God Is Dead? review by Black Sabbath

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  • Released: Apr 19, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.2 (216 votes)
Black Sabbath: God Is Dead?
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Sound — 8
Sabbath is back! This single made a lot of classic fans very happy and it's easy to tell why. The robust bass tone along with the formidable guitar riffs and Brad Wilk's heavy drum contribution is what made this track so epic. At 8:52 in length, the song never drags on. In my opinion, the best part of the song starts at about 6:15 when Tony Iommi's guitar riff comes in. That's when the whole song changes. Overall, the sound quality was perfect for Black Sabbath. They obviously didn't want to sound too clean cut and perfect, but the sound was more modern and comfortable.

Lyrics — 8
I thought that the lyrics to the song were really clever. My favorite line is, "Give me the wine, you take the bread," which clearly references the body and blood of Jesus Christ. There are also many allusions to God (of course), the bible, and other holy symbols. The satanic writing style of the group still stands strong. I like to think of this track as a what-is-happening-to-the-world kind of song. It reminds me of tragedies such as the Boston Marathon and the Texas Fertilizer Explosion. They make you wonder if God were really alive because he would not have let these horrific events occur. On a less depressing note, I can actually understand what Ozzy Osbourne is singing on this track! Thank God for advanced audio editing technology!

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I, as well as many other listeners, am very satisfied with this single. I am also very excited for this album. This song strengthens my anticipation. The funniest thing I've heard about Black Sabbath recording this album is that it is the first album they wrote completely sober. However, can this hurt them as writers? It's good that they are off of the drugs and alcohol, but what if it was the best way for them to compose? This single strongly begs to differ, but I suppose we'll all see (or hear) for ourselves when "13" drops on June 11. Keep your ears peeled on May 15 when the band's next single, "End Of The Beginning", is released!

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130 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TunerAddict
    If this was released by a no-name band, would it still get the same scores?
    Face R1pper
    If this was released by no-name band it would get laughed at for being generically boring and longer than it deserves to be.
    ForlornHope420
    probably not, its black sabbaths comeback and its great, they pulled it off. BUT if a new band did sound like this, my faith in humanity would be restored a bit. cause this is a great song imo, so yea, i think it would be accepted but maybe not as highly cause come on, its sabbath
    Joe-Floyd-lover
    I think it would. In this age of Auto-Tuned POP Shit, every song counts. If a no-name band released this song today I would love it and instantly get tickets to see them.
    Face R1pper
    This isn't an age of auto-tuned pop shit. This is the age of the internet, where every musical genre is more prosperous now than it ever has been before. There are better heavy metal songs being released every week.
    crazysam23_Atax
    There's loads of "Doom Metal" bands on bandcamp that make songs exactly like this. No one who is truly into Doom Metal finds any of those bands interesting. This really isn't interesting. They basically released a single that was old school Sabbath. That's nice, but it's not a great song or something that should be praised. If a no-name band released this, no one would care.
    Mamblingradman
    The point I feel needs to be made is that were it not for this band, this genre wouldn't exist at all. There would be no no-name band to release the song because this wouldn't be a thing. Yes, it's a stereotypical doom metal song. Because the people who play this song invented that genre.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Just because Sabbath founded the genre, that doesn't mean all of their offerings are worthy of being worshiped. If anything, considering all the years that Ozzy and Iommi et. al, have been writing and performing music, this song should have been something more than it is. It's just basic Black Sabbath. There's no surprises here, and that's disappointing.
    Face R1pper
    Well even if what you are saying is true, that doesn't really relate to the conversation. There is a difference between being stereotypical and being generically boring and uninspired. The point is, Black Sabbath can do much better than this and if a band that wasn't in the top-tier made this song it would be overlooked or ridiculed depending on how nice the critic wants to be. But there were plenty of bands playing the same style of music in the late 60s and early 70s. Black Sabbath was certainly one of the most recognized and most influential on doom metal, but you can't make a logical argument that doom metal is dependent on the existence of Black Sabbath.
    crazysam23_Atax
    @Face R1pper: "But there were plenty of bands playing the same style of music in the late 60s and early 70s. Black Sabbath was certainly one of the most recognized and most influential on doom metal, but you can't make a logical argument that doom metal is dependent on the existence of Black Sabbath." Doom Metal isn't, and I don't think I was making that argument.
