Master of Reality
is the greatest stoner rock album of all time. Not just that, but it's also one of the finest rock 'n' roll albums out there, period.
This album is the pinnacle of everything Sabbath was about - truly heavy
crushing riffs that could level entire mountains and skyscrapers, a high level of darkness and mysticism, and basically the most evil-sounding music one could imagine. Master...
is the perfect blend of all of this - it is their doomy peak, and it came along just before the keyboards and lighter sounds that would be found on later albums. Despite the doomy, crushing feel of the music, the album is quite spiritual - the lyrics promote a message of love, Christ (or at least some type of spiritual connection), marijuana (the peace plant), and of course Sabbath's ever-present anti-war themes that were always a part of their music.
Ozzy's voice is in tip-top shape - before he made lame dance music and read the lyrics from teleprompters in concert. His voice is haunting, heavy, and unique. He sounds like a demon who is gargling a bunch of acorns. But god damn, he sounds good doing it. Tony Iommi is of course, riffing like a madman. He is the most ripped off guitarist in history - there isn't a single metal band out there who hasn't borrowed a bit from his playing. Geezer Butler's bass provides the backbone for the group and although he's not at all technical or flashy, he doesn't need to be. (New metal bassists taking notes?) The drumming on this bitch is like if Tarzan decided to play drums. Bill Ward doesn't just drum, he ***ing pounds his kit into oblivion.
Lyrically, this is one of the happiest and most spiritually-enlightened albums in rock history. Christian rock groups don't achieve this level of greatest because more often than not, those bands are not sincere - Sabbath was. Despite the fact that many in 1971 labelled Sabbath as satanic and evil, they promote a positive message. Any atheist should listen to "After Forever" or "Lord of this World" and they will certainly question their stance on religion. I myself am not religious at all, but even I want to at least visit a Hindu burial ground while jamming to these songs. And of course "Sweet Leaf" promotes the plant of marijuana. In fact, I'd say at least 60% of all true pot smokers smoke because of Sabbath. This is a true fact. And of course, Sabbath have the anti-war message on "Into The Void", the heaviest track on the album and a song with more groove and more soul and more goddamn passion
than any of the bands that ripped off Sabbath.
So yeah, this album rules. Happy 420.