Southern Lord Records
FFO: Black Sabbath, Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne
Zakk Wylde has had many projects over his career, but most people will know him from his long serving tenure as Ozzy Osbourne’s axeman. In the last few years, Wylde has joined forces with Blasko and Joey Castillo to create Zakk Sabbath; a Black Sabbath tribute band and this year has the band releasing ‘Vertigo’, a re-recording of Black Sabbath’s seminal debut album.
Now, with that last statement, there are already purists frothing at the mouth with phrases such as: “why can’t they leave well alone”, “nothing wrong with the debut”, “it’s ruined” being spouted ad infinitum. However, ‘Vertigo’ does allow a glimpse of how ‘Black Sabbath’ would have sounded if it were recorded today through modern production and gear and gives the likes as ‘N.I.B.’ and the title track that more sinister (if that were possible) vibe. Furthermore, Wylde and co. do little to tamper with the original blueprint and ‘Vertigo’ is a rather faithful rendition of the entire album with Wylde even does a passable Osbourne impression and the only quibbling available being down to just blatant pedantism with maybe Wylde overplaying during ‘The Warning’, but, all in all, he stays well away from pinch harmonics so there is that bonus. Moreover, our American friends will be happy at the inclusion of ‘Wicked World’ into the fray, but at the exclusion of the European ‘Evil Woman’ when in reality, the band could have recorded both.
As already stated, ‘Vertigo’ is a rather faithful rendition of a classic, seminal album; there are no twists and turns, reggae reworkings, over-metalisations or psychedelic meanderings. However, as good as this is; if you own the first Sabbath album, ‘Vertigo’ just seems rather, well, pointless and other than collection posterity, it would be hard to justify separating you from your hard earned cash for it.