Black Sabbath's '13' Named Album of the Year

Revolver Magazine unveils this year's Top 20 records list, Deafheaven's "Sunbather" takes the second place.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
28

Revolver Magazine have officially named Black Sabbath's "13" as the album of the year in their annual Top 20 list of rock and metal releases. Deafheaven claimed the second spot with "Sunbather", as revealed by the band itself through Twitter, while the rest of the list will be revealed soon in the magazine's upcoming issue. Revolver's previous top picks included Deftones' "Koi No Yokan" last year and Korn's "The Path of Totality" back in 2011. As for "13," the album dropped on June 10 via Vertigo Records as the metal icons' nineteenth studio effort and the first one to feature Ozzy Osbourne on vocals since 1978's "Never Say Die." Produced by Rick Rubin, the album was also marked with the absence of drummer Bill Ward, who was replaced in the studio by Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine. "13" topped the charts in nine countries around the globe, including both UK and the US, earning Sabbath their very first Billboard 200 chart-topper with 155,000 units shipped within the first week. As far as the UK is considered, the 43-year gap between their previous No. 1 album, 1970's "Paranoid," meant yet another record for the metal pioneers as the longest period between the two chart-toppers. The album's chart success came as a surprise to Ozzy, who nevertheless praised the effort as a "masterpiece." "I'm my own worst critic," he told the West Australian back in late April. "Rather than the pluses I look for the minuses. And I haven't been this excited for an album in a long, long time. I can't remember the last time." The record generally garnered critical acclaim and kudos from the fans, but was still somewhat frowned upon by some due to Ward's absence. Among others, such statements were made by Devin Townsend who claimed that he couldn't listen to the effort as the "drums are distracting."

Thank you to @Revolvermag for naming Sunbather the #2 Album of the Year. These guys beat us.. pic.twitter.com/gt0UIonlsH

— Deafheaven (@deafheavenband) November 4, 2013

So is this a well-deserved title or are there other efforts more worthy of the No. 1 spot? Let us know in the comments.

162 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RJDfan666
    It may just be my Black Sabbath bias, but I'm happy with that. I loved the whole apocalyptic theme of the album. Granted, a couple songs just kinda sounded like their older songs with different lyrics, but all in all, I thought it sounded great, despite being produced by Rick Rubin. And I consider that a huge obstacle to overcome.
    Jimjambanx
    It was a good album for sure, but certainly not the best. Even Carcass had a better comeback album IMO with Surgical Steel.
    buddy1991
    How can anyone even choose the BEST album? I can't even choose a favorite band. These best of lists are pointless and anyone who gets upset over it really need to chill out.
    Jimjambanx
    It's not about choosing a be all end all "best" so to speak, It's more like looking at some of the highlights of the year, and which album impressed us the most. It's almost entirely subjective, but these lists are a great way of looking back at some of the best albums of the year. I enjoy them, even if I do disagree with the winner.
    Fuzorz
    let's be honest, it wasn't that good It's also really weird to compare a band whose best days where decades ago with a band whose first album was recorded in 2011
    Abzzz
    New blood and new band doesn't necessary mean that they have better album than the band whose best days were decades ago. I know your point, but...
    UncleBluck
    Not weird at all. It shows once again the lack of talent in the younger generations pool and the fact that they cannot compete with the talent of past generations....now vote me down because you know what I am saying is the TRUTH.....and you cant handle it...
    phds
    "lack of talent in the younger generations" I'm positively sure you live under a rock.
    Gantz92
    What recent bands can compare to the classic band's of the 70's and 80's? I must be living under a rock because i can't think of one but i would love to be proven wrong.
    iommi600
    In hard rock, stoner, psychedelic and other sounds reminiscent of the 70's, we've got Witchcraft, Graveyard, Radio Moscow, Black Mountain, Electric Moon, Samsara Blues Experiment, Tame Impala, The Black Angels, The Black Keys, Dead Meadow, etc etc. They owe nothing to the classic bands, IMO. Give them a try if you're not familiar with them mate. Also, alternative rock as it was in the 80s is still doing pretty ****ing good. The Antlers, Interpol, Bloc Party, The National, Deerhunter, Violent Soho, etc...
    telskier
    "They owe nothing to the classic bands..." I understand it is your opinion, and I'm not saying those bands aren't good...but man you are coming off as ignorant with that line. I'm sure you aren't. In fact your use of terminology suggests you know enough to have this type of conversation. But every group that exists can trace influence and things they "owe" back throughout the tree of music. Music does not exist out of the void...it is, like all things, influenced by the past.