    Onehitsrock
    A no name band would not sound like this...this is unmistakenly Black Sabbath...other bands do not kick this much ass!
    Gerard Way Jr
    That doesn't answer the question.
    Bezza27
    Well what Turner proposed was an impossible situation. So who cares if it answered the question?
    Gerard Way Jr
    It isn't impossible. Bands have been playing Sabbath for years. The music is out there, we just don't pay attention because it isn't Sabbath. He was making a perfectly valid point, and Onehitsrock was pissing on it.
    Onehitsrock
    Relax. The question is pointless anyway cause a no-name band would not have this song up here to be reviewed in the first place.
    henrihell
    The funniest thing I've heard about Black Sabbath recording this album is that it is the first album they wrote completely sober.
    Ozzy posted this on facebook, April 16th: "For the last year and a half I have been drinking and taking drugs. I was in a very dark place and was an ***** to the people I love most, my family. However, I am happy to say that I am now 44 days sober." So the reviewer either doesn't know shit about what he's writing about, or he seriously thinks the album was written in the last 50 days.
    Joe-Floyd-lover
    They said in the promotional video that they released (the one with them in the studio with Rubin) that they were all sober while they made the album, which was probably a lie now that we're seeing this stuff come out.
    K!!LsWiTcH
    or that when in the studio, they were sober. like literally in the studio sober writing and recording and getting high afterwards
    tanman
    How do I know this is a shit review? "Epic" is used to describe something in the first three sentences.
    N7Crazy
    How do I know you should shut the **** up? You complain about the usage of the very word that sums up this track perfectly.
    tanman
    Really? I'm beginning to think that like so many other overused words, people don't really know what epic means. Even if it accurately describes the song, the review is still shit because of synonyms. An articulate reviewer would have stayed away from employing language fads.
    zomgguitarz1234
    *I dropped something on the floor* "EPIC FAIL LOL"
    tanman
    Yeah that sounds about right. People are describing something as simple as tying their shoes as epic, and then apparently violently overreact if someone points out it's a poor choice of words....
    Panasonic3
    You are wrong; an articulate writer will use whatever words they deem necessary to fit the situation while not caring about the current language fads. Not saying this was a good review though.
    NewModelNos15
    Agree w/ Panasonic. I like the reviewer's passion and aforementioned articulation, but it wont convince anybody that the song is anything more than what it is: a new song by an old band (since 1968!) that has been apart for a long time (Ozzy left in 1979 and I to my knowledge has not recorded new material with them since). Don't expect anything more than that and you'll be happy with the song.
    EpiExplorer
    This is a decent single, similar to what I was expecting when news of it was circulated. Really gets good at around 6:20, properly old school Sabbath.
    FloydHunter
    I'll admit the song is slow to start off, but so is their first song off the first album, yet that song is just as great. It's all about the build up and this song is very much a great tune to play and headbang to.
    Mind_Reader7
    Amazing how they can keep the same directoin going over so many years. Most bands these days change genre every album. The quality makes it so much better....
    inflames66676
    Yes, much like metallica went st.anger and lulu on us
    fortytew
    God forbid forward motion in art. WE WANT MORE OF THE SAME. Your point of view is understandable, but holy shit i hate this.
    Wishort
    Change is good, but my God, James Hetfield became a table. nothing too great about that. This Sabbath is awesome. We need more metal with a classic feel to restart the crap we have now.
