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Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.05 | 730 ratings

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3 stars I'm much less fond of this than any of BLACK SABBATH's other early albums, mainly I suppose because it wears its occult underpinnings so obviously on its sleeve. I also feel the material is thinner, with five five-minute metal tracks supplemented by three gentle numbers, two of them disposable.

After warning us about drugs on the previous album ('Hand of Doom') BLACK SABBATH now encourage us to try them ('Sweet Leaf'). Perhaps the shift to Los Angeles changed their minds, or perhaps one or both viewpoints are simply poses. The latter, I'd guess. The members of the band had tried other routes to success before hitting on the doom metal/occult formula, and here they milk it for everything they can. I find this album much less honest than its predecessor.

There are dozens of riffs scattered through this album like diamonds in pig manure, and songs that are respected and influential throughout the heavy metal world: 'Children of the Grave' and 'Lord of this World', for example. The only track I listen to on a regular basis, however, is 'Into the Void', which has a shape not dissimilar to 'War Pigs', and a fine sci-fi motif.

I'm delighted to report that BLACK SABBATH did not continue down this dead-end road. They returned a year later to produce the first of three consecutive progressive-influenced albums, discarding much of the 'Master of Reality' formula.

russellk | 3/5 |


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