Converse Launch Black Sabbath Chuck Taylors

blacksabbath2013I’m never sure if I love or hate the idea of bands getting in on the shoe market. But when it’s a band like Black Sabbath, how can you not be a little curious?  Featuring cover art from the band’s albums Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Vol. 4, and Never Say Die!, as well as logos and photos, a new line of Black Sabbath Chucks will be issued by Converse. Shoes will run between $60 to $70, and feature various imagery in the liners, depending on the edition. Check out a teaser of the new shoes below. (more…)

Black Sabbath Stream '13'

The wait is over, metalheads. Black Sabbath have officially returned.

Today, June 4, marks the release of Black Sabbath’s long-awaited comeback album 13. The release has been in the works since 2012, and though not every fan is on board with the return, it seems those able to hear the album early cannot stop praising the group’s continued dominance of all things heavy. iTunes is hosting the full premiere of the album, so those left on the fence can click here and stream the entire effort in advance of making a single purchase.

Do you think the return of Black Sabbath will return the band to their rightful place atop the charts? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Ozzy Discusses Bill Ward's Departure From Black Sabbath

There are critics who claim Black Sabbath is not Black Sabbath without the presence of Bill Ward. I don’t know if I agree, but I also admit to never being a big enough fan to make such a distinction. Either way, his exit from the group earlier this year has lead many to wonder just what they should expect from the group’s forthcoming album and just what it is that lead to the split. Now, just weeks before 13 is scheduled to hit shelves, frontman Ozzy Osbourne has opened up about Ward’s exit in a new interview.

Osbourne recently spoke to U.K.’s Metal Hammer magazine and addressed Bill Ward’s absence. Speaking on the group’s decision to move forward, the metal icon offered “It would have been great to have Bill ” all of us said that, but you can’t expect someone of Bill’s age to be as agile as he used to be. He’s had heart attacks. If he’d turned up and played like he used to, or nearly as well, maybe we’d have worked something out¦ But we decided that if we were ever going to do this fucking album, you’ve got to be on the case. It got to the point where we said, ˜Are we just going to sit and wait for him to get off his fucking arse or what?’ We had to decide ” we couldn’t just keep the fans waiting any fucking longer.

13 will be arriving in stores, sans the presence of Bill Ward, on June 11. Black Sabbath will hit the road shortly thereafter to tour in support of the album. Dates can be found on the group’s official website.

Black Sabbath Debut "Methademic" In Australia

It was only a week ago that Black Sabbath released the studio version of “God Is Dead?,” and already more new material has found its way online.

While performing in Melbourne, Australia recently, the men of Black Sabbath debuted a new song entitled, “Methademic.” The song is in a similar vein to “God Is Dead?,” with brooding metal pairing with Ozzy‘s atmospheric drone. The quality of the fan recorded footage is not top shelf, but the audio is good enough for sampling. Click below to view the performance.

13 arrives in stores June 11. (more…)

Black Sabbath Prove They Have More To Offer With "God Is Dead?"

Making a career out of playing musc is nearly impossible, and even if you do somehow manage to pull it off there are absolutely no guarantees that it will last. In many cases it’s almost impossible to know why some acts last longer than others, while other times there are bands whose music plays in such an indescribable way that you simply know they will be around as long (if not longer) than you. Black Sabbath fall into the latter category, and anyone doubting that need look no further than their new single.

Rumors swirled for months in 2012 that Black Sabbath would return, but metalheads the world over refused to believe it until the group themselves stood on stage and proclaimed reunion. That happened, and now we have a new album fast approaching. The lead single, “God Is Dead?,” found its way online over the weekend and ushered in the most brooding age of Black Sabbath to date. The song is a slow, trudging track with Ozzy waxing poetically about life and death against minimalistic accompaniment aside from a guitar melody that will engrain itself into your subconscious in no time. It never builds to full-on rock anthem, but it does pulsate with life throughout hitting its peak during an all-too-short bridge. You can stream the song at the end of this post.