    Brandon1993
    I wasn't aware James Hetfield was a transformer o.O He went full table, man. You never go full table. If James Hetfield is the table, does that mean his clothes are the table cloth? Was going to make a Wonder Twins joke with James and Lou but it was less funny than the ones above^
    Walldude
    Decent enough to make me buy the album. And no matter what you think of the song, and how many "better" new metal songs you think are out there, they wouldn't be out there at all if it were not for these guys. Maybe some of the young guys would do well to remember that this is THE BAND that invented ****ing heavy metal. You can't find a metal band anywhere in the world that hasn't been influenced in some way by Sabbath.
    Second Rate
    There are plenty of metal band in the world that have little to no discernible Sabbath influence. In fact, unless you're listening exclusively to Doom or Sludge metal, the sonic influence of Black Sabbath is almost nil. Also, they DID NOT invent heavy metal. There was this other band from England called Deep Purple that also had many elements of what would later be called heavy metal (and I wouldn't give them sole credit for creating it either). Stop with the sophomoric, beginner version of the history of heavy metal. Genres are never created by a singular band. As to a lot of the bullshit about Sabbath being a "satainic band". Have these people ever actually listened to their lyrics? They are practically christian rock. They talk about Satan as something to fear. This is not Watain or Dissection.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Of course there's plenty of bands without direct influence from Black Sabbath. And frankly, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath all had a huge influence on the creation of Heavy Metal.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Just because Sabbath had a huge influence on Heavy Metal, that doesn't mean we should be content with them resting on their laurels. And, to me, this single is them resting on their laurels.
    K!!LsWiTcH
    They obviously didn't want to sound too clean cut and perfect? the whole mix is crushed by a limiter. Its so over compressed its disgusting. other than that the sounds of everything themselves (bass,drums,guitar) pretty much are perfect sounding. this review was written by a child, albeit, a child who wrote a better review than most on UG, but still very fanboy-ish. good song, rick rubin dropped the ball again
    Gerard Way Jr
    "It reminds me of tragedies such as the Boston Marathon and the Texas Fertilizer Explosion. They make you wonder if God were really alive because he would not have let these horrific events occur." Why are you remarking on theology in a musical review? Or using personal pronouns? "Overall, I, as well as many other listeners, am very satisfied with this single." Why are you presuming to know what others think, or, for that matter, using the opinions and analysis of anyone but yourself in the review? It doesn't add credibility. It makes you look like a bad writer. "Brad Wilk's heavy drum contribution is what made this track so epic." Wow, that's specific - a person who uses the word "epic" in a featured review thinks it's "epic"! Now I'll DEFINITELY buy the single. "I like to think of this track as a what-is-happening-to-the-world kind of song." No one cares what you think - the idea is to have actual material from the song with which you make conclusions about it. For all you say about the song itself, you may have just read the lyrics online and written the review without any further knowledge of the track. "The funniest thing I've heard about Black Sabbath recording this album is that it is the first album they wrote completely sober." Ignoring the obnoxious "I've", wouldn't this belong in the lyrics and singing section? "Keep your ears peeled on May 15 when the band's next single, "End Of The Beginning", is released!" That alone gives this review the longevity of about three weeks. Seriously, this is a great song with a shallow, poorly-written review.
    damillion
    ...and instead of moaning about it you could have spent your time writing a better one.
    Gerard Way Jr
    I've currently got 3 reviews in the queue anyway and I don't do singles.
    Sabush1
    "I don't do singles." Classy, very classy.
    Gerard Way Jr
    It's not a pretentious thing, and there's certainly nothing wrong with reviewing singles; I just prefer waiting for the full record. Gives the songs context.
    dsperez88
    You sir win the award for the biggest douche in the universe. Congratulations! You surpassed John Edwards. You twat. Every time I see a comment from you, it is nothing but negativity. You come off as pretentious and deserve a job as a critic for the Village Voice. Have a nice day.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Why do people feel that they're justified in insulting people they disagree with, simply because they disagree with them or find them "pretentious"?
    third(-)eye
    What's with the sudden hate for people who don't review singles? I'm the same way, I don't think it's the single that makes an album. I'm sensing that there is more of a bias towards the commenter going on here.
