Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


Prog Related

4.24 | 1035 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Black Sabbath`s self titled debut LP established a concept in rock music which not only served as the blueprint for heavy metal but also began weaving a web for a myriad of other heavy styles from Goth to Industrial over which to manifest their dark images. At the time of it`s release, appropriately on Friday the 13th of February 1970, their resounding power chorded sound with lyrical references to everything grim and otherworldly was completely original and it could be said that this album alone made them one of the single most influential rock bands ever. It wasn`t only the tolling bells, falling rain and Satanic references and the inverted crucifix on the original inner sleeve ( not the band`s idea ) but it was the grainy photo of the gouhlish, almost sensually alluring green Mona Lisa goth woman staring out from the underbrush in front of an otherwise unremarkable 19th century English millhouse on the River Thames set in the autumn of the year which conveyed a forboding image one would associate more with black magic than with rock`n roll. In any case, rock music would never be the same after the onslaught of this sonic masterpiece.

The music without a doubt had it`s roots in the blues and jazz but the Sabs contorted and twisted both into something which might as well have just awoke from the beyond the netherworld. Raw guitar phrasings and fat power chords combined with Ozzy Osbourne`s petrified banshee wails evoked confusion, paranoia and delusion which would give a another generation of parents something to worry about, only this was a little more than just Elvis and his pelvis. Courting themes with references to the devil and evil immediately identified these anti-hippies with the occult and the title track itself, which is supposedly about a personal encounter drummer Bill Ward had with the Satan, wastes no time alluding to this from the very beginning which convinces the listener that the devil himself inhabits these record grooves.

Not suprisingly, two cover songs also appeared on the original UK release which had references to things evil and wicked in the form of Evil Woman, originally a minor hit for Minneapolis pop band Crow in 1969 and Aynsley Dunbar`s Warning ( originally sung by John Moorshead ) which was an example of how the the masters of metal were initially inspired by and interpreted the blues. Nonetheless, guitarist Tony Iommi`s innovative power riffing, although drawing somewhat from the Hendrix pardigm nonetheless effectively plodded on throughout the album for the most part in a dreary fashion with deeper lowered guitar tunings which added to all the evilness. Several ad-libbed guitar freakouts which seem to be inserted as filler due to the short period of studio time available ( something like two days ) occasionally get into some interesting grooves, paricularily on the afore mentioned Warning, which identify him as a highly competent guitarist in his own right.

The album has a raw in your face sound which adds to the doom and gloom and obviously sounds dated. But hey, this was music history in the making! Forces were at work ! Ground was being broken! Earth was being overturned and foundations were being erected! Absolutely compulsory listening for every budding young metalhead and a nostalgic example of a bygone era where artists were still creating music which was immaginative, audacious and original and for maximum scare value must be listened to LOUD !

Vibrationbaby | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this BLACK SABBATH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.