Sweet Eric and I have been discussing Black Sabbath for decades now, so I thought I’d post our thoughts on the new 13 album for the record.
All in all I give the album a solid 7 out of 10. I would have been happy if Sabbath would have left their legacy with Never Say Die as the last album with Ozzy, but with 13 it all has come full circle.
Cal: I agree on most counts; I heard a couple tunes with Clufetos last year at Lollapalooza and was so disgusted I couldn't stick around. Wilk does a fine job on the album. Ozzy does sound a bit shaky at times, but I have to admit for his age and number of brain cells remaining, I can't fault him too much. I really like some of his lyrics, too, especially "Live Forever"--simple, but effective. Some of them are definitely cheesy but that's kind of been the case for ages.
My biggest issue is Iommi, actually. He sounds great, no doubt; Rubin saw to that. And frankly, 13 blows away 90% of modern mainstream hard rock in almost every aspect. But in addition to the examples you point out, I hear slight alterations of "Hole In The Sky" (particularly in "God Is Dead?") and "Sweet Leaf" and even "War Pigs" elements all over the album. But I guess after decades of other people ripping off his riffs, you can't blame him too much for ripping himself off!
All I really hoped for was a non-embarrassment, and they certainly surpassed that. Solid album, just not one I'll probably listen to much considering it basically just makes me want to listen to the classics that it imitates.