Black Sabbath
Sabotage


4.7
superb

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
April 7th, 2012 | 424 replies | 13,538 views


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I sold my soul to be the human obscene."

The music of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath managed to garner much disillusion after its release. It just wasn't Black Sabbath, or at least, it wasn't the Black Sabbath we knew. The album introduced a new side of the band that we had never seen before, a delicate side. It showed that beneath their sinister persona, lies a band that wonders if there is more to their music than aggressive riffs and ominous lyrics. We begun to see Black Sabbath expanding their typical approach, and experimenting with instruments and musical styles that were not associated with early Heavy Metal. The end result was received to diverse opinions, but nevertheless, it proved that Black Sabbath is far more abstract than the typical conjectures that surround its name. Sabotage, is not exactly an expansion of its predecessor's ventures, but it's also not a return to form. Instead off evolving, we find Black Sabbath regressing into past tendencies and fusing them with a better understanding of themselves and what they want to accomplish with their music.

Sabotage opens with "Hole In The Sky", immediately releasing all of that ferocious aggression that has seduced our interest throughout the years. I can only imagine the comforting enthusiasm that the aggressive sound of "Hole In The Sky"' must have overcome anyone who was hoping to hear the "Old" Black Sabbath of the earlier albums. But from this familiar realm, Sabotage immediately diverts us into something completely unexpected. We find ourselves arriving to a soothing acoustic piece, it follows an elevated pace, yet at the same time managing to induce a calming effect. Within "Don't Start (Too Late)" we find Black Sabbath displaying their sense of humor as the change is completely off-putting. And from this mesmerizing acoustic sound we are instantly driven into a distorted crunch of guitar arrangements. "Symptom Of The Universe" arrives without any warning. The impact is jarring, almost uncomfortable, and that's just what they wanted us to feel because that's what Black Sabbath is all about- Creating music that induce a malaise tension with every note touched by the instruments and every word uttered from the malevolent tongue of Ozzy Osbourne.

"Symptom Of The Universe" is a very anomalous piece of music because in it takes us through different musical realms. It opens with a fast-paced guitar driven sound, expressing an aggressive tone of musicianship. But during its midsection, after Tony Iommi erupts with an explosive set of guitar solos, we again find ourselves descending into yet another acoustic atmosphere. It's peaceful, and it presents itself almost like a ballad, rich with romantic imagery induced by its lyrics. By this point in the album, we, the listener, are succumbed with confusion. Black Sabbath is coming at us from all directions with an immense bag of surprises and we're bewildered by what may come next, but our curiosity is far too overbearing. For the most part, we are again reunited with the heavier side of Black Sabbath from their earlier albums, but we also find that they're not quite finished with the experimental tendencies of Vol. 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. "Thrill Of It All" is a reflection of the classic Sabbath sound of Heavy Metal riffs, whereas tracks like "Am I Going Insane (Radio)" and "Supertzar" represent the more abnormal side of the album as they're structures differ from the band's signature style. We find that the growing interest in synthesizer arrangements are revived in "Am I Going Insane (Radio)", and it's an interesting look for Black Sabbath because it has a much more upbeat sound despite its more darker lyrical content.

"Megalomania" is perhaps the highlight of Sabotage's performance. The composition is rich with ominous atmospheric textures that induce a truly haunting chill. "Megalomania" is the essence of everything we love about Black Sabbath. It's the longest track on the album, but it is also a voyage that ascends through malevolent ambiances to aggressive Heavy Metal. The music produces the perfect gloomy setting for Ozzy Osbourne's delivery of melancholic confessions of pessimism. Expressing verbal images of spiritual lamentations as the narrator descends deeper and deeper into his own personal hell. But yet the more he opens up to us, the more we get the impression that our narrator is exactly where he wants to be. Becoming the victim of his own self-destruction. And finally we end with "The Writ", which shares a similar aesthetic to "Symptom Of The Universe" as it displays a more diverse musical structure. It's a haunting climax that reflects all of the aspects explored throughout the album. The music is decorated with familiar tales of emotional despair, celebrating the sinful nature of humanity and the harsh realities of life. Sabotage is a truly enjoyable album, and is often remembered as one of Black Sabbath's finest efforts. This is an album that must be heard by any admirer of Heavy Metal as it will surely be a listening experience well worth your time.



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user ratings (992)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



4421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

I hope you guys enjoy the review. I just bought this album on vinyl, along with a bunch of others at a sale by my place.

SCREAMorphine
April 7th 2012



1752 Comments


Great review PaperbackWriter.

Getting better with each review. pos

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



4421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Oh thanks, Scream. Glad you liked it.

Inveigh
April 7th 2012



24958 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review, I think you've inspired me to throw this one back on the ipod

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



3393 Comments


Great review but this ain't a 5, the first albums were close to a 5 but they slowly declined after Vol. 4 IMO. However, there are some great tracks here no doubt.

Digging: Amplifier - Mystoria

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



4421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

@Inveigh
Oh, you should definitely add it if you have the room, its a decent album.

@insomniac15
"they slowly declined after Vol. 4"
If I had a dollar for every time someone said that, my God. I personally think the decline started with Technical Ecstasy and
ended with Heaven and Hell. but we all have our opinions.

Parallels
April 7th 2012



6641 Comments


What have you got against Hardcovers?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



3393 Comments


Maybe I'm just being picky, but I find those four records really up there while Sabotage and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath are a 4 for me and then it's downhill for the Ozzy era. After Ozzy left the band got really bad.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



4421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

your not being prick, it's your personal opinion and a lot of people agree with you there. I personally think Sabotage is up there with Paranoid and Master, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is a solid album too... but its not one of my favorites either.
And for the record, I prefer the Ozzy era better than the Dio era, which was good in its own way.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



3393 Comments


I am curious to see how the reunion album is gonna sound. It has a lot of potential to be really cool but also to fail.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



4421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

I heard Bill Ward isnt going to be in it though.... and all we can really do is hope for the best.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



3393 Comments


Yeah, they handed him some contract that couldn't be signed. Most probably he had no word to decisions and the album's direction. Also, the Ozzy and Friends tour was a bad move, I understand Iommi can't tour but to feature a revolving line-up is unnecessary. It's better to just focus on that album to come out.

Palimpsest
April 7th 2012



77 Comments


Have a pos. Nitpicky criticism, but you don't need to capitalize heavy metal.

rockandmetaljunkie
April 7th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The review is one of the best i have read in Sputnik.
Pos'd.

TheNotrap
April 7th 2012



8065 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Excellent album. The last classic with the madman.

Have a pos.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2012



20616 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules.

Great review, pos'd.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



4421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

@rockandmetaljunkie
Thank you, that's very kind of you to say.

CaptainDooRight
April 7th 2012



29071 Comments


Good review bro, you're on-a roll right now! "p" to the "o" to the "s"

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

tarkus
April 7th 2012



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/
pos

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012



4421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Thanks for the great feedback guys, i really appreciated it.



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