As the June 10 release of the massively-anticipated new record from metal's most influential act steadily approaches, frontman Ozzy Osbourne took some time to discuss the direction the band has decided to take, as well as the overall feel the album brings.
Titled "13," the upcoming Black Sabbath release will see the group going back to their roots and the classic raw Sabbath sound featured in their first four records. And it would seem that the final product might be far better than we have expected.
"It's a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned," Osbourne tells The West Australian. "I heard the finished thing last week and I've got to be truthful with you, I was so bowled over by the way it sounded. If you liked Black Sabbath in the old days, you got to love '13.' It's very heavy. It's very, very heavy.
"I'm my own worst critic," the singer adds. "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."
One of the main driving forces for the band to go back to the original sound was the producer Rick Rubin, who constantly kept pointing the four-piece towards their debut release.
"Rubin kept going on about the first album," Ozzy said. "I'm thinking, 'What you going on about the first album for?' I suddenly got it. You know what you need to do before you start playing for real? Just jam. And one of the jams ended up on the album.
"[Rubin] wouldn't have me singing anything related to happy, fun, anything like that. It was a bit of a sticking point at times."
The vocalist finally went on to discuss his own turbulent life, recollecting some crazy old memories, as well as "The Osbournes" TV series. Although the show did prove itself as somewhat of a root of his children's own drug issues, the vocalist seemingly showed no regrets, calling it all a part of the "God's master plan."
"My kids have got a career out of it, and my wife did. She loves to do television, my wife. I'm not particularly crazy about it but I'll do it if I have to.
"The blessing I have is that today I'm alive," the frontman says. "My heart stopped more than once and they got me going again. I had a bike accident a few years back, nearly broke my neck, smashed my clavicle, broke my ribs, punctured my lungs.
"I've fallen down flights of stairs, lift shafts, everything in my life. Been arrested for attempted murder, which I'm not really proud of. But I never thought I could go into a recording studio and do an album totally sober. It's better than it was."
To give fans the idea of how "13" sounds like, the band has already streamed the first official single "God is Dead?" as well as premiere a total of two new tracks, "End of the Beginning" and "Methademic," live during their latest Australian concert trek.