So, today’s lead album is by Black Sabbath. It’s the first album of original Sabbath tunes in eighteen years. Given that fact, I’m just going to shut the intro off and start talking about what matters most today.
Black Sabbath, 13 (Universal Republic)
Ozzy Osbourne has not appeared on a Black Sabbath record of original material since 1978’s Never Say Die!, a gap of 35 years. Similarly, Geezer Butler has not appeared on any original Sabbath material since 1994’s Cross Purposes. Black Sabbath has not been on the radar as Black Sabbath since they headlined Ozzfest in 2005. In the eight years since then, Ozzy Osbourne has continued his solo career, while Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler spent time working Vinny Appice and Ronnie James Dio in the Heaven & Hell project. That project came to an unfortunate ending in 2010, following Dio’s tragic death to stomach cancer. However, a year and a half later, the original lineup of Black Sabbath – Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, and Bill Ward – came together and announced an official reunion, complete with a tour and a new album. However, that reunion didn’t turn out to be quite as complete as the band initially planned. Ward stepped out of the reunion in February 2012, citing that he would not participate unless he was offered a “signable contract”. The band elected to continue without him, recruiting Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk to record drums for the new album. Initial reviews have all been overwhelmingly positive, stating that the new music is reminiscent of the classic Black Sabbath that started metal all those decades ago. This could be the first Black Sabbath to hit #1 on the Billboard charts, so let’s all get out there and make it a reality!
Children of Bodom, Halo of Blood (Nuclear Blast)
Now that we’ve gotten the necessary business covered, it’s time to recognize the fact that there are two other albums coming out today that could also be legitimate chart-toppers. The first comes from the Finnish veterans Children of Bodom, with their eighth full-length album Halo of Blood. The group unleashed Relentless Reckless Forever three years ago to momentous approval, reaching #42 on the Billboard charts while giving Bodom another chart-topping album in their home country. The “Ugly World Tour 2011” followed, with 75 shows spanning three months and three continents. After such an intense touring cycle and positive fan response, Bodom wasted no time in requisitioning Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) to produce their new album. And they’re following up its release with more touring, courtesy of a slot headlining one of the second stages on this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.
The Black Dahlia Murder, Everblack (Metal Blade)
The other big-name release today comes from Michigan’s metal heroes The Black Dahlia Murder. These guys have been through a lot since 2011’s Ritual. Both bass player Bart Williams and drummer Shannon Lucas left the band last year, but the group was quick to find replacements, not missing a beat from their touring schedule while finding Max Lavelle and Alan Cassidy. Although initially only brought on as touring members, Lavelle and Cassidy were made official members of the band later and contributed parts for their respective instruments on Everblack. The Black Dahlia Murder is also getting right on the road after their album is released, but their touring will be with a very different crowd, as they will be on the Vans Warped Tour for the whole summer.
Also being released this week:
Evile, Skull (Century Media)
Scale the Summit, Migration (Prosthetic)
Integrity, Suicide Black Snake (Magic Bullet)
Tristania, Darkest White (Napalm)
Deafheaven, Sunbather (Deathwish)
Church of Misery, Thy Kingdom Scum (Metal Blade)
Lacrimas Profundere, Antiadore (Napalm)
Colossus, Time & Eternal (Facedown)
Into the Flood, Vices (Century Media)
Summoning, Old Mornings Dawn (Napalm)
The Devil’s Blood, III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars (Metal Blade)
Power Trip, Manifest Decimation (Southern Lord)
Full of Hell, Rudiments of Mutilation (A389)
Crooked Teeth, House vs. Hurricane (Equal Vision)
Next Week: Some lesser-known bands get the chance to jump out of the underground and into the spotlight for awhile! Check it out in just seven days!