    iommi600
    I've used "owe" informally, merely as a measurement of my appreciation for these bands. In other words, I've said that I like them just as much as I like the classic bands. I've said it based solely on my personal taste, of course. It wasn't my intention to say that they don't owe anything to the classic bands when it comes to influence, that would surely be ignorant.
    miahdoll
    How bout we just like who we like and that's it! Who gives a **** what "genre" they're in, or how old they are, just listen to em.
    s7peterson
    dude you live under a rock. the black keys are awesome, but they take influence from ye olde epic blues
    Rimfrost
    Depends on how you want them to compare, in songwriting ability and technical skills i would say Vektor is worth a mention. Muse, Coheed and Cambria, Mars Volta, Dresden Dolls,Artisan,Ulver, Tool, Fever Ray, RadioHead, Dillinger Escape Plan, Wormrot, Huntress, Devil´s Blood, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Royal Thunder... Could probably go on forever. I don´t think it´s particularily hard to find new artists that are both original and talented. To me the 70s,80,90s and 00s were excellent for music, it´s just a never ending flood of goodness.
    bobmarley_fan
    I feel really sorry for you if you do not think that there are no longer any great talent out there in Metal. Bands like Witchcraft, Ghost, Graveyard, Kyng, Baroness, The Sword...I could go on. While you may not think that there is not great new talent coming up, I actually feel the opposite. So much the opposite, in fact, that I think it will be noticed again and find it's place back in the limelight.
    PuckMugger
    It's not about the younger gen having less talent, but the young gen having less feel/style/inspiration/vibe of the older metal masters. It's not any better or worse with the current metal artists out there, just different...you dig?
    third(-)eye
    Agreed, except I think the current artists are definitely worse. So many posers nowadays that I have trouble enjoying the genre. They only know how to be heavy and lack the groove that keeps heavy interesting.
    imaboss1
    Past generations - Metal that was well written Current generation - Metal that's just metal For the most part anyway
    daylightdies370
    There are just as many talented song writers in metal now as there was in past generations, but now there is also even more crappy ones too. They might all not be as talented as the song writers in the 80's and 90's, but there is still some very talented metal bands in the current generation.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Yeah...sure... The thing is, Black Sabbath isn't really that talented. Their music was always very basic. Nothing crazy going on. As for feel/style/inspiration/vibe...if you think the newer bands don't have that in spades, then you need to crawl out from under the rock you've been living in. There's a lot of new Metal/Rock/whatever bands doing tons of interesting and new things.
    third(-)eye
    I disagree so strongly with that... Just because they don't go nuts on their instruments like some of the new artists do doesn't make them less talented. They're all about the groove; they understand the concept of self-restraint. Same reason I love Tool so much. Most "metal" bands nowadays have just turned into a competition of who can outperform who. I can only listen to Protest the Hero or similar for about 5 minutes before I'm just like "ok, I get it."
    buddy1991
    Your comment is so wrong. You clearly haven't heard the majority of sabbaths work with ozzy. Easily one of the most talented and influential bands to have ever existed. I also have a strong feeling you don't play an instrument. Am I right?
    Metalisnotmusic
    have to agree with you Sam. People have been saying this crap for a long time. Bands today are the best of any time in history, because of the amount of people who play now, and the amount of influences. Still, you have to dig for the good artists. When Black Sabbath (the album) came out, people had to dig for it. The popular music then was bad, and those who looked hard enough found Sabbath and a bunch of other bands. Now they're popular, and there are literally thousands of better bands that you don't know about. Quit being so lazy and ignorant, there is better music out there. As a side note, if 13 should not even be close to album of the year
    Gantz92
    How about you list some of these amazing but unknown artists?
    Morphogenesis26
    I'll list some for you. I assume we are speaking of Metal, so I'll list modern Metal bands. Tribulation, Procession, Pallbearer, Jex Thoth, Csejthe, Inquisition, Ahab, Sacriphyx, Ruins Of Beverast, Pharaoh, In Solitude, Vektor, Underthreat, Isis, Agalloch, Jesu, Vasaeleth, Craven Idol, Prosanctus Inferi. Those are just off the top of my head. Enjoy. :3
    Brandon1993
    I love Pallbearer, Jex Thoth, Isis, Agalloch, and Jesu. Also Sorrow & Extinction is easily one of the if not THE best album from last year that I had the privilege of listening to. Metal or otherwise. For those who HAVEN'T listened to it.....
    third(-)eye
    I do know ISIS from that list and I agree that they do not fit the stereotype I discussed. I might even add Pelican to that list. That said, they are exceptions to the rule.
