In the summer of 2013 I had the opportunity to meet up with some friends and attend the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee celebration in the Georgetown area of Seattle. I certainly made note of a few artists that I absolutely had to see – J. Mascis, Father John Misty, Mudhoney, among others – but it was the artists I had no preconceived notions of that left me stunned and bewildered (except for Mudhoney – I’m still riding on that obsession). I strolled over to the Elysian Stage, oblivious to the bodyguards turning people away from the gate. A tap on the shoulder later, and I was enjoying the set from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth from outside of the filled to capacity main viewing area – along with hundreds of other folks who were lined up in the street and on the hills bordering the I-5 freeway. What we were treated to was a grunge doom metal set that delivered in spades.
Black Sabbath’s 13 is the first #1 record for anyone in the band – even taking into consideration the wonderful solo career of Ozzy Osbourne. I didn’t believe that when I 1st read it, but a scan through historical data confirms it is true. How we got to this point in mid 2013 is a story of persistence and endurance. Black Sabbath had actually reunited in 2007 or so with their other iconic lead singer, Ronnie James Dio (I still love you too Tony Martin). What started out as 3 song mini session for a box set turned into a full-fledged reunion, resulting in the 2009 album The Devil You Know (released under the Heaven & Hell name due to legalities). Life is funny sometimes though, and not “ha ha” funny. Ronnie was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and almost just as quickly was taken away from us. The band regrouped with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne – officially announced on 11-11-11 – and have overcome Tony Iommi’s Cancer and Ozzy Osbourne’s relapse into alcoholism to deliver a masterpiece. An album that clearly is a follow-up to The Devil You Know but also looks to the early 70’s for inspiration.