The triumphant return of Black Sabbath now has a date attached to it. The band has confirmed a release date of June 11 for its new album 13, the first to feature Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler since 1978’s Never Say Die. The band released a new promo video to accompany the announcement, which features all participating Sabbath members and producer Rick Rubin speaking about the album. If you listen closely to the video, you’ll actually hear a few brief snippets of material from the new album, which does sound like the original Black Sabbath.
As has been well publicized, the band worked on the album with Rubin, who has produced dozens of classic hard rock and metal artists including Slayer, The Cult, Danzig, AC/DC and Metallica. He’s worked outside of metal as well, with albums by LL Cool J, The Dixie Chicks, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Shakira, ZZ Top, Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash on his resume. Rubin is known for bringing out the best in the artists he works with, as the members of Sabbath attest to in the below video clip. In the video, Rubin says that he grew up a big fan of Sabbath and is clearly highly motivated to recreate that same excitement he had in the ’70s. “Coming to work and hearing Black Sabbath play, it stimulates something in me, just like when I was 14 years old,” he says. “I remember being a kid and listening to the vinyl. That same thing gets turned on, and it’s a really good feeling.”
Based on the video and knowing how Rubin works, it’s likely he tried to get vintage Sabbath for this album – riffs on top of riffs, dark subject matter, evil vocal howls from Ozzy, a sense of adventure in the song structures, and an overall raw, heavy sound. If 13 sounds like anything close to the band’s first five albums we could be in for a rock comeback of epic proportions. 13 will be released on the usual CD, vinyl and digital formats, as well as a deluxe edition with a bonus CD, and a “Super Deluxe Box Set” featuring the album on all formats plus a DVD, artwork and other special features.
— Matt Dolloff, 100.7 WZLX