Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath


4.5
superb

Review

by lz41 USER (33 Reviews)
May 20th, 2013 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist


I am, I confess, a wuss when it comes to metal. Master of Puppets reduced me to the foetal position, listening to Welcome Home (Sanitarium) on repeat as if it was the last bit of high ground in a flood of lava. However, I’m not going to be one of the people who disguise their dislike of metal with an elitist, snobby sniff of, “Metal? Pah, it’s just extremist posturing.” Instead, I’m going to let all of you metalheads know the truth of why we don’t like metal: it scares us . Metal is the music of monsters, nightmares, death and, most importantly, the unknown and foreboding. For many of us, it’s just too intense.

So I was a little puzzled when I found myself being drawn to Black Sabbath. They are, after all, the grand-daddy of metal, so shouldn’t I be taking cover and burying myself in an Oasis album when Sabbath comes a-knocking? Nonetheless, I found myself being impressed by not just the band’s technical ability, but their ability to make heavy, powerful music without resorting to Cookie Monster vocals or white-lightning speed solos. So, taking a step into the unknown, I bought their debut album Black Sabbath .

My word to anti-metal music lovers is that this album is far more accessible than it is made out to be. Indeed, early career Sabbath is a looser, bluesier, heavier Led Zeppelin. If you can take Led Zeppelin IV , you can take Black Sabbath . Indeed, when Ozzy Osbourne sings “You never said you love me, and I don’t believe you can/’Cause I saw you in a dream and you were with another man” on the hazy extended jam Warning , possibly the album's best song instrumentally, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d stumbled across an outtake from Led Zeppelin II . Butler and Ward may deliver a heavier, sludgier sound than Jones and Bonham but, when working at peak performance with Iommi (who is not far behind Page in terms of memorable riffs), their finesse is remarkable. Just check out the massive, boss riffage of N.I.B , arguably the album’s best song: sounding like a metallic Sunshine of Your Love laced with swaggering groove, its crunchy quality is undeniable. Similarly, the twisted boogie of The Wizard owes far more to Zeppelin-and-Cream-style blues than overblown, gothic metal.

However, the album’s most menacing song displays Sabbath’s exceptional musical control. Sleeping Village opens with tasteful, foreboding acoustic guitar that is enthrallingly disturbing because suggests horror more than showing it (apart from the stupid boing-ing sound that mars it: sorry, boys, but I don’t think Satan is coming for us on a pogo stick).

The opening title track is, at worst, a campy, heavy-handed horror film soundtrack, but it’s hard to not be thrilled by the menacing thunder, lightning, rain and church bell intro, and that’s before Iommi’s hell-comes-to-your-house opening riff. Osborne’s wail may not be entirely palatable, but then again the only person who has ever been able to credibly pull off the line, “Oh no, God, please help me!” was the nude chick in the start of Jaws . At the start of his career, cocaine, weed and booze had not yet eroded his vocal chords to the ice-pick-carving-out-your-eardrums style of songs like Changes , and his haunted, priest-standing-on-the-edge-of-Hades vocals of Sleeping Village is one of the album’s highlights. Even the album’s just-so songs like Evil Woman and Behind The Wall Of Sleep can lay claim to being inspirations for 1970s hard rock bands like Deep Purple.
So there we have it. I, a metal wuss, am a Black Sabbath fan. Their debut album is, and I mean this in the best possible way, metal fun for the whole family.

BEST TRACKS:
The Wizard
N.I.B
Warning



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user ratings (2312)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
May 20th 2013


6696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Even though I found the introduction so-so, your review is excellent, pos. Indeed, this album is greatly influenced by the blues. Oh, Iommi is clearly the riff master imo.

Just one thing. Third paragraph: "possibly the best album's best song instrumentally", meybe you want to delete one best.

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell

tempest--
May 20th 2013


14610 Comments


this album, m/
I remember when I was quite young my dad randomly put it on the stereo one day and I thought it was the heaviest thing ever

tommygun
May 20th 2013


25413 Comments


m/

Digging: Banks - Goddess

TheNotrap
May 20th 2013


8132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The title track is an absolute killer. Groundbreaking stuff.

Digging: Funebrarum - The Sleep of Morbid Dreams

ksoflas
May 20th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sabbath Forever!!!
Pos'd.

InbredJed
May 25th 2013


6106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad you saw the light, you must have been listening to the wrong metal

tommygun
May 25th 2013


25413 Comments


wizard

tempest--
May 25th 2013


14610 Comments


lol skele likes this but hates paranoid wat

tommygun
May 25th 2013


25413 Comments


he's not normal

tempest--
May 25th 2013


14610 Comments


https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/3486665549/e65b17b5b3a1924dd0385170c60fc8bf.jpeg

NeroCorleone80
March 4th 2014


30104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

m/



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