    Gerard Way Jr
    My name's Gerard Way Jr; of course there's a bias.
    Tarsplitter
    He makes valid points when reviewing reviews but otherwise he just seems like a twat. I don't know why I felt the need to share this with you but there you go.
    Gerard Way Jr
    Not even mad Though I'd like to know why you feel so threatened by me. You dislike my reviews simply because you dislike me. It's...kind of funny.
    Gerard Way Jr
    Also, aren't you the dude who freaked out at me on the FOB review? "God, you're such a ****ing troll. OK bro!" and "All I have to say to you is: Keep calm and listen to Mozart." and "Sounds like you are the offended one here because my opinion differs from yours." ? Sound familiar? Are you butthurt about everyone else in the comments thinking you looked ridiculous for popping your top at me, or what? I had to bring in a firing squad just to calm your ass down. I never said anything offensive - on the contrary, I was trying to calm you down enough to convince you that I hadn't said anything derogatory in the first place. You flipped out when I called you on your claim that *most* critics hated an album. Where's the motivation to flip out on that post, let alone other threads? Seriously, dude...calm down.
    Dikkedar
    While I believe that constructive criticism is almost always good, your comments were written with a somewhat harsh tone, in my opinion. I like the fact that he put his own opinion into the review, after all, since I could relate to his thoughts.
    jammyninja
    "It reminds me of tragedies such as the Boston Marathon and the Texas Fertilizer Explosion. They make you wonder if God were really alive because he would not have let these horrific events occur." Why are you remarking on theology in a musical review?
    Maybe because the song is called "God Is Dead"?
    Gerard Way Jr
    But they didn't write it about the marathon or explosion. Specific incidents have no relevance and make the review sound preachy. He would've been better off explaining the "satanic" imagery and putting meaning into it, rather than copy-pasting the usual "wah why would god do this wah" argument. I'm not even religious and I'm tired of reading that.
    xXa7Xx
    there's a reason why every post of yours is downvoted to hell man. also, the casual snarl-glare look could've worked for your mother's yearbook, but not here captain classy
    Thrash Addict
    So he's not allowed to "presume what others think" (although they've admitted to being satisfied, so he's not really presuming anything, but rather stating), BUT you claim "no one cares what you think". (ignoring the obnoxious irony of you're assumption about others not caring about his opinion, which so happens to be wrong considering people read reviews to see what what someone else thinks of the reviewed subject) What exactly are you looking for in a review? because you seem to not want to know anyone else's opinion.
    Gerard Way Jr
    Professionalism. The idea is to treat the review like you would literary analysis - this way, the "I think" (which shouldn't be there anyway) is eliminated and replaced with, simply, what is. Either way, saying "I think" sounds uncertain and subjective. How can you attach a rating to that?
    Thrash Addict
    On your review for The Wall, you said "in short, I guess what I'm trying to say is that The Wall is a good record. Like...something...that is good." that doesn't sound very professional. And on a side note, Nirvana's first album came out in 1989, so don't claim that they were responsible for the death of music in the 80's (especially with bands like Iron Maiden which is one of the greatest metal bands of all time, Ozzy's solo career, and the thrash metal scene that started in the early 80's)
    MisterMushroom
    Can we all just shut the hell up complaining and just enjoy the fact that Black Sabbath have released a new song?
    crazysam23_Atax
    Why? When it doesn't fit our expectations (and is boring and not up to scratch with their '70s material), why shouldn't we have an issue? Just because it's Black Sabbath doesn't mean we should all love it like we're some kind of sheep.
    PhyrexianMetal
    I think it's great. although the vocal effect on ozzy's voice is a lil too prevalent at times, i think it's got all of the workings of older sabbath material. I'm not the biggest fan of the bass tone, but thats just becuz im more partial to the tone on master of reality. I'd say it'll fit nicely in the catalog. not exactly a masterpiece, but the melody is good enough to sing along to, and its definitely got instrumental hooks. 4/5
    Rocketface2112
    loveing how long it is .....kinda a slower song but still great, cant wait for this album, hopefully the rest of the tracks are this long too.
