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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath CD (album) cover

BLACK SABBATH

Black Sabbath

 

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4.22 | 857 ratings

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Petrovsk Mizinski
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In all honesty, if I was to tell you what I thought about the majority of Black Sabbath's discography, I would simply tell you I don't like the bulk of it. But here we have it, the self titled release from the band, an album that was to become a revolutionary album, the album that saw the birth of heavy metal. That alone makes this one of the most important and influential albums ever. To truly understand what this album is about and why it sounds like the way it does, you need to understand the history surrounding it.

The band as the four piece of Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne, had called themselves Earth and began to play heavier riff based material, while being somewhat less bluesy than the competition. The band found out another band was already called Earth, so a name change was in order. and they decided to name themselves after the film Black Sabbath.

The band would begin to make music that was a great contrast to the flower power hippy music of so prominent at the time, a dark sound that would match the dreary post WW2 landscape of Birmingham. In December 1969, they recorded and released the first single Evil Women and the band recorded and mixed the rest of the album in January 1970. They didn't get to do a second run of most of the recording, so that has resulted in the overall sound coming off kinda raw and perhaps a tad flawed. The album was finally released on, of all days, Friday the 13th, 1970, which only adds to the raw evil power and feeling of this album.

The album begins with the title track, which at the time was incredibly dark and evil sounding and certainly I always try to imagine what it would have been like in 1970 to have heard something this evil sounding and certainly this song still sends a shiver down my spine listening to it. When the driving, heavy riff kicks in at 4:36, that just screams out, THE first true heavy metal moment for me, no more, no less, it just floors me everytime. Tony Iommi's guitar parts are just pure evil as well as Butler's lyrics, with a drum and vocal performance from Ward and Osbourne to match. Speaking of Ozzy's vocals, while he was never blessed with a great vocal technical ability like that of Bruce Dickinson and others of that ilk, Ozzy's style was and always will be the style that truly fit the context of these early Sabbath records. The Wizard is a hard rock, very classic Sabbath type song, but hard rock that clashed in the path of evil and while not one of the better songs on here, still certainly an excellent song. Behind The Wall Of Sleep has a similar vibe to The Wizard, but a