End Of The Beginning
Label: Virgin Emi
Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler hold up their end on Sab's first Ozzyfied studio set in 35 years; guitar and bass riffs sound as inexorable as you'd hope, and grimier than you'd expect. Without Bill Ward drumming, though, the bottom feels floppy and waterlogged. And Oz's gig has been self-parody forever: rhyme "tomb," "gloom" and "doom"? Check! That said, "Zeitgeist" is some dreamy across-the-universe space-metal; Beatles rips ("Rocky Raccoon"!?) in comparatively speedy Deluxe Edition tweak-rocker "Methademic" are even more blatant. And "Live Forever," about not wanting to, is reasonably heavy.