Album: Black Sabbath, 13 (Mercury)

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The Independent Culture

Like track one of Black Sabbath's debut, this starts with big, sludgy Tony Iommi doom-chords and Ozzy Osbourne mournfully wailing a rhetorical question ("Is this the end of the beginning?").

Business as usual. But also not. 13 is the first Sabbath album without estranged drummer Bill Ward. It sounds like a Sabbath album, from the tortuous lyrics to the eight-minute track lengths. But something about it feels wrong. Something unto Ward.