo and on Vertigo/Republic in the United States.  The upcoming release will be the first for the band in nearly thirty-five years.

In celebration of the brand new upcoming album, Black Sabbath will embark on a European tour in support of the LP beginning Saturday, April 20th in Auckland, New Zealand.  The tour currently takes the band through May 12th at the upcoming Ozzfest Japan in Tokyo.  More tour dates are expected.  To keep up with all of the latest tour dates and news from Black Sabbath, fans can follow the band online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://twitter.com/OfficialSabbath, and http://instagram.com/officialsabbath.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Sabbath responds to statement from drummer Bill Ward

Hopes had been high about the anxiously awaited Black Sabbath reunion tour this year.  But after a statement released by drummer Bill Ward, it looks like that reunion won’t be happening.  The remaining members of the band will still tour together.  The central issue at hand regarding this issue had been contract negotiations.  fans who want to read Ward’s full statement can read it on his website, http://www.billward.com

Now, the remaining members of Black Sabbath have officially released a statement in regards to Ward’s statement released this week.  The following is the official statement released by the band.

We have decided not to make any  detailed  comment  on Bill’s latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony’s treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See  you at Download.

–Black Sabbath, 5/17/12