Who invented metal? It’s a question that evokes the same automatic response with full confidence from any self-respecting music fan: Black Sabbath. These daring souls trailblazed a new frontier for an entire genre of music, and their impact is so far reaching it’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without Black Sabbath’s monstrous riffs and defining sinister themes. Coming to the Frank Erwin Center Saturday, July 27, Black Sabbath will descend for an evening of metal, mayhem and memories Austin fans will never forget.
Reunited with three of the band’s original members, Black Sabbath has completed their first album together since “Never Say Die!” in 1978. Slated for release on June 11, “13” represents the perfect storm that Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler plan on unleashing to their legions of fans. Joined by session drummer Brad Wilk, Black Sabbath is the special case where the band is greater than just the sum of its parts. While the individual band members have transcended into celebrity status, together they are a legend.
Ozzy Osbourne –original vocals
Ozzy Osbourne has undoubtedly ascended to the title of “The Voice of Metal.” Known for his legendary antics on and off stage, the “Prince of Darkness” has had a successful career as both a vocalist for Black Sabbath and as a multi-platinum solo artist. Along with his wife and manager Sharon Osbourne, the couple created Ozzfest, an annual heavy metal music festival. Millions of fans have attended Ozzfest since its inception in 1996, and the 2013 festival will be hosted in Chiba, Japan! Ozzy’s influence has spread to all corners of the world, and the “Prince” isn’t finished just yet.
Tony Iommi –original guitarist
Every band needs a member to serve as the pulse of the group. For Black Sabbath, guitarist Tony Iommi is the sole member to provide that needed continuity. The victim of a sheet metal factory accident at age 17, Iommi lost the tips of two fingers on his right hand. Inspired by jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt who continued his music career after a similar injury, Iommi re-learned how to play the guitar with some slight adjustments. He now plays on custom guitar strings and adds thimbles to his shortened fingers to extend his reach. Credited by Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford for inventing the heavy metal riff, Iommi’s thick guitar tonality set the precedent for how metal would sound for decades. Iommi is the rock Black Sabbath has stood on for the past 44 years.
Geezer Butler –original bassist
Noted for being an early pioneer of the wah-wah pedal, Geezer Butler will lay down the bass for years to come. Citing Jack Bruce from the British super trio Cream as his biggest influence on bass, Butler never had a formal music education. Unable to afford a real bass, Butler had to turn down his guitar strings to simulate a bass. At their first gig, Butler borrowed a friend’s three-string bass and never looked back at guitar, ultimately buying a Fender Precision bass. While Butler is not the vocalist for the band, he has written a vast majority of the band’s lyrics, focusing on science fiction, fantasy and human nature as inspiration.
Brad Wilk –session drummer
Needing to fill the void at drums, the reunited band needed an expert drummer with years of rock experience on the big stage. Their search led to Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. After numerous Top 10 albums with these respective bands, Wilk was invited to record drums for Black Sabbath’s “13” album and was subsequently brought onboard for the world tour.
By bringing seven-time Grammy winner producer Rick Rubin into the mix, Black Sabbath has risen from the abyss to make their first united album in over 30 years. Surrounded by myths and legends since their founding four decades ago, Black Sabbath has entered into musical lore that future generations will wish they could have experienced in person. Come see the legends of rock perform live at the Frank Erwin Center Saturday, July 27!
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