Tag Archives: Ozzy Osbourne

Black Label Society Release New Single, “My Dying Time”

If you play guitar then there is one man who stands out when talking about modern guitar playing, and that man is none other than former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, Zakk Wylde. Wylde fronts his own band, Black Label Society who have a large following, that they refer to as the “Black Label family.” Think about a  motor cycle club cross pollinated with the Kiss Army and that would be the “Black Label Family.”

Recently Wylde has been hunkered down in his home studio, The Black Vatican working on new music for the follow-up to 2010’s  Order  of The Black. Last week we got a first taste of this new music which will be released April 8th and be titled Catacombs of The Black Vatican. This new track is entitled “My Dying Time,” and let me tell you, it does not disappoint.

“My Time of Dying” starts with a very atmospheric type riff, and then a chugging guitar gets introduced. After this the rest of the band comes in and this track really takes off nicely. The vocals are very reminiscent of older Black Label Society Material, in fact they sound a lot like Wylde’s southern rock side project, Pride & Glory. The guitar playing in this song is spectacular, it is shredding, but is also melodic and most importantly fits the song well.

I can’t wait to see what Zakk and his crew have up their sleeves, but I’m sure of one thing, and that is that Black Label Society will put out a fantastic album.

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NEVER SAY DIE: Black Sabbath Return With First Album Featuring Ozzy Osbourne in 35 Years, ’13’

Black Sabbath. These two words say so much. They conjure images of Ozzy Osbourne peace signs swinging in the air hoping up and down like a coked up Richard Nixon. Of Tony Iommi standing in place playing the evilest riffs that can be conjured. And Geezer Butler, whose bass tone and style is the gold standard for all of heavy metal.  These three titans have come together with the help of producer, Rick Rubin to release their first new album in 35 years, 13.

13 starts off with the ominous opening riff to the album’s first track “End of The Beginning.”    “End of The Beginning” has a very slow ominous feel to it that is very reminiscent of the band’s eponymous song “Black Sabbath.”  The song eventually picks up and the listener gets bludgeoned by another one of Iommi’s signature riffs.

13’s second track is entitled “God is Dead?” which starts off with a slow instrumental section that sets the mood for the song. This then gets interrupted by another one of Tony Iommi’s signature riffs. You can hear how tight the band is on this riff especially bassist Geezer Butler and session drummer, Brad Wilk. The slow meandering riff comes back again and with it we hear Ozzy’s vocals which sound excellent. Rick Rubin did a great job polishing Ozzy’s voice on this song, as it is spotless in performance. Butler’s bass is super punchy during the verse too, which gives the song a certain movement that is different from Iommi’s guitar playing which is very smooth. The chorus comes in and this is when we hear Black Sabbath as it is meant to be heard with extremely loud riffs. Around the 5:55 the song hits a bridge and this is by far my favorite song as it fits in with the band’s older material like “Hole in the Sky.”

“Loner” is the next track on the album, which is a track about pure alienation, which lyrically is interesting because many of Sabbath’s early songs were about that same topic. The riff in this song is very standard and simple, but it gets the job done.  But where the song really is stunning is towards the middle where it slows down for a short period, but then the band kicks in, and they’re full speed.

“Zeitgeist” is the albums fourth track, and is one of my favorite tracks on the record. The song has a great feel reminiscent of their great track, “Planet Caravan.”  It’s a beautiful track, and Rubin did a great job on the mixing allotting each instrument the correct space in the mix. If there’s anything that would be the polar opposite of “Zeitgeist” it would be the next track, “Age of Reason” which is a riff driven track about the end of the world, but what I love about it is it’s riff which sounds like a number of my favorite Black Sabbath songs got shoved into a blender, and the end result was this track. Tony Iommi’s guitar playing is also something that should be noted, as he provides a very heavy mechanical feel, but still makes the track groove. Wilk’s drumming is also great on this track.

“Live Forever” is another one of those tracks that you just want to bang your head to. The riff has so much groove. It’s a tremendous song, and the lyrics on the track are spectacular too. “Damaged Soul” is the seventh track on the album, and this song sounds like it came straight from 1971. The production on this song isn’t as spectacular as the rest of the album, but the unpolished feel adds to the rustic and true image that Black Sabbath has always portrayed.

“Dear Father” is the last track on the album, and this song is as heavy, as anything I’ve heard even though it’s a slower song in parts, I would say it’s one of the heaviest tracks I’ve ever heard. I love it.

13 is a collection of eight great tracks that bring one back to the 70’s. Rick Rubin said he wanted the album to sound contemporary, but also have a vintage feel, and with this record he definitely captured that vibe. Sabbath is back!

-B. Harlow

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Newsted Release New Song, “Heroic Dose”

Jason Newsted has been instrumental to the thrash scene since the mid 80’s when he played with one of the best underground thrash metal bands, Flotsam and Jetsam. Newsted then came to the forefront of thrash metal when he took the bass slot for Trash Metal’s forefathers, Metallica, after the tragic death of Cliff Burton. In 2001 Newsted left Metallica, after differences with both James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. After he left Metallica, he played in his band, Echobrain and played bass for a short period for Ozzy Osbourne. Newsted  then joined Voivod under the stage name, Jasonic.  In 2009, Newsted was present with Metallica when they were inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

In the 3 years since the Rock and Roll induction ceremony, Newsted has been honing his sound for his latest project, Newsted. Newsted released Newsted was originally a metal three-piece that includes Newsted on bass and vocals, Jessie Farnsworth on guitar, and Jesus Mendez Jr.  Staind Guitarist Mike Mushock joined Newsted in March.