    Zaqq
    I ain't a Sabbath fan, but I liked the song. Ozzy's vocals are not worse than they were in 1970s, the guitar/bass riffs are simple yet effective. And Brad Wilk! Despite the fact Rick Rubin produced the album, the sound quality is really nice!
    Dalek300
    I do quite enjoy the track though at a length exceeding the eight minute mark, I expected a bit more to keep the listener invested much in the same way as War Pigs did (which still clocked in a minute shorter). I definitely agree with the comments complementing the riff kicking in at the 6:19 mark though. Good song with a great ending but maybe a bit of trimming was in order.
    marcb06
    the speed up is sick but not a fan of the first part or the quality. sabbath isnt supposed to be so clean
    FloydHunter
    Solitude plus Orchid, Laguna Sunrise(which is acoustic) plus the outro of Symptom of the Universe.. Your argument of sabbath not being clean is flawed.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    changes, planet caravan, a bit of finger, fluff, etc. please tell me again how sabbath isn't supposed to be acoustic.
    5_Years_Dead
    This track just strengthens my belief that Ozzy should have never let Jake E Lee get away. Now that was a legendary duo!
    ruker
    Solo was cheesy garbage, very disappointed. The 5 min build-up was completely boring after about 30 seconds. Ozzy sounds like utter crap (what else is new). The bass had some good licks, but was buried. I strongly disagree with classic fans being very happy. All my friends who've been into Sabbath forever have shared the same sentiment... "Better than I was expecting, but that's not saying much."
    UniformRecon
    Would be better without the shitty Rick Rubin production. Nonetheless, I like the song itself.
    Zeppoholic
    This track sucks. It sounds like Ozzy sat in a studio with some random metal heads and recorded something in 2 hours.
    mayslash
    I think we can all agree after listening to this. Randy Rhoads > Tony Iommi
    crazysam23_Atax
    Of course, Rhoads was much better. But that's irrelevant here. Also, he's dead (unfortunately). So, that's like saying Bach is better at keyboard type instruments than (insert modern keyboard player). It doesn't mean shit.
    bassbomb1193
    GOD IS DEAD. WE HAVE KILLED HIM!
    Machineflame
    Are you trying to quote Nietzsche, or just writing non-sense? Cause I really can't tell... (Tilting towards the later though)
    Vabolo
    God creates dinosaurs; God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man; Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs...
    DaniArrow
    It's a good song, I enjoyed listening to it, though it didn't really meet my expectations. Sabbath are great, the song is rather predictable though. I'm hoping there'll be some faster songs on the record as well, some rock'n'roll tracks.
    mikemellen94
    I have to be honest, I think this song kind of blows lol I mean I understand what they were going for, I just feel like his vocals are so processed and the lyrics are very cliche at times. I have to respect what they are doing in their old age though, it's the music they want to make and that's cool with me
    Ghanja_Fog
    I really liked the single, sounds to me like Sabbath still remembers its roots and like always, Ozzy keeps his lyrics relevant to the world, at least as he sees it. For me this is definitely a good sign, I'm thinking most hardcore sabbath fans will love this album, and it drops on june 11, right before my birthday, **** yeah. \m/
    Jozef23
    Eh? If the next single isn't good I won't have any interest in this album. This song is terrible. It's as if they released it just to make more money, because there is no passion in it, which is what earlier tracks had.
    tchesher
    great song but for once i dont like the tone in ozzys voice during the song
    Vabolo
    Hahahaha, that single album art is quite amusing! As Jean-Paul Sartre would say, "Shave your ****ing moustache!"
    chillichunks
    Its just another cash cow from a bunch of past it has beens. How much you paying for the t shirt, lp, concert ticket etc. Boring.
    therobertsonz
    Ozzie solo was the ultimate crap fest. The whole idea of Sabbath was lost and is truly appreciated in this track.