It is very rare at this point – almost unheard of – that I immediately bump something to the front of my review queue here at Rock Father HQ. With a never-ending assortment of items vying for my attention, it just never happens… except on occasions like this. Earlier today, the folks at Universal Republic sent me a digital stream of BLACK SABBATH: LIVE… GATHERED IN THEIR MASSES, the new concert film that was released last week on DVD and Blu-ray/CD Combo. With BLACK SABBATH’s “13” already a highlight of 2013, I had to give this a watch right away.
What we have here is a no-frills concert film, and that’s generally the way I prefer to see concerts presented for home viewing. Capturing the band during two nights in Melbourne, Australia earlier this year (April 29 & May 1), Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), and Geezer Butler (bass) are joined by former ROB ZOMBIE/ALICE COOPER drummer Tommy Clufetos (sitting in for Bill Ward) as they kick off their world tour in support of “13.”
After a brief opening that shows the band in their pre-show warmup rituals intercut with footage of multi-generational families arriving to the venue, we’re treated to a setlist of new songs and fan favorites played out over the course of an hour and forty-six minutes. The picture and audio are clear and robust as they should be, and while there’s likely been some post-production polishing here and there, …GATHERED IN THEIR MASSES is an impressive testament to the legacy of BLACK SABBATH, and should it be one of their final concerts (if not the final concert) to be captured and released, a fitting book-end to preserve the band in the late stage of their career. With all three of the original members now in their mid-60s, what we see here is not a band exuding the energy of their youth, but noble and powerful elders that have become so skilled with age that their work appears effortless.
The Rock Father Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
BLU-RAY and DVD tracklisting:
1. War Pigs
2. Into The Void
5. Black Sabbath
6. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
9. Fairies Wear Boots
10. Symptom Of The Universe
11. Iron Man
12. End Of The Beginning
13. Children Of The Grave
14. God Is Dead?
15. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Intro)/Paranoid
Available now from my affiliate, Amazon: