In Review: Black Sabbath

Southern Comfort

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Watch a documentary about how Sabbath started out. Mostly they had used old equipment and were broke.
Then dig into their debut.. Consider the other groups who were topping the charts at the time.
I heard from the doc I watched. that the british critics had a hay day with Sabbath and really put them through some ****. But thanks to the American listeners they took off and gained a huge following fan club.
I consider their first to be one of the best studio albums they produced.
 

Z-Man

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Following the commercial success of Paranoid, Black Sabbath sired another kind of animal. They had more time to work in the studio on what would be the genesis of doom and sludge metal. Iommi and Butler began downtuning their guitars for an even more oppressive sound, thick as a brick. Unlike the energized riffs of the last album, these stomp on you with their dense wall of distortion.

Coughed out is “Sweet Leaf”, an ode to cannabis. The riff is savagely simple. You already see just how heavy the rhythm section is too, let alone Iommi. First-class cut. This is followed by the romper “After Forever”, hobbled only by a poor vocal melody. Ozzy isn’t assertive enough to keep up with the guitar. “Embryo” is a medieval interval, embryonic as the name suggests. Nuclear holocaust is again the topic with “Children of The Grave”, as it was with Paranoid’s “Electric Funeral”. Its dire anti-war sentiment is expressed in one of the Tommy’s most bulldozing riffs, as if it’s plowing through dirt in anticipation for a surplus of graves. Bill Ward also delivers percussive fills. “Orchid” is a tender acoustic recess. Moving on, “Lord of This World” pummels you again with a cold-blooded riff. The song addresses the outcome of a materialistic world, Satan being the harbinger. “Solitude” showcases the band’s psych capability like the prior year’s “Planet Caravan”. Iommi plays flute to give this breakup song a relaxing yet poignant mood. Batting last is perhaps my favorite. “Into The Void” has the most baleful riff of them all. Another trite set of lyrics discusses apocalyptic conditions. Turmoil seems to be a leitmotif of Black Sabbath.

Sweet Leaf: A
After Forever: A-
Embryo: B-
Children of the Grave: A
Orchid: B
Lord of this World: A-
Solitude: B+
Into The Void: A

To date, Master of Reality is Black Sabbath’s most unrelenting, invidious album. The riffage is mechanical and brute. It’s simpler, gloomier, and heavier than what came before. The only real shortcomings, if you want to see them that way too, are “Embryo” and “Orchid”. These two sound more like rehearsals than finished product, and can easily be discarded. Moreover, they’re not good lead-ins. I suppose their purpose is to let some light into the room, like breathers. After all, you take a serious bludgeoning from those metal riffs, which people have accused of being toneless trudge, seeing the album as merely an assemblage of power chords. It is. It’s also badass.
 

son of Jimmy Page

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I had a rock dude friend once who claimed that not only was MASTER OF REALITY his favourite 'Sabbath album' but he also claimed it was the bands heaviest as well.

E-Z
 
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Lynch

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Sweet Leaf: A
Children of the Grave: A

All around, another good write up. I completely agree with the A-rating on both of these tracks. Easily my two favorites on this classic album! :bow:

:oy:
 

Riff Raff

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Gotta be honest I enjoy the self titled debut more than Paranoid. In my top 5 or so Sabbath albums.
 

Fabio

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Very very interesting and well done. I wait for the review of my fav Sabbath’s album: Sabotage. Often cosidered a “second division” album at the time but so damn good imho !
 

son of Jimmy Page

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Hey metalhead and doom merchants I've been reading Mick Walls book on the Sabs and it's a pretty good read especially all the inter band 'goings on' especially during the 1980s when Tony carried the band through various incarnations including Ronnie Dio, Ian Gillan, Ray Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Tony 'the cat' Martin then back to Ronnie Dio then back to Tony 'the cat' Martin and back to Ozzy with a cast of 'named' muso's like Vinny Appice, Cozy Powell, Bob Daisley and Neil Murrey

Even though I know much of the Sabs story already it's still a pretty good read all for the price of £4
 
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son of Jimmy Page

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A funny story in Mick's book about the band with Ronnie Dio playing the Hammersmith Odeon in 1980 and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin was sitting behind Bill in place of Bill's drum tech and 'Bonzo' was trying to 'trip' Bill up when he was hitting the pedals on the bass drums!. At the after show get together Bonzo was still annoying Bill and ******* him off so Geezer told the Sabs road manager to 'get rid of Bonham' out of the dressing room which is what happened.

Later the same year when the band was informed 'Bonzo' had died of a drinking himself to death Geezer on hearing the news is suppose to have remarked 'good'.
 
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