Sitting down to write about Black Sabbath is the kind of thing that turns my hair gray. (more…)

Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Celebrate the Weed Laws with Rock's Top 10 Stoners

Sure, there was some kind of election or something last week”at least we think that’s what we heard coming out of the mouths of the TV pundits. Honestly, we kind of stopped paying attention after a while, at least until the news broke about a truly earth-shattering political breakthrough. While the rest of the world was focused on whichever one of those guys with the suits and ties walked away with the prize, we were captivated by a revolutionary piece of legislation that proved to be election night’s biggest surprise: the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Washington and Colorado. While this monumental move has been the dream of stoners all over America for decades, it must be assumed that the passing of what we like to call The Bong Bill will be most widely celebrated in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll. To commemorate the dawning of a new era for uncontrolled substances, let’s look back at some of rock’s most notorious stoners, who are sure to be holding their lighters aloft in honor of these epochal developments.

Black Sabbath

Just for starters, one of their earliest albums introduced the much-covered metal marijuana anthem Sweet Leaf. But beyond that musical love letter to THC, Ozzy Osbourne is one of rock’s most titanic tokers, to the point that he ultimately changed his stance on legalization in recognition of the damage drugs had done to his neurological system. Granted, we’re talking about a lot more than merely pot in Ozzy’s case, but nevertheless, Sabbath are still stoner-rock (more…)

Exclusive Q and A: Bucky Covington Proves 'I'm Alright,' with New Album, Sold Out Tour, and More

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsBucky Covington was riding high in 2007 when his self-titled debut album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Top 75 chart, the biggest unit debut from a country artist that year. Covington’s album also had the best first week sales and was the highest Top 200 debut from any new country artist in 15 years. Several singles from that album hit the Top 10 on the charts. But the finalist from the fifth season of American Idol hit bumps early in his career when his label Lyric Street Records closed and he was unsigned for more than a year.

Now signed with E One Entertainment, he is touring behind his new single “I Wanna Be That Feeling,” from his next album I’m Alright that will be released later this year. Fans can hear the new songs and his hits this summer as he travels the U.S. on his Hometown Tour.

Covington recently chatted about his new record label, his album, and just why he’s such a great guy to his fans.

OS: Life on the road has to be so different. I think I’d be exhausted all of the time!

BC: Yes, it was when I first went on the road. It was weird to be moving [on a tour bus] when I was sleeping!

OS: Carrie Underwood is just one of the country stars that has made her way into the major leagues after being on American Idol. But I know some people still think that’s an easy way to get into the music industry. What’s your response when people say that?

BC: When you come off a show like American Idol, they say you don’t pay any dues. But that isn’t true! My [first] label [Lyric Street Records] closed and I was unsigned for about 1 1/2 years. Now I’m with eOne [Entertainment One, a Nashville label].  It was a difficult time [when I was unsigned]. Hey, dues paid. The way I see it, coming off a great show like American Idol, has been fantastic. It was great to have my [2007 debut] album do so well and I was as happy as a lark. But it’s not as open and shut as people think. It  took me about 1 1/2 years [before I signed with another record label]. Once we got the contracts and all those things signed and behind us, I was very happy. The biggest thing is that I enjoy the label but there was a lot of stuff I skipped. So I didn’t know anything about the business [when I first entered it]. I’ve had to catch up. When you trade anything for money, it becomes a business. And there are a lot of different levels in the business. When my [first] label shut down, all I could think was “Now what the hell do I do? Where do I turn?” I didn’t know which way to turn, but I was sitting back and learning a lot. Now I’ve got a new record label, a business management company and am very, very happy.


Metal Monday: Classicism In Metal

Classic is a term used by people in the arts to define the highest standard of works; something that has withstood the test of time, something that has been inserted into the cultural canon. If we’re talking literature, we could use the Iliad or Odyssey as an example, or perhaps something more modern like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These works undoubtedly shaped their medium since brought into existence. But what about classics in the world of metal specifically? Compared to most art forms, metal is still in its infancy, being somewhere around 40 years old now. Are there really any works that can be universally regarded as groundbreaking and genre-defining?

Starting with the obvious, Black Sabbath‘s early albums have to be considered since they’re widely regarded as the forefathers of metal. What about their contemporaries and bands that came shortly after? Surely Motí¶rhead, Iron Maiden and others deserve consideration. For posterity, let’s just take the landmark works, Overkill and The Number of the Beast respectively. If we include Judas Priest, which of their works should be included? One approach would be the early work, something more landmark for less studied fans, but on the other hand Painkiller is one of the best metal albums of all time and quite a bit more aggressive than the band’s early material, making this a tough decision. The list of bands and albums goes on and on.  (more…)

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012