"End of the Beginning"

Black Sabbath without original drummer Bill Ward is Not Quite Black Sabbath. That said, this eight-minute mastodon (from their upcoming LP, the first with Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years) lumbers and surges just fine, as the three original members – Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist/headbanger-god Geezer Butler – unleash the kind of hard-swinging riffs that forever embody the notion of heavy. Osbourne uses his death croon to deliver metallic will-to-power sentiments and urge us to be the master of our fate. "Is this the end of the beginning/Or the beginning of the end?" he sings. Uh, yes?

From The Archives Issue 1184: June 6, 2013