REVIEW: Black Sabbath – 13 (deluxe, Best Buy, all 5 bonus tracks)

BLACK SABBATH – 13 (2013 Universal deluxe, Best Buy, and Spotify editions)

Last year, Uncle Meat gave us his detailed review of Black Sabbath’s 13.  (His rating:  3.25/5 stars.  Check out his full review for the scoop on the first CD of this metal monolith.)  Having had almost a year to live with it myself, I think it’s time I got around to reviewing the songs he didn’t:  the bonus tracks!

The deluxe and Best Buy editions have “Methademic,” “Peace of Mind,” and “Pariah.”  “Methademic” is cool for being a fast-paced heavy rocker, something I associate more with a Dio kind of sound.  It’s a good track, good enough that Sabbath play it live.  Geezer’s got a serious groove going on with the bass part, and Brad Wilk is playing with furious drive.  You wouldn’t consider this song to be as good as any on the first CD of 13, but it’s a great bonus track.

“Peace of Mind” is of equal quality to “Methademic.”  This time Sabbath have gone back to doomy, but Ozzy’s vocal melody takes it to a special place.   All it’s missing is that looseness that only Bill Ward could provide.  It sounds so authentically Black Sabbath, but if you concentrate on the beat, you can hear that the loose swing of old is not there.  Having said that I enjoy “Peace of Mind” very much, especially when it picks up after the 2:15 mark.

My favourite of this trio of songs is “Pariah.”  It occupies a mid-paced groove which chugs along nicely.  Tony has a couple cool riffs in it, but once again Ozzy’s vocal seals the deal.  Tony’s guitar solo is icing on the cake.  I love when he has a chance to slow down and play bluesy, as he does here.

Japanese fans, and Best Buy shoppers have their own exclusive bonus track, and it’s the one with the best title:  “Naïveté in Black.”  You have to love that.  This smoker is similar to “Time Machine,” from Dehumanizer.  I don’t know why a song this good was left to Best Buy, because it’s better than the other three.  It’s definitely unique among the 13 songs for sounding more like Dio-Sabbath than Ozzy-Sabbath; perhaps that’s the primary reason.  Count me as a big fan of “Naïveté in Black.”

Finally even Spotify have a bonus track, which is “Dirty Women,” live.  This is with Tommy Clueftos on drums, from the same show as the recent Gathered In Their Masses live DVD (but not the CD).  I am fortunate enough to have an excellent quality copy of the song burned to a CD, the perfect final bonus track to 13.

But that’s not all folks.  With the deluxe box set edition, there’s a DVD as well.  There is a brief documentary about the reunion and recording of the new album.  There are quite a few humorous moments, but I do not consider this to be much of a bonus.  All this stuff is available for free on youtube.  I don’t value a physical copy of something like this as much as I value a physical copy of a song.

Best moment:

Fan – “I came all the way from Croatia!”

Ozzy – “Where the fuck is that?”

The deluxe set is large and very nice to look at, but I considered it sparse in terms of worthwhile goodies.  There are lots of large glossy photos, but they’re not up to handling repeatedly.  There’s a print of the “God Is Dead?” single art, a 2 CD set (minus “Naïveté in Black”), and 13 on double 180 gram vinyl LPs.  Everything is lovely and fragile.  There’s also far too much room in the box itself for everything, so things move around inside.  That’s a bit of a design flaw just to save on some extra cardboard packaging.

The Best Buy set came with a T-shirt, which I have kept in-package.  You can find pictures of both versions below.

4.5/5 stars (for 13 as a whole)

Best Buy:

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Deluxe:

 

 

 

17 comments

  1. Cool package Mike….
    After a yr I still love this record…..it just keeps growing and growing ….still love the drum mix on 13!

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  2. Great gallery, love to see all the goodies! Thanks for all of your work on this.

    As you’ll recall, this was my Album Of The Year last year, and I still love it. It’s just so damn solid. Wahooo!

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  3. I don’t get all this hoo-hah surrounding the whole Bill Ward. Even now as I listen I find it an inspiring album given their collective age and the nuance to just say ‘fuck it’ and go ahead with it.

    Brad Wilk is a fantastic drummer if you’ve ever listened to Rage Against the Machine (RATM), so if Bill Ward didn’t want to be a part of an era-defining moment, the true ‘inventors’ coming back, then that’s his loss.

    There’s been a very divided response the fans and the comments I’m reading here. All I keep thinking is the inspiration many young musicians will get if they listen to this album.

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    1. As far as talent goes, Brad Wilk and Bill Ward are both incredible drummers and artists. Bill may not be the drummer he once was, but he has his own style and feel. You can hear it especially on the early albums. That said both Wilk and Clufetos are apt replacements. Just that, like with Peter Criss in Kiss, it does have a different swing and feel.

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  4. I knew I shouldn’t have bought this when it came out. I should have just downloaded the fecker and waitied for the rerelease so I could get my hands on all the extras without buying the damn thing twice. Like I’m made out of money…
    So that’s waht I’ll do in the future. That said I just pre-ordered the new Winger album. Great…

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    1. Did you get the Japanese version Jon?

      I’ll be shelling out for the Japanese of the new KISS 40 album, which in Japan will have a 41st track, something live and unreleased.

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