Recently the band released the first track from their upcoming debut album, Heavy Metal Music. The track is titled “Heroic Dose”  and runs at about five and a half minutes long.  It starts out nicely with a riff that reminded me of Testament, especially the vocals which reminded me of Chuck Billy. Newsted’s voice is great for thrash, and it’s a shame that it was barely used when he was in Metallica. Around the three and a half minute mark we get hit with great dueling solos, that really make this track stand out in extra ordinary fashion.

Be sure to check these guys out and look for new music from them this summer. They’ll be on tour with Megadeth this summer, so be sure to check them out if you’ll be attending Gigantour.

-B. Harlow 

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Black Sabbath Release First Song With Ozzy Osbourne on Vocals Since 1978! Our Review of “God Is Dead?”

Black Sabbath have released “God is Dead?” which is the band’s first single off their reunion album 13, which will be released June 11th. It is also the first song the band has released with original front-man Ozzy Osbourne since 1978’s Never Say Die, the bands final album with the classic line-up. It is also the first song we’ve heard with the band’s new drummer, Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine.)

“God is Dead?” starts off with a slow instrumental section that sets the mood for the song. This then gets interrupted by one of Tony Iommi’s signature riffs. You can hear how tight the band is on this riff especially bassist Geezer Butler and Wilk. The slow meandering riff comes back again and with it we hear Ozzy’s vocals which sound excellent. Rick Rubin did a great job polishing Ozzy’s voice on this song, as it is spotless in performance. Butler’s bass is super punchy during the verse too which gives the song a certain movement that is different from Iommi’s guitar playing which is very smooth. The chorus comes in and this is when we hear Black Sabbath as it is meant to be heard with loud riffs. Around the 5:55 the song hits a bridge and this is by far my favorite song as it fits in with the band’s older material like “Hole In the Sky.”

All in all “God is Dead?” is a great track which is very modern sounding yet would fit in with Black Sabbath’s earlier material.  Be sure to check this song! You can Pre-order 13 here and get an instant download of the song of the new track!

B. Harlow

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Remembering Randy Rhoads (December 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982)

Born in 1956 to a very musically inclined family, it wasn’t a question if Randy Rhoads would be a musician. Starting at the age of seven Rhoads started playing and taking guitar lessons at his Mother’s music school. Eventually the very advanced Rhoads started giving lessons, which he continued until he got the gig of lead guitar in Ozzy Osbourne’s new band, The Blizzard of Ozz. All though Rhoads was a teacher he always thought of himself as a student, as he continued studying classical guitar and taking classical guitar lessons. At the time of his death it is said that Rhoads wanted to study music at U.C.L.A.  Tragically he never got the chance.

When Rhoads got to Ozzy’s band he was no newcomer to the stage. Starting in 1970 Rhoads played with the groups Violet Fox, and then Quiet Riot starting around 1976. It is said when Quiet Riot would perform the audience would not be around the lead singer but, Rhoads who would be dressed in a velvet vest and a polka-dot bow tie.  Rhoads was a showman through and through as evident in the video of his live guitar solo from his Quiet Riot days Laughing Gas.” This solo also previewed a number of riffs that would later be featured in recordings during his tenure as Osbourne’s guitarist.

In 1980 Ozzy Osbourne’s fortunes had taken a turn for the worse, he had been fired from Black Sabbath. After spending countless months in a hotel room drinking and drugging, Osbourne, Dana Strumm, and future wife Sharon Arden set out to form a new group. The new group was to be called, Blizzard of Ozz and be a four piece. Rhoads reluctantly auditioned, as he was not a Black Sabbath fan but, he got the job. Eventually The Blizzard of Ozz retreated to the Ridge Farm Studio where they recorded Blizzard of Ozz.

The record was released in September of that year. It consisted of nine blistering tracks including “I Don’t Know,” “Crazy Train,” and “Mr. Crowley” which later became staples of Osbourne’s live show. The album also featured the song “Dee,” a short classical piece inspired by Rhoad’s mother Delores. The album featured bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake. The album reached number 21 on the Billboard chart and reached Multi-Platinum level sales.

Shortly after the release of Blizzard, Arden got the group to go into the studio to record what was to become Diary of a Madman. Rhoads put on another tremendous performance when recording Diary enhancing his virtuoso image and showcasing his raw talent. Tracks from the record including “Over the Mountain” and “Flying High Again” where released as singles but, the most notable track of the album was the title track. Even though Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake played on the record, they were not featured on the album artwork. Instead pictured and credited were bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge. The album was released in November of 1981 and went platinum in the U.S. by the following May. Unfortunately Rhoads was not able to receive this honor.

Thirty years ago today Randy Rhoads was killed, when the plane he was riding in crashed into a private home in Leesburg, Florida. The plane was piloted by the tour bus driver Andrew Aycock. Aycock had two passengers on board, Rhoads and hairdresser Rachel Youngblood. He was joyriding when the wing of the plane hit the side of Osbourne’s tour bus and crashed into a pine tree and finally collided into a garage of a house near the airport. Rhoads was only 25.

In the two years Rhoads toured and recorded with the Blizzard of Ozz, he did more than most people do in a lifetime. His guitar playing took the instrument to a whole new level of proficiency. His sound and technicality was emulated by multiple generations of guitarists.  On this day we remember Randy Rhoads not only as a musician but, a caring human being that thought he could learn something from everyone, especially his students.

-B. Harlow

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