This Friday (September 4) will see ZAKK SABBATH, the BLACK SABBATH tribute band featuring guitarist/vocalist Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE), bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (OZZY OSBOURNE, ROB ZOMBIE) and drummer Joey Castillo (DANZIG, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE), release their spectacular tribute to the Birmingham four, a faithful yet supercharged rendition of BLACK SABBATH's first album. Vertigo Records issued the iconic debut album on a Friday the 13th in 1970, and the world was never the same. Legendarily recorded in a single day in October 1969, the earth-moving self-titled set closed the book on hippie optimism with its dark magic and ushered in a brand new genre, setting the metal template for decades to come.
Exactly 50 years later, ZAKK SABBATH celebrate the first chapter in the SABBATH catalog with a reverently rendered tribute, simply titled "Vertigo", 2020, via Magnetic Eye Records. Faithfully recorded in the spirit of the original, live in the studio and with a film crew documenting the process, the session culminated in a new version of a landmark album that celebrates the greatest heavy metal band of all time and the record that started it all.
ZAKK SABBATH's rendition of "The Wizard" can be streamed below.
"We recorded a live EP and were wondering what we could do next as a cover band, so the 50th album anniversary came just at the right time", explains Blasko regarding ZAKK SABBATH's decision to go studio. "Compared to 'Paranoid', which is almost like a best-of record, the bulk of the material on 'Black Sabbath' is deep-cut, really experimental stuff that was never thoroughly explored, so that was a challenge, not to forget that we wanted to meet our own high standards."
Describing the DIY process as "very productive," the three respectfully added their own flair to make for a slightly different flavor, also revisiting various live renditions and "extending a solo here or slowing things down because that's what they tended to do on stage."
ZAKK SABBATH's "Vertigo" won't be available digitally, "to make the release feel authentic to the time when vinyl ruled the earth. It was such a cool time for those of us that grew up during that time. The fan experience with the physical product is irreplaceable with digital and streaming. We wanted to capture that authenticity."
"Vertigo" will be available as a digipak CD, CD/DVD hardcover book with the album behind-the-scenes-interviews and making-of, and as a limited-edition yellow vinyl.
01. Black Sabbath
02. The Wizard
03. Wasp / Behind The Wall Of Sleep / N.I.B.
04. Wicked World
05. A Bit of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning
Zakk told Rolling Stone about performing SABBATH's classic material: "Going back to high-school keg parties, we'd be playing songs by RUSH, SABBATH, [Jimi] Hendrix, whatever [in a cover band], and one person would sing the RUSH stuff, someone could do THE DOORS, and I'd end up doing the SABBATH or Ozzy stuff. It's hilarious to me, because we were 17 years old playing keg parties at a friend's house and now I'm 53 years old and I'm still playing 'N.I.B.' and SABBATH songs at keg parties, except there's a couple more people."