13 - Black Sabbath
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Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 62 Ratings

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  • Band members: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler
  • Summary: The first release since 1978's Never Say Die! with Ozzy Osbourne was produced by Rick Rubin and includes former Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk taking over for Bill Ward.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Jun 20, 2013
    100
    In its eight track, Ozzy, Tony, and bassist Geezer Butler have managed to once again capture that special essence which makes them so magical. And it's bloody fantastic. [1 Jun 2013, p.52]
  2. 80
    In expressing all of these [themes] without tumbling into absurdity, it helps to have a klaxon whine like Ozzy's delivering them, while Tony Iommi cranks out those trademark slow, molten-lead riffs that trundle through 13 like tank tracks.
  3. Jun 27, 2013
    80
    Rubin’s experiment has paid off handsomely, even though at times you’ll find yourself comparing the new songs to any number of familiar signature tunes from Sabbath’s catalogue.
  4. Jun 6, 2013
    70
    Of course, Black Sabbath can't fully turn the clock back to the beginning--but they can still do a pretty good job of sounding like the beginning of the end. [Jul 2013, p.70]
  5. 67
    The result is surprisingly adventurous, considering the monochrome palette of Osbourne's latter-day solo work.... Still, Rubin makes too much here feel dry and disappointingly small.
  6. Jun 13, 2013
    60
    It is a bit Sabbath-by-numbers, but given the weight of history (it's their first studio album together in 35 years), you can see why they would kind of back into the thing.
  7. Jun 14, 2013
    40
    13 certainly isn’t the all-blunts-blazing return Sabbath pledged, and with songwriting that imitates rather than evokes the past, all the goodwill in the world doesn’t change the fact that Sabbath has failed to deliver on its promise.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jun 11, 2013
    10
    I have prayed to God for almost a decade I am 20 that Ozzy would reunite with Sabbath and create one last masterpiece album. Thank you God and Black Sabbath for now my dream has come true. The album closes with a similar rain that started of the first album, my life is now complete :)
    This will be the last Sabbath album to be created with the real front-man Sir Osbourne, so I hope fans do not ignore it and actually go and purchase it to show that love for real rock music still exists.
    My last point is that Bill Ward not being on the album is a shame but not a reason to not love the album, if he did not want to accept the terms presented to him then he should be looked down on not the rest of the band, and Wilks plays very well on 13 so no complaints only praise from me. The album deserves a 9 but I give it a ten to balance out the 1's many angry pro bill ward fan-boys will put under the rating, please do not do that for it is very unfair and childish... may the true metal gods live forever in our souls!
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  2. Jun 23, 2013
    10
    This album is a grower. If you never cared for 1970-75 era Sabbath, then move along. But if you did... well, this is what we've all been waiting for. The urgency and heaviness from the best moments of original Sabbath yup. Multi-part songs with minimal repetition and endless new riffs yup. New, spare, clear production yup. The compression of sound is something to get used to, just as the muddiness or "dry" sounds of Master of Reality and Vol. 4 respectively were unique to those records. Ozzy stays in his lower register to good effect. The lyrics, brilliantly, remain on the line between profound and hilarious, just as they always did. Tony and Geezer just rock on this album. The best any of these guys have managed since Sabotage this is now a ninth classic, to add to the first six with Ozzy and the first two with Dio. Expand
  3. Oct 5, 2013
    9
    13 is one hell of an ambitious undertaking for the godfathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath. Three of the bands 4 founding members (Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, and Geezer Butler) reunited to record the bands first album since 1978. Founding drummer Bill Ward was replaced by former Rage Against the Machine drummer, Brad Wilk, for the recording of 13. The album is amazingly heavy considering the three original members now range between 64 and 65 years old. None of them have lost a step when it comes to laying down an album of unmistakeably Sabbath material. Iommi is truly at his best throughout the album, laying down solo after scorching solo over quintessentially Sabbath riffs. Butler's bass is as menacing and evil as ever; and Ozzy comes through with a powerful and impressive vocal performance. There are moments that collectively harken back to all of Black Sabbath's previous albums, while 13 as a whole has a somewhat updated sound, both production-wise with Rick Ruben's masterful skills, and in the songs themselves. There are still plenty of classic lyrics filled with battles of good and evil only from a bit more reflective perspective of age and wisdom. Overall, I wholeheartedly assert that 13 ranks among the best of Black Sabbath's albums and I can only imagine that both God and Satan would agree. Expand
  4. Jan 15, 2014
    8
    Welcome back to Black Sabbath. This "13" is a step into their 70s earlier work. Nothing new, but it can be considered a good effort. I think it definitely closes the circle of their studio career. Expand
  5. Sep 14, 2013
    7
    Decided not to buy after hearing some songs on the radio. It is definitely Black Sabbath but more like Technical Ecstasy or Never Say Die. It is not the quality of Paranoid or Volume IV. Expand
  6. Jun 13, 2013
    7
    I'll give the guys credit for coming back and putting out another album with most of the original lineup but, at the end of the day, this will only be decent Sabbath album in the long run. Their old sound is there in a few of the songs. 1, 4, and 5 really brought back alot of memories from their old stuff. God is Dead? is probably one of the worst songs on the album and I"m not sure why they chose that as their single. The deluxe edition of this album is the one to get as the 3 songs they include on there are all on the same level, if not better than, most of the other songs on the album. Methademic is a very fast paced song that sounds nothing like the rest of the album that is very good and Damaged Soul is probably the best song from the 8 songs on the standard edition copy. But this album really won't do much for them in the long run as it's fairly forgettable with zero standouts. If you are coming into this looking for another War Pigs or Iron Man level of song then you'll be severely disappointed. Collapse
  7. Sep 7, 2013
    4
    Infinitely less appealing than The Devil You Know, this latest Black Sabbath album is well-crafted but, in the end, nothing other than a monument to boredom. The songs are completely devoid of intensity or energy, and Ozzy sounds unconvincing. Some good instrumental parts are just not enough. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews