We don’t get a lot of hate mail here at Angry Metal Guy. As I said in the previous incarnation of Angry Metal Mail, “Because we have a good system for commenting, most of the venting, whining, and misdirected anger at childhood traumas and inability to perform in bed gets left in our comment boxes where we can respond to the person directly or where others can respond (with public shaming).” However, in this case, the person didn’t send the mail to me in regards to a post I’d made, but instead a comment I made at Blabbermouth. Here, I’ll let you read it.

Name: Agent 700 [Note, no real name. – AMG]
Email: [email protected] [Probably not a real e-mail address, but this response will be sent to this address just in case it is one.AMG]
Comment: You’ve recenly posted a comment on blabbermouth.net saying that Black Sabbath is not relevant enough for you … You know what, asshole? Your miserable blog should be renamed into Angry Guy  because Black Sabbath own the copyright on the word ‘Metal’ … So go listen to fucking Abba and Ace of Base … or better yet, go fuck yourself and die! …

Time: Friday April 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm
IP Address: 188.138.137.205 [Note IP address. – AMG]
Contact Form URL: http://www.angrymetalguy.com/about/
Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

Black Sabbath - 13I didn’t say that Black Sabbath aren’t relevant enough for me, I said that they’re not relevant. At all. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that they’ve done this to themselves through a few simple steps. Firstly, Ozzy Osbourne has become a living, breathing, hobbling joke. I feel bad for him, because I get the feeling the guy doesn’t even want to be doing this anymore but he’s got this little problem. And that little problem is going to suck him dry for the rest of his life – and probably after he dies as well. Remember No More Tours? Going out on a high note? Yeah, well… Ozzy Osbourne isn’t going out until death frees him from this life – because he is far too valuable of an asset for Ozzy Osbourne Inc., to be allowed to rest.

Secondly, Bill Ward. With all the love and respect for history that these guys have, selling the new Black Sabbath record as being a reunion record is cold, mean and disrespectful to the immense sound influence that is Bill Ward. The combination of Bill Ward and Geezer Butler is a huge part of the sound of the original Sabbath and with him not being there, this isn’t that. Sure, bands never regain their glory days when they reunite. Iron Maiden has never put out a new Seventh Son or PowerslaveJudas Priest has never repeated Turbo Lover… or wait, well, you get the point. The point is that Sabbath isn’t going to put out anything that will live up to their finest moments… but at least if Ward was involved it would feel moderately authentic.

The only reason I can think of really paying serious attention to this at all is because of Tony Iommi. His struggles with cancer, the likelihood that this will be his last recorded work, etc., makes this worth some time and effort – but that doesn’t make the record relevant to the current landscape of metal. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that while Black Sabbath burned a new path, they were not alone and metal quickly left behind their style, feel, and roots in blues. The music, the culture and the art has developed into far more interesting and giving music than anything that Sabbath ever did. That someone was first doesn’t mean that they were the best.

And hey, it’s possible that Black Sabbath‘s newest record will prove me wrong. One can always be surprised, but my expectations are quite low for 13 and no one has presented me any reason why it should be any good – except that Rick Rubin has a record with reviving bands at the ass end of their career (though I still think Death Magnetic was a disappointment).

Also, if anyone has “copyright” on metal, it’s probably Gene Simmons given his lust for commercialization and monetization.

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  • The genre has developed so much in the last 30 years that bands today can hardly attribute large portions of their style to Sabbath (Maybe Sabbath and a collection of other Classic Metal bands like Priest, Maiden, ect. But there’d still be some or another modern element here and there, possibly even a collection of other genres). There’s no doubt that Sabbath was amazing and incredibly important to the genre, but progression has been made.
    Don’t listen to narrow minded tits like this chap who respond to nothing but a name. It’s the same kind of person that’d say Metallica’s newer material is still vital to Thrash where in actual fact, I don’t believe they’ve produced anything remotely thrashy since …And Justice For All.
    Regardless of this, I’m still excited to hear what comes out, but this is no doubt down to nothing but being intrigued. I don’t have high hopes. In fact, this album could very well wind up being a colossal abortion.

    Now Surgical Steel is going to be interesting. Partially due to the same 18 year period since the last album and intrigue as to what might come out, and partially because I believe there’s a chance that what Carcass produces may still very well be relevant. I’d love to see the Groove of Swansong appear again, or maybe even some classic Grind as in Necroticism.

    • Oh right, and I believe Alice Cooper laid claim to the “copyright” on metal.

  • It´s like with Motörhead, ACDC and other giants, but with a twist. “Hey, it´s the new Motörhead cd”. You know what it´s going to be like. Black Sabbath has been so many things, so many entities and so many people, that it is almost impossible to treat this new one as something continuing the heritage of the old Sabbath. (I don´t know if we are meant to anyway), but that´s how it it to me. So with mixed feelings I wait to hear the music. Hell I am a fan of the Tony Martin era as well, so it can be many things Sabbath. The main thing is that I feel excited rather than indifferent. Whether it´ll be a total failure or something good it will just add to the feeling and to the history of metal..

  • Death Magnetic was, is and always will be a disappointment.

    Sabbath will always be known as the creators and innovators of the Metal genre but that’s pretty much it, they have like 2 good albums and the rest is just very bad and mediocre.

    • ” they have like 2 good albums and the rest is just very bad and mediocre.”… did I just read that?

      • I’ll give you an example:
        an album has 10 songs, 1 song is amazing, 2 of them is good, the rest are fillers and average songs that are just ok or bad, this album, to my standards is very bad. I can’t say that an album is good just because it has that amazing song that everybody loves and the rest is shit.

        This is pretty much most of Sabbath albums, they have 2/3 “good” songs and that’s it. And i am being pretty nice, because they have like 4/5 albums at least that i can’t name or say a song even though i am sure that i listened to all of them a couple of years ago

        • I don’t think I could say the same about the first 6 or the Dio albums. I’m no Sabbath fanboy, but I genuinely see almost every song in those 9 albums as classics. It’s my opinion though, so if you disagree, fine. But you’re viewing it from a very ‘mainstream’ perspective.

          • i guess i can agree that it’s kind of a ‘mainstream’ perspective, and for a no Sabbath fanboy you sure seem to like them :D
            To each it’s own :)

          • OK maybe I did exaggerate with the ‘almost every song is classic’ part, but yeah I don’t find much wrong with the 3 Dio albums or the albums up to Sabotage. I suppose it’s because I’m a sucker for Iommi’s riffs (I play guitar and I can tell you, he literally laid down the blueprints for pure heavy metal riffs).

          • Wow, really? I mean, I respect Sabbath – but I think they had a lot of fucking duds.

          • I’m a sucker for that bluesy, doomy sound (and in Dio’s case, his voice), OK?
            Now, for some Pentagram…

    • Mike Eckman

      I agree, Sabbath does have 2 good albums, they were called Dehumanizer, and Cross Purposes. They also have many more EXCELLENT albums!!

  • Mike Eckman

    I definitely agree that an influential band who deserves its place in the history of heavy metal can also be “no longer relevant today”. Many people get butt-hurt whenever anyone dares say anything negative about an icon from the past. Bring back Babe Ruth and have him play in the MLB in 2013 and I betcha he won’t look as much like a legend as he used to. Everyone is upset that Disney just closed down LucasArts, but when was the last time LucasArts made a game worth playing? People just want to remember the people and groups who were influential and great in the past as they were in the past, not how they are today.

    I agree with AMG’s entire response with the sole exception of saying that because Bill Ward isn’t apart of the current lineup, that there is some inherent reason not to consider this a valid reunion. Not sure I agree with that because lineup changes are a part of every band’s history and just because one member is no longer involved (whether voluntary, involuntary, live or dead), doesn’t mean the band is any less valid. Should Number of the Beast not be considered an Iron Maiden album because Paul Di Anno was no longer singing? Was …And Justice for All not Metallica because Cliff Burton had died? How about Edge of Sanity’s Crimson II after Dan Swano basically replaced every member of the band with himself?! :)

    I have no doubt that 13 will be a minor blip on the radar for 2013. There might even be one or two “decent” tracks, but its not going to do anything for the genre that hasn’t already been done, many times before.

    • I think part of the issue with the Ward deal is that they dicked him. It undermines the point of the reunion.

  • Wow, that guys response to your post on Blabbermouth escalated quickly.. I mean, you deem Black Sabbath are not relevant, and his logic is that because of this your blog is crap, and that you should masturbate and pass away in the process. Although I’ve heard auto-erotic asphyxia is good fun, I don’t know how this makes sense in the context of disagreeing on Black Sabbath.
    That said, I’m certainly not a fan of Black Sabbath and never really got into any of their songs, so I couldn’t say whether or not they are relevant. However, I do agree that Ozzy made a living mess out of himself and used every last bit of his dignity to make some cash, so respect is certainly something they’ve lost a while ago.
    Anyway, you know better than anyone that Blabbermouth is full of whiny and overreacting underage angsty individuals, and that a hate mail or two such as this one are to be expected when you try to give an opinion different from “OMG BLACK SABBATH 4 LIFE!! <3". Thanks for the sharing though, this is entertaining stuff!

    • Amelia

      I feel like you have too much faith in the level of Blabbermouth commenters. Even if he’d posted saying how much he loves Black Sabbath there would still be some idiot spewing bile.

  • I have a strong feeling this may end up sounding as a cross between Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Never Say Die.

  • It seems like such a simple concept, yet so many don’t get it: there is a difference between making great, vastly influential music 40 years ago, or 30 years ago, or 5 years ago and making great music today. Ozzie has become a crude caricature of himself, Bill Ward is gone, and there is virtually no reason to expect that a “Black Sabbath” album in 2013 will be a great album or even a very good one. That’s the truth, you said it, and saying it in no way implies a slur on the band’s place in history.

    • That’s exactly it. When these guys started they were breaking something open, now they’re not. It doesn’t mean the record will suck by default, but it does mean that they’re never going to produce a record that lives up to the standard of what was produced. It’s not possible.

  • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

    I can’t believe I’m living in a generation where people have so little respect for Black fucking Sabbath. (not you, AMG–people in general).

    To pin this album’s relevance on Ozzy is kind of missing the point — this band is mostly about Iommi, who rarely disappoints. Also, I don’t recall anyone claiming that the Heaven and Hell album was “irrelevant.” This album isn’t gonna reinvent the wheel or anything, but I assume it will contain good heavy metal music, which is pretty much my sole criteria for “relevance.”

    • I don’t assume it will contain good heavy metal music. Ozzy doesn’t sound great, if Heaven & Hell is anything to go by, I was kinda underwhelmed.

      It’s true that I have never been a huge Sabbath fan. I had a short love affair with their first record and Paranoid (and the Dio stuff), but I think my problem with Sabbath has always been that they’re so blues based. I don’t like blues rock. I didn’t like blues rock when Led Zeppelin did it, and I don’t like it when Black Sabbath does it. What made Sabbath cool was when they broke away from that pattern and blended that jazz/blues feel that Ward had with other stuff.

      Metal as a genre gets good when metal musicians as a whole started being influenced by stuff other than the blues and blues rock.

      • Martin L

        Hmm…

        The fact you do not appreciate Sabbath seems unfortunate to me but hey, that’s just a matter of tastes. But to call them irrelevant is pretty misguided, even at this point. Seems like you are letting your personal enjoyment of the band color your assessment of their relevance.

    • Yeah, I don’t get the Sabbath dismissal.

      • I think it’s ’cause they sound more like ’70s rock than anything really resembling metal after about 1980. Too much blues, not enough Maiden-y two guitar stuff. I know, it was out front, but IMO metal just became SO DIFFERENT after Randy Rhoades and Iron Maiden and that’s when it got so good for me.

  • Gipson

    One thing I do like is when the icons of a genre’s heyday, even as their music stays where it is, accept that the world has changed and appear aware that a younger generation is doing something new and important.

    While generally abysmal, VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” did bring two moments I really appreciated: the interviews with Rob Halford and Bill Ward. In both interviews, these absolute icons of metal expressed their interest and appreciation for today’s artists, not generally, but specifically.

    Rob spoke about handpicking his tour mates, singling Hatebreed as a group he liked and wanted to tour with.

    Bill spoke of his love of Mastodon and Slipknot, mentioning how impressed he is by Joey Jordison’s footwork.

    Sure, these are big names in their own right, but at least their bands of today making music in the style of today. It’s nice to know that, at least in these two instances, they’ve inspired music that they actually like. Unlike, say, Gary Numan, who has expressed his disgust with much of the electronic music he’s often credited with inventing.

  • Nice read, the Gene Simmons bit gave me a laugh.

    I’d say like eighty percent of the people I meet that identify themselves as metal heads that listen to mostly metal. They think metal stopped in the 80s. For some reason they never moved on.

    I think the kind of “THAT GUY HAS A COPYWRITE ON METAL URRAGHH!!” attitude often comes along with people who liked metal when it was more mainstream, and they are obsessed with whatever was popular with their friends at the time.

    So you kind of hit a nerve when you tell them everything they know is irrelevant, no matter the context.

  • Say what you want, classic Sabbath slays most of the so called “modern metal” out there. Who cares if they are putting out a new album and really who gives a shit if Ozzy made a fool out himself in the last 12 years. Big deal, apparently some of you did not live through the eighties and witness all of the stupid shit he did back then. To say they are no longer relevant to most people under thirty is probably a true statement. But to say that somehow metal has matured and or moved on from what Sabbath has to offer lies purely in the realm of your opinion. Relevant or not the Sabbath style is one of the most influential in all rock and metal. Judging from the comments section it looks like I will be the only dissenting voice here.

    • Nah, I agree with some of your points. Sabbath was the cornerstone of metal and they have a series of brilliant and timeless albums. Most metal with bands will never have a run like they did from Black Sabbath through Never Say Die.
      That said, I don’t expect much from them these days and I doubt the new album will be all that impressive. Their importance now isn’t new material, it’s the legacy and influence they leave behind.

      • James Taylor

        You can’t leave out “Heaven and Hell”, perhaps the finest non-Ozzy Sabbath album ever… :)

        • Tekidek

          Also “Dehumanizer” !! :D

  • KingKuranes

    “Ozzy Osbourne isn’t going out until death frees him from this life”…
    A friend of mine worked at a hotel where Ozzy stayed once… She said he was a really sweet guy, really polite. I feel bad for him. I was at the Ozzfest where Sharon pulled that stunt and it blew my mind.

    • I’m sure that Ozzy is the world’s nicest man. Unfortunately, he’s chained to one of the meanest human beings alive. :(

  • KingKuranes

    “Ozzy Osbourne isn’t going out until death frees him from this life”…
    A friend of mine worked at a hotel where Ozzy stayed once… She said he was a really sweet guy, really polite. I feel bad for him. I was at the Ozzfest where Sharon pulled that stunt and it blew my mind.

  • Swerve City

    The concept of relevance is a hard one to determine, on one hand I believe Sabbath was and still is a very influential band and on the other, a group of aged farts trying to prove the first well beyond the years they should. Last time I saw them Ozzy was reading entirely off a tele-prompter and could barely walk and Bill Ward looked like he was going to pass out at any given moment from exhaustion after the first song. Seems more like an extended midlife crisis to gain acceptance/money from the younger generation by exposing themselves in the public eye than a teen getting into modern metal and deciding to explore his roots, if you are remotely interested in metal you will eventually find Sabbath and the Sabbath you should/would want to find is the one in their prime churning out the classics rather than this withered, watered down side show that exists today.

    …Will I listen to the new album ? For sure, buy it day one and it may even be one for the ages but as far as relevance goes, modern Sabbath has none.

  • I think agent700 is a bit paranoid..

  • Michael Sarasa

    I would apply three criteria to what Sabbath created. First, Did their creation revolutionize the music world? I would say yes. Secondly, their invention had to be of surpassing importance today. Another yes, just ask Metallica, Nirvana and countless others. The final criterion is that the invention had to be iconic in some way. ” Founders of Metal” looks good on their resume. Having said that, I agree the Sabs are not relevant today.

    Aging artists always want to prove they haven’t lost a step, and Tony Iommi may be able to squeeze that juice out and sound as inspired as ever, but Ozzy has just been repeating himself for decades. The absence of Bill Ward is huge. He is the one member we have not heard regulary from in recent years and his drumming is a vital part of the original Sabbath sound. Perhaps he is showing “diminishing skills”, but it sure looks like he was getting screwed out some money. Poor Ozzy, he is just like countless other schlubs who can’t afford to retire because of his wife’s lavish lifestyle.

    With their blues-based sludge, Sabbath forged the steel, but Judas Priest polished it and made Metal a weapon, leaving the plod of the sixties in the dust. Black Sabbath’s influence will always be with many of us, but their relevancy has passed.

    • I’m with you right to the point where you give Priest the credit for making metal better. I think Priest is too rooted in rock n’ roll. In my opinion, it’s Maiden who makes metal awesome. They just never dragged, never lagged. They played fast, hard, technically and were just amazing. Priest still feels old to me. Maiden’s early stuff is fucking timeless.

  • James Taylor

    Sharon won’t be happy until she kills Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer. At least Bill Ward didn’t take the bait. :)

  • It will probably still sell like crazy and they will fill stadiums, and with Iommi’s condition and medical bills I say good for them, and these are the general populace definition of relevancy.

  • While we’re talking about bands and their relevance to modern metal..

    Out of curiosity, where do we think this leaves Iron Maiden? Are they still relevant?

    • nuiski

      That depends on what you think makes a band relevant.
      If it’s being at the forefront of metal and pushing the genre into new places then no, Iron Maiden hasn’t been relevant since Seventh Son.
      BUT, if it means continuing to release great albums and being one of the best live bands on the planet, then I would say they are very relevant.

  • The “Turbo Lover” comment was pure gold.

  • Ominosus_cattus_lectica

    I honestly don’t care much, might be some highlights but I doubt it will be greatest thing of their whole career.

    The old bands relevancy thing is such a curse as well, they have such a big legacy that they can be treated like the only metal bands to have ever existed or will exist.

    I think respect, whether whatever is produced is good or bad, is expected to be shown because it is something of a tradition in music anyway, it isn’t something that can be explained logically, people accept it , give praise without questioning it and expect others to do so. If I say the Beatles were boring and rubbish to most people, I’d be treated like I was saying something blasphemous. All the old metal bands were pop(ular) music at the height of their era, made their mark and have earn that spot where success at a certain period of history has given them a free pass until they die. Gain a legacy and last long enough, you could make an album clucking like chicken* and there will still be people claiming its the greatest thing ever which you can’t criticise (at least up to the release).

    *In Metallica’s case that would be an improvement.

  • Must admit I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t doubt Iommi’s sincerity, but Ozzy has long since become a parody of himself and I wish he’d knock it on the head and take up gardening or something. Are they relevant in an age of kids producing one man djent records on their Macs, Asking Alexandria and hyper-technical death metal? Of course not. Are they still hugely influential to the Electric Wizards, Witchsorrows and Wounded Kings of this world? Clearly. Part of me worries that refusing to give up gracefully risks tarnishing that legacy.

    Interesting to see Pentagram get a mention. I’d much rather see Bobby Liebling get a break and some long overdue recognition than see Sabbath wheeled round the arena circuit one more time. Sabbath haven’t been the underdog in a long time, whereas for many, Pentagram could be a genuinely new find. I still find that exciting somehow. Likewise the new Carcass record.

  • Solrac Avan

    Too late to post but who cares. I agree, Black Sabbath was relevant back then, they are an important part of metal’s lagacy and the pioneers of the genre,however, that doesn’t make them relevant now. The band kept making albums past Ozzy’s departure, and no matter how much you enjoyed them (or enjoyed 13 for that matter) those records didn´t make that much of an impact on the metal scene. Why, simply because of how much metal has changed and diversify beyond what The Band created. Is not disrespectful, it´s the truth, and something inevitable no matter how good you are as a musician. Maybe all the people getting pissed off by AMG comment confuse relevancy with potential to inspire new artists, and therefore how the genre evolves who knows.