For those of you who’ve not yet heard, Black Sabbath tossed a rather meaty bone in the direction of their rabid fanbase today – they not only revealed the artwork for their upcoming album 13, but accompanied it with a snippet of a new song. Bonanza!


So… what’s the cover like? Well, it’s not without its charm, given the vague Wicker Man feel of the thing, but it’s very much a Ronseal job – it’s essentially just two burning numbers.


Never mind that though – it’s the audio that’s of paramount interest here. And it’s good! Alas, I’ve only shoddy laptop speakers to listen to it through at home, but even on my meagre sonic set-up, Tony’s guitar is thick, Geezer’s bass rumbles like Pig Champion’s bowels and Ozzy’s voice sounds in absolutely tip-top condition.


Truth be told, the production on the track isn’t anywhere near as shamelessly retro as I was expecting – but that’s probably a good thing. After all, there are enough bands out there trying vainly to recapture the sound of 1973 without Sabbath having to do so as well.


13 is the first new all-studio Sabbath album since 1995’s oft-derided Forbidden and reunites three quarters of the group’s ‘classic’ line-up, with ex-Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk replacing original skinsman Bill Ward.


Enough of my prattling. Have a look ‘n’ listen below:


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