Black Sabbath
Born Again



by Phil USER (16 Reviews)
February 26th, 2007 | 11 replies

Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Black Sabbath had to recruit a new singer after Dio and Ozzy had quit the band, they got Ian Gillan of Deep Purple fame. Critiques were weary that it would be Deep Sabbath/Black purple. This was not entirely true but there were some reminiscence of Deep Purple in this record.

It starts of with ‘Trashed’ which describes a man that gets drunk consistently and then vows to stop. However, he knows this is a lie and will never keep this promise. It has some soloing by Iommi which does get a bit tedious but is a nice change to the vocals of Ian Gillan. It moves on the instrumental piece ‘Stonehenge’ which moves slowly and never really seems to go anywhere. It could have easily been left out as it is only filler. Although, Black Sabbath do this will with nearly all of their albums so this shouldn’t be a surprise.

The next track ‘Disturbing the priest’ is an epic which shows off Ian Gillans ‘satanic’ shrills. It describes how religion contradicts itself. Ward uses some nice fills throughout the song but Iommi never really impresses me as he doesn’t seem to do anything complicated. This does fit the song as it really orientates around Gillans vocals. It then moves on the other instrumental which serves no other purpose other then to keeping the tradition.

‘Zero the hero’ is another 7 minute track which is somewhat reminiscent to Deep Purple. Iommi’s guitar playing is similar to Blackmore. The lyrics are nonsensical really and the instruments aren’t really anything special as they aren’t that heavy. Iommi does break into a solo which lasts most of the song, this does add some variation but could have easily been shorter. ‘Digital bitch’ talks about a snobby, rich lady which got famous due to her smile and how he despises whenever she’s on the TV. The instruments provide some nice contrast but don’t really heighten how much his dislike for the ‘digital bitch’ is. It’s a pretty mediocre song.

It then moves onto the title track. It starts very slowly which is nice. Gillans vocals aren’t the greatest which are a bit like most of the record. The production is quite sloppy but it isn’t that bad. The song could have been a lot better by being a bit shorter. ‘Hot line’ sounds a like a variation from ‘Smoke on the water’, and Gillan just talks about how he wants someone to call him on the ‘hot line’. The lyrics are mediocre and Iommi uses another solo in this song. His solos are getting pretty tedious and don’t really improve any of the songs.

The ninth and final song ‘Keep it warm’ just talks about sex and how he liked it last night. He wishes that she could keep the bed warm for him every night but apparently the husband is coming back soon. The lyrics aren’t very good as they don’t really make much sense. The solo in this song seems a bit better then previous solos. However, as Iommi does solo in most of the songs, it gets tedious after a while.

Overall, its not a disappointment but could have been improved a lot. Gillans short stay proved that they were getting a bit lack-luster and needed some more variation. Iommi soloed a bit too much which got tedious as did the lyrics. It could have been a lot better but it wasn’t too bad.

Born again = 3 stars outta 5.

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user ratings (723)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • masterofreality (4)
    An album panned by critics and a good number of fans, Born Again deserves less hate and a ...

    Nagrarok (1)
    Sabbath + Ian Gillan turns out to be a recipe for disaster....

    Robbit (3)
    A contentious anomaly in the Sabbath catalog that is still a worthwhile novelty....

    neekafat (2)
    It finally happened....

  • kual21 (4)
    It's one of the most underrated albums in the 80's. Gillan gives a completely different pe...

    Killerhit (2)
    A godly singer and a godly band both fall in this god awful mess....

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 26th 2007


jeez......this was awful on the eyes, and really said nothing of the record. i certainly won't check this out. if not because of the review, but the cheesy stonehenge thing they did with the stageshow in support of this. better luck next time.

February 26th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

I actually always enjoyed this album. Sure, Digital Bitch, stonehenge & the Dark are pretty poor or "filler" if you like, but the rest are pretty solid. Born Again is a cool doom metal-like song - slow melodic & yeah muddy production, but that suits the song & Gillan's vocals on this album are really excellent - he stretches himself with gut-wrenching screams all over the place. There are some really driving dirty riffs on Zero the Hero and Disturbing the Priest. In the end, I agree with your rating though - this album is good.

February 26th 2007


I think this album is fantastic, one of my favourites. Whats wrong with Iommi soloing all the time? Thats quite normal for him on any album. Also I hardly think Digital Bitch is filler.

February 27th 2007


I didnt say it was filler. I said the Dark and Stonehedge were filler as their just instrumentals. I said Digital Bitch was a mediocre song. I quite soloes but not to the extent which Iommi does on the album. It just gets tedious and repetitive.

March 14th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

This album is one of the worst albums ever from one of te best bands out there. It's no woder Gillan left after this album.

It's sooooo terrible. I haven't heard any of the Tony Martin albums yet, or Ozzy's last two, but I still feel safe saying that this is absolutely the worst Sab album.

It's like if they don't have a vocalist they feel they can revolve around, they're shit. Dio &Ozzy are both awesome, and so is the band when they're there. But Gillan, and the band w him... UGH.

And those shrills Gillan "shows off" as the reviewer put it, on "Disturbing the Priest"? Fucking the most annoying ear-piercing thing I've ever heard (and I like screaming in metal).

March 14th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

I gave it a two because Iommi's riffs are cool in a ouple songs, until he repeats them a million times... And who can blame theat stellar bassist, Geezer, for anything?

April 2nd 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I find this album quite underrated. Songs like Trashed, Zero The Hero, Disturbing The Priest and the title track are pretty good, and I like Gillan's vocals/screaming on here (although his work with Deep Purple is better).

March 7th 2009



August 23rd 2009


This would've been an excellent experimental album without the last two tracks, which are pseudo DP fillers, imo. Trashed, born again, disturbing the preist: basically, the first 7 tracks are all great.

Partially why I like this album is that I never really liked Dio's pretentious vocals (despite liking tracks on both heaven & hell & mob rules), & martin's similar sounding use of vibrato (christ, he goes into hair metal territory).

I always thought Gillian's vocals was actually a good fit for the band; sort of like a mix between the theatrics of Dio & Martin & the under-stated & lower-pitched (yet capable of yelling / screaming) Ozzie.

It's actually a shame Gillian left after this (if the production was the sole reason, which i don't think it is, black sabbath has had numerous problems throughout it's history after ozzie left), I think they would've eventually made more interesting music & not de-evolve into hair metal by the time headless cross came out.

August 23rd 2009


They have a song called Stonehenge? you can't be serious.

Contributing Reviewer
April 6th 2010


This album is poor...

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