    Morphogenesis26
    Eh, it sounds more like you're talking about all the really generic bands that creep up in every genre of music. I don't bother with those bands, just the really good ones/ones I enjoy a lot. vThis guy knows what's up.
    Gantz92
    I like a couple of the bands you mentioned but i don't think any of them come close to Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Thanks for introducing me to Procession though.
    D4CE
    It definitely wasn't a bad album, but 'best album of the year' seems a bit of an exaggeration to me. Sure, they're THE 'Black Sabbath', but there's a lot of young blood doing amazing stuff out there.
    Eamonster
    While 13 isn't my personal favorite album of the year (...Like Clockwork), it's definitely a solid choice and one that I respect. 2013 was seriously a great year for rock/metal albums, hopefully 2014 will be as good.
    Noob_Brood
    Ghost B.C. came out with a great album this year also.
    lemmyisgod97
    Never really got that band, I just think they're a pale imitation of Sabbath with theatrics.
    EpsilonX
    Did you listen to the newer album? It's much less hard rock/metal, much more Beatles/Beach Boys melodies presented in a satanic fashion.
    pacf16
    Well, Black Sabbath is one of my favourite bands, but album of the year should be Like Clockwork. QOTSA really achieved something amazing with that album. its a ****ing masterpiece.
    boratian
    I think this simply goes to show that if any of the "legendary" bands even sneeze in a studio, it'll be voted sneeze of the year. Ignoring an entire year's worth of incredible albums to quench the endless army of Sabbath fans is just lazy and lacking in any real attempt. 13 was a mediocre album by a band that really just shouldn't exist at this point.
    julianholguin
    [deleted]
    julianholguin · Nov 05, 2013 04:35 AM
    imneverdead
    The year hasnt finished - but they already name album of the year. Sorry I can't get that kind of logic.
    Brandon1993
    It's a good album. But not "Album Of The Year" good. Sunbather isn't THAT good either....I mean its an okay album. But I don't see how it'd be in the Top 10 for this year. Especially when you have bands like QOTSA, Vista Chino, Black Pyramid, and Motorhead releasing albums this year as well.
    --ESTRANGED--
    i think its because its combined a few genres that haven't really been done before, while QOTSA and the rest are doing same old same.
    Rimfrost
    While it's pretty great, the mix of shoegaze, post-rock and black metal is far from original... :p
    Brandon1993
    No ones combined Post-Rock, Shoegaze, and Black Metal before?
    --ESTRANGED--
    no, nobody ever.
    Brandon1993
    So Alcest, Amesoeurs, and Les Discrets no longer exist. Well....Amesoeurs doesn't. But they broke up back in 2009. I have a feeling you're just being a dumb ass to draw attention to yourself anyways so I'm not going to pay attention to you anymore after I post this reply.
    codyjt5150
    I think Black Sabbath should've been 2 and Devil Put Dinosaurs Here should've been #1.
    javdoc
    Good album, no doubt, but would not rate as the best. My top pick has to be ...Like Clockwork . Not the heaviest or riffiest QotSA album, but perfect in its own way - and loving the idea of a 1-2 punch Homme seems to want to do with a (hopefully) quick follow-on.
    Vinson
    Still not liking that all band pics look like they are a trio. Way to dis both drummers at the same time.
    GrahamDowney
    because neither drummers are members of Black Sabbath Brad Wilk was a session member and Tommy Clufitus was a touring member
    HitmanJenkins
    I enjoyed the album from a songwriting perspective, but I hated the production on it, it seemed a bit to polished for my liking.
    67_67
    I think Deafheaven are overrated, I didn't understand the hype about Sunbather at all when I listened to it.
    Anjohl
    I love how all the people who condemned it now love it. Us real fans knew it was great!
    Noob_Brood
    You're right...it was a great album. Just simply not the best of 2013 in mine and many other users opinion.
    thenextkirk92
    Protest The Hero, Killswitch Engage, Dream Theater, Amon Amarth, Reflections, Motorhead? Their albums seemed much better. 13 wasn't that good to my ears. Should really rename it to "Number One of the Albums We Listened To". Just seems like bias.
    ibanez124
    I am really getting tired of giving awards out just because of who they are, when the album actually isn't that good. Ozzy could have recorded himself taking a s**t, and people would call it the best album ever.
