This is pure speculation, but some clues to what 13 might sound like may be in The Devil You Know, released under the moniker Heaven and Hell in 2009. Because of the Black Sabbath agreement, Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, and (drummer) Vinny Appice were forced to call themselves Heaven and Hell, even though it was in essence a reunion of the Dio-fronted version of Sabbath.
The Devil You Know contains the most recent examples of Iommi’s guitar playing, which could indicate the direction of the new material. It should be noted that Iommi’s style with Dio was quite a bit different from what it was with Osbourne. Whether this reflects his style of playing with different vocalists, or simply the way his approach has evolved is difficult to say. I guess we will find out in June.
In any case, 13 is a recording that Sabbath fans have been anticipating for many years. The album will be released on the Vertigo label worldwide, and Vertigo/Republic in the U.S. Interestingly enough, the 1970 Black Sabbath LP was issued on Vertigo as well. Another bit of trivia tying the two records together was the release date of that first album. It was on Friday, February 13, 1970. The one song title that has been leaked is “God is Dead.“ I am looking forward to hearing what Ozzy fan and born-again Christian George W. Bush has to say about that one.
We will continue to report on any developments regarding the reunion, including tour information. In regards to live appearances, there have already been some dates announced for Australia and Japan, beginning in April. And as soon as 13 becomes available, I will be reviewing it right here on Blogcritics.
(Band photos courtesy of Google Images)