Monday, 3 June 2013

Black Sabbath - 'God Is Dead?'

Nietzsche and PR

I’m looking forward to the release of the new Black Sabbath album next week. Of course I am. How can you not want to hear another work from the founders of metal?

Planet Rock has been giving considerable airplay to the single God Is Dead? It is wonderful. It is also ludicrous. It is wonderful in the way that it so clearly re-presents the Sabbath sound –  those neanderthal slow riffs and the guitar breaks that do just enough to be heavy. Then there’s Ozzie’s distinctive vocal. But it is ludicrous too in the way it seems to be aping that original sound. Ozzie’s vocals in particular seem to have an obvious disconnect with the rest of the music, presumably an add-on in the studio, perhaps like all the other parts, and perhaps like many other bands and their recordings. Maybe I’m wrong, but this certainly doesn’t sound like a live - and energised by that immediacy - performance. The polish undermines what ought to be Ozzie’s raw emotion. And as for asking ‘Is god really dead?’ Why the fuck should the hard man of rock give a toss. The dark worshipper of satanic suggestiveness shouldn’t give a flying beheaded bat’s pizzle whether god is alive or deceased. And asking the question would appear to counter a lifetime of not tossing.

I know all musicians approaching their own mortality have a problem re-presenting what made them vital in their youth. The Stones would seem to somehow just about achieve this – apart from Jagger trying to justify recent outrageous ticket prices by citing dubious claptrap about ‘supply and demand’, and bleating about the cost of funding a tour.

Maybe that’s why Ozzie allegedly fell off the drink and drugs wagon so recently. It couldn’t have been a PR stunt to posit some Sabbath street-cred ahead of the tour and release, surely?

If you haven't heard [well, you haven't been listening] you can here.

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