As we celebrate fifty years of Black Sabbath, including the forty-ninth anniversary of their debut album, we are seeing a lot of outpouring of love and respect across music. One really interesting tribute is from mega fan Michael Suilleabhain. Hailing from West Cork, Ireland. By day he is Irish Nuclear Construction Safety Inspector, but by night Michael is a music producer and singer with big dreams. One dream he willed into reality was an all-star tribute to his favorite band, Ninth Star (PHD). Amassing ten former members across every lineup of the band, Emerald Sabbath features Adam Wakeman (Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne), Bev Bevan (Black Sabbath/ELO), Neil Murray (Black Sabbath/Whitesnake), Terry Chimes (Black Sabbath/The Clash), Laurence Cottle (Black Sabbath/The Alan Parsons Project), Ron Keel (Black Sabbath/Ron Keel Band), Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell), Dave Walker (Black Sabbath/Fleetwood Mac), Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath/Rainbow), Tony Martin (Black Sabbath/Headless Cross), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne/Whitesnake) and The English Chamber Choir. Other Emerald Sabbath contributors include Will Malone and Mike Lewis (Sabotage/Technical Ecstasy) Mike Exeter (Black Sabbath/Judas Priest), Jeremy J. Lewis (Headless Cross), Mike Lewis (‘She’s Gone’) Skaila Kang (Royal Academy Of Music) as well as Sabbath album graphic designers Richard Manning and Colin Elgie (Technical Ecstasy) and Hugh Gilmour (Born Again). It’s an impressive feat to have united these forces for this album, but do they pass muster. Continue reading
Blending his biggest hits from his solo career and a bit of Black Sabbath nostalgia, Ozzy Osbourne kicked off his farewell as a touring last night in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Stone Sour provides the direct support on all dates. Dubbed the “No More Tours 2” Tour, this is reportedly Ozzy’s final stint of long runs of concert dates, although like Sabbath he hasn’t ruled out one-off festival appearances and concerts in the future. He is adamantly not retiring and has wavered off and on about making new music. He also hinted at a future Ozzfest in New York City, but it appears there won’t be one in 2018.Continue reading
Nine months after Black Sabbath‘s final show, Ozzy Osbourne has announced a two-year “farewell world tour” of his own starting in 2018. Continue reading
Legendary metal forefathers Black Sabbath are playing the final show of their final world tour tonight in their hometown of Birmingham, England. The band has announced a live stream of the end of their final show, taking place later tonight. Details are below:Continue reading
Adam Wakeman has been on stage and behind the scenes with some of the greats of all time in his various roles with Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band, and as the keybordist/backup guitarist for Black Sabbath, plus his own band of prog rock masters Headspace. We chatted with Adam recently about playing the final dates with Sabbath on “The End” tour, the health of Tony Iommi, his future with Ozzy, and how he feels on the occasion of the final year of tours.
Are you starting to get sentimental about these final dates, or you won’t get there until later in the next year maybe?
I think I would like to say that I would be thinking about that later towards the end of the tour, but it’s very hard not to feel that it’s something quite special at the beginning, because, no pun intended, it’s the beginning of the end. It’s pretty final, which is quite sad. At the same time, just to be a part of it is amazing. The first ever show I did was 2014 I think … I’m sorry, 2004. It was quite some years ago, and to be honest, I thought that might be my last tour, because you never know from one year to the next, things change. I try not to get too sentimental about it, but it is hard not to feel that you’re part of something special, that’s for sure.
Everybody understands that this is certainly not the end of the career for anybody involved in Black Sabbath. Ozzy is planning solo work, as is Tony. I’m sure you’ll be involved in more solo tours.
That’s the plan. He (Ozzy) knows, you can understand that they, after some 44 odd years, it has to come a time … The touring schedule … I get quite tired sometimes. I’m 41 years old, so when you’re in your late 60s, it has to be harder as well. You can totally understand where they are coming from, and I think that it’s great that they’re doing it on such a great level.
Especially for Tony, who obviously despite his very public health struggles, has a clean bill of health at the moment. Everybody worries about him and certainly you can only do so much.
Of course. I can only speak from my … If I was in a position like that, I not even sure if I would be doing a final tour. He’s really well, and he’s experienced something that a lot of people unfortunately don’t have the good fortune to be able to experience. He’s had successful treatment, and he’s really well. It’s amazing how they get on with it really. Yeah, it’s a great thing to be a part of.
Its hard to believe that its been four years since prog metaller’s Headspace released their debut album I Am Anonymous (InsideOut), as its strength and freshness in a, at times, stagnant progressive metal scene is still so fresh, and yet it feels like an eternity since it came to life. Unfortunately, due to the ever busy schedules of their personnel, which include singer Damian Wilson fronting UK prog metal stalwarts Threshold and keyboardist Adam Wakeman’s live commitments with Black Sabbath, Headspace can’t afford to be full time project, and fans have had to wait a long time. But as they say, absence indeed makes the heart grow fonder, and expectations for a follow up have thankfully been more than matched.
More a heavy progressive rock band than tech-metal or similar, Headspace have branched out further on follow up All That You Fear Is Gone (InsideOut), proving deeper, more detailed and more emotionally resonant than its predecessor. Focused on the subject of outside influences trying to control and individual, lyrically this goes in to the likes of greed and life’s ill distractions, subjects steeped in a dark reality, but does so without sounding cliché or contrived and instead powerful and emotive. Of course when they are sung by one of the most adaptive and excellent vocalists in contemporary prog in Wilson, this really helps their case.
Musically this proves as diverse and unpredictable as ever, veering from monstrous hooks to clean acoustics and unexpected dynamic swings, and even bluegrass on the delicate ‘Polluted Alcohol’. The strong collective at play makes for a lot of virtuoso performances and show stealing moments from all, but rather than being a competition for space and attention, once again this is a towering collection from a collective set towards a single, collective goal. There may not be the endless time in the world for all of these guys to give Headspace the full time work it really deserves, but be thankful that any time that is given showcases them as one of the greatest units in modern day prog.
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