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)"
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.
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.