Doomed Forever Forever Doomed

Magnetic Eye
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. War Pigs
02. Paranoid
03. Planet Caravan
04. Iron Man
05. Electric Funeral
06. Hand of Doom
07. Rat Salad
08. Fairies Wear Boots
09. Sweet Leaf
10. After Forever
11. Embryo
12. Children of the Grave
13. Orchid
14. Lord Of This World
15. Solitude
16. Into the Void

Depending on your perspective, the re-recording of classic albums by contemporary artists is either a neat way to pay tribute to the greats or an utterly pointless exercise. Fortunately, ZAKK WYLDE has such a natural connection to the original BLACK SABBATH line-up's esteemed catalogue that, frankly, it matters not one tiny fuck if anyone actually needs him to make records like this. But he does, and "Doomed Forever Forever Doomed" is killer, so that pretty much settles it.

The follow-up to 2020's "Vertigo", wherein ZAKK SABBATH provided their take on 1970's none-more-seminal "Black Sabbath", this two-album extravaganza features Wylde alongside bassist Blasko (OZZY / ROB ZOMBIE) and drummer Joey "C" Castillo (DANZIG / QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE) ripping through the second and third BLACK SABBATH albums, "Paranoid" and "Master Of Reality" (just in case anyone reading this didn't know, which seems unlikely),  with the exact same red-blooded intensity that made "Vertigo" such a cool and entertaining release. If you like Zakk Wylde, and you like BLACK SABBATH, there really isn't anything to complain about here. It's a simple proposition and an absolute riot of riffs. Some of the greatest riffs of all time, in fact. Again, nothing to dislike here.

On one level, "Doomed Forever Forever Doomed" is all about faithfully reproducing these legendary songs. On another, Wylde and his comrades cannot hope to exactly replicate the magic of SABBATH circa 1970 / '71. The great joy of this album lies somewhere in between. As on "Vertigo", which occasionally drew inspiration from the originals' live incarnations rather than rigidly sticking to the studio script, this definitely could not be mistaken for the real thing, and rightly so. Wylde's playing is so distinctive that by the time the first big solo in "War Pigs" rolls around, there is no doubt who is manhandling strings and frets. His voice is also an easy spot, but so close in timbre and tone to OZZY that there are one or two few eerie moments that could confuse the casual listener after a bong hit or two. For the most part, however, ZAKK SABBATH play this stuff with a celebratory fervor that is all their own.

Even songs as absurdly familiar as "Paranoid", "Iron Man" and "Children of the Grave" are given a sturdy kick up the backflap, with Wylde's solos a constant joy and Blasko and Castillo's nails-hard grooves bringing a slight but telling edge of 21st century belligerence. Mellow detours like "Planet Caravan" and "Solitude" are handled beautifully: the former, in particular, will now have to battle it out with PANTERA's 1994 version in the grand UFC cage of opinion, but whichever you prefer, both fucking rule.

Therein lies the inescapable truth about "Doomed Forever Forever Doomed": only true fans would attempt such a project, and only those with an in-built affinity for this timeless, peerless music could pull it off with such care, passion and love. Nothing will ever top the originals. That's obvious. But the spirit that drove SABBATH in those early days is alive and well here too. Come celebrate with the boys. BLACK SABBATH forever.

Author: Dom Lawson
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