Black Sabbath
Technical Ecstasy


2.5
average

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
February 19th, 2010 | 117 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sabbath throws most of what made them an outstanding and innovate group away, and slowly meets its demise in the process.

Respective fifth and sixth albums Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage saw Black Sabbath inevitably moving further away from their roots of doom and gloom; Bloody Sabbath incorporated a progressive flair, being the use or orchestrations and synthesizers, and Sabotage was perhaps more regular, bluesy hard rock than it was trademark Sabbath metal. Seventh work Technical Ecstasy continues down this path: it once again incorporates a prominent use of keyboards and synthesizers, and takes a more traditional rock approach.

It was also the album where the demise of the classic Sabbath line-up began to really sink in. Not only were they being personally driven apart by substance abuse, something that had been plaguing the band since turning point Vol. 4, but by their seventh album, the musical integrity was beginning to crumble. Though with Sabotage, the band showed they could pull of traditional rockers, some moments on Technical Ecstasy are rather doubtful. Opener Back Street Kids, for example, tries to copy the success of Hole in the Sky, but ends up with a bland, endlessly repeated riff that doesn’t whether to settle on doomy Sabbath or hard rock Sabbath. Osbourne’s vocal performance doesn’t really help either. Whereas his work on the band’s previous two albums had been as good as it had been on the classic Paranoid, although different, he doesn’t even sound like he’s trying here. On All Moving Parts (Stand Still) and She’s Gone, he his at his most nasal and annoying.

On Gypsy and Rock ‘n ‘ Roll Doctor (which’ title does indeed not leave much to the imagination), the boys took it down to an even more generic level, but despite half of the album being decidedly average, it also has its share of highlights, which unsurprisingly come in the form of more creative songs. The slow-burning Won’t Change Me, heaviest on the synths, contains the most emotionally effective instrumentation on the album, and comes close to be called a unique Sabbath moment. Then there are the two ballads, It’s Alright and She’s Gone. The former is very interesting, solely because of the fact it is the first Sabbath song not sung by Osbourne, but Ward instead (at Osbourne’s suggestion, actually). It so happens that Osbourne has already proven not to have the ideal voice for traditional ballads (anyone remember Changes?), and Ward’s vocals are refreshing, especially because they are far more heartfelt, which is of course an essential ingredient for any successful ballad. In comparison, the though well-orchestrated She’s Gone is a disappointment, once again displaying Ozzy’s inability for the song type.

You’d be hard-pressed to find an actual Sabbath classic on Technical Ecstasy, but rough closer Dirty Women makes its move in the right direction. Moving from loud to soft, it is especially the former, frenzied parts and great soloing that stand out. The song also contains the single memorable vocal moment, sounding closest to Osbourne’s vocals on the band’s previous two albums. It is, however, not enough to save Technical Ecstasy, which, considering it’s too great portion of bland material, just doesn’t make the mark. That said, it gets a little too much hate from some, as the potential is still there. Just face that quality Ozzy-era Sabbath ended after Sabotage.

Technical Ecstasy’s Black Sabbath was:

- Frank Anthony ‘Tony’ Iommi ~ Lead Guitar
- John Michael ‘Ozzy’ Osbourne ~ Lead Vocals
- Terrence Michael Joseph ‘Geezer’ Butler ~ Bass Guitar
- William Thomas ‘Bill’ Ward ~ Drums, Lead Vocals on It’s Alright


Also performing:

- Gerald ‘Jezz’ Woodruffe ~ Keyboards

Recommended tracks:

You Won’t Change Me
It’s Alright
Dirty Women


TO BE CONTINUED…



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
February 19th 2010


8297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can't believe this didn't have any negative reviews yet.

Ponton
Emeritus
February 19th 2010


5815 Comments


Very good, very consise too. Haha, what is the album art supposed to be?

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

Nagrarok
February 19th 2010


8297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The cover art is designed by Hipgnosis and is meant to represent two robots having sex. Osbourne once described it as "two robots screwing on an escalator.''


Most of Sabbath's cover arts aren't particularly interesting. I wish it were more so.

Meatplow
February 19th 2010


5524 Comments


Along with Never Say Die i'm somewhere in between a 2.5 and a 3.5 for this, depending on my mood.

It's a lot better than I initially found it to be, but I more or less agree wholeheartedly with the review.

Romulus
February 19th 2010


8447 Comments


The cover art is designed by Hipgnosis and is meant to represent two robots having sex. Osbourne once described it as "two robots screwing on an escalator.''


Really not sure how I feel about that. Have a pos though.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2010


8387 Comments


good review, pos'd.

Nagrarok
February 19th 2010


8297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks to all but the troll. Who is that in your avatar greatlakes?

Nagrarok
February 19th 2010


8297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I already figured it would be a Styx band member. Copying my idea, are you now?

LepreCon
February 19th 2010


4151 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damned troll, have a pos

BigHans
February 19th 2010


26454 Comments


Have a pos to make up for the faggot troll.

kygermo
February 19th 2010


996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, and honest. It all depends on the day if I love this album or refuse to even look at it. There are some great ideas floating around on here and All Moving Parts as well as Dirty Women are classics. I feel my rating of a 4 is a bit generous, but I just cant rate any Ozzy Sabbath less than a 3. Just cant do it. Rock n Roll Doctor is a piece of shit, though.

EVedder27
February 19th 2010


6088 Comments


Pretty ridiculous album art, haha. Well written as I expect.

mark7477
September 9th 2010


395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think technical ecstasy is good as a rock and roll record but maybe not so much in the essence of the black sabbath sound.The songwriting is a little clique compare to earlier albums is where i think some of the music suffered like it's alright my least favorite track to listen to.

Blacklizard
November 28th 2010


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A little underrated maybe?

DrGunther
February 25th 2011


184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is at least the third Sabbath album I can think of where I couldn't work out what the album art was even supposed to be at first. Pretty much represents the drug-addled mess the band were probably in at the time!

"I think technical ecstasy is good as a rock and roll record but maybe not so much in the essence of the black sabbath sound." Agreed, it's not quite the real Sabbath but it's still good 70s rock.

Album was a lot better than I was expecting, mainly due to the first two and especially the last track. And Iommi, as always, is on good form.

Digging: ZZ Top - Tres Hombres

Edwin
May 4th 2011


1399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well it's true this was the beginning of the end for the Ozzy Sabbath, but I still think there's enough enjoyable material to make for a good album. Never Say Die!, on the other hand..

GothicCatchyBallad
June 30th 2011


133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is still a good album.

TheNotrap
August 25th 2011


8121 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die! are the most uninspired records of their classic era. Rock 'n' Roll Doctor is probably the best song here.

Average record.


Digging: Pink Floyd - The Endless River

IrishJay91
August 25th 2011


688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I dig the song Ward sings on. Nice change of pace. Most of this is really boring, though.

TheNotrap
August 25th 2011


8121 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

yep these guys have lost their way after Sabotage IMO



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