    AlecBeretz
    idk, if bill ward played a sick beat behind it, i think i would listen to ozzy taking a dump
    MaidenisGOD89
    I don't listen to black sabbath just because of ozzy, i listen to it because it's black ****ing sabbath! which means, IOMMI, GEEZER, and ozzy! you just sound like a moron.
    ibanez124
    I wasn't saying it is just about Ozzy, I didn't know "Satire" was a foreign language.
    trentonlambert
    I don't see the problem. It's good-ole-fashioned Sabbath doom metal. What more could you ask for?
    Rimfrost
    Can´t say i agree, there´s so many great albums this year that i don´t even rank Sabbath near my top 20. Personally i prefered Cathedrals Last Spire and Orchids Mouth of Madness to 13, if we look at bands in the same genre as Sabbath. My album of the year is probably either Kavinsky, Atoms for Peace, Hypocrisy, Nick Cave, David Bowie or Coheed and Cambria, from the things i have heard so far. Satyricon seems very promising, but i haven´t listened to it properly yet... The Knife is probably the biggest dissapointment of the year for me, don´t know what the hell that was supposed to be.
    AterVotum
    Satyricon came out with an awesome album this year. I was not at all impressed with the new Sabbath album. It sounds like re-hashed material.
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    i just want to say that i liked the new Satyricon album a lot too. seems like nobody does =(
    robo37
    How's this better than Like Clockwork and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here?
    third(-)eye
    It's not. Black Sabbath won the popularity contest.
    ibanez124
    Thank You, someone gets it. Just because it was made by Black Sabbath people automatically praise it. I have no idea how newer bands will ever get a chance.
    rog1234
    13 sucked. Like most "comeback" albums from bands like BS. This year had Is Survived By (Touche Amore), The Blackest Beautiful (letlive.), Volition (Protest The Hero) or Wrongdoers (Norma Jean), not to mention The Dillinger Escape Plan... a TON of better written, produced and preformed albums.
    Tim the Rocker
    Pff... I can't believe some people even consider this polls relevant! It can't possible be THE best album, specially not of this year with so many great albums from so many great bands... And they are so far behind in the genre they created themselves (unwillingly) that it hurts... It has nothing to do with what it was or what it was supposed to be. I'd rather listen to Heaven & Hell for modern Iommi riffs n' licks... And I'll never understand why'd pick Wilk on drums, when there's so many great rock n' roll drummer from all ages out there and available.
    bunnyh0pz
    Lets be honest, this album was mediocre, especially for a Sabbath album. But what could you expect from a magazine who named Korn's dubstep album their "album of the year".
    guitgrinder
    My #1 Album of the Year is Soilwork's The Living Infinite. That album is ****ing amazing on every level.
    Chickendirt
    My Personal top ten so far (year aint over) 1. Big Scary-Not Art 2. QOTSA-...Like Clockwork 3. Trouble with Templeton-Rookie 4. Daft Punk-RAM 5. Sigur Ros-Kveikur 6. Atoms For Peace-Amok 7. Karnivool-Asymmetry 8. Nine Inch Nails-Hesitation Marks 9. James Blake-Overgrown 10. Violent Soho-Hungry Ghost
    Kueller917
    Saw James Blake at a recent festival. Overgrown's not really getting into my top 10 of the year but I admit the man can create so very atmospheric soundscapes.
    Born2Booze13
    I LOVE Sabbath. My favorite band of all time. They can do little to no wrong in my eyes. But, it was by no means the BEST album of a year that isn't complete yet. I expected more. Hell, even the Heaven & Hell album with Dio was superior. I guess I expected too much. The new Killswitch was great.
    AlecBeretz
    its only album of the year cause they're big, great 2013 albums: Hands that Thieve, Streetlight Manifesto Melophobia, Cage the Elephant It's All a Jam, Fortunate Youth MGMT, MGMT Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails Personally, i liked those better than 13... but, im not mad they chose sabbath. so long it wasn't some DJ. also, notable new band is CARAVAN PALACE, electroswing from paris, its amazing.
    damillion
    Last time I checked there's still two months to go of 2013. If you're going to be serious, at least wait until the year is up.
    Izzy-Sweet
    I liked 13, but for me, my number 1 album of 2013 is Motorhead's Aftershock! Admittedly biased, what with Motorhead being my favourite band, but hey!
    third(-)eye
    What? No way. Did the entire magazine not hear ...Like Clockwork? Hell, NIN's new album was better than 13.
    iommi600
    A solid album in my opinion, but not the best. "The Next Day" is the winner for me.
    derpdragon
    I honestly loved 13, but I really feel like Scorpion Child really deserves the #1 spot. I've never heard a debut album so great, and they where just as amazing live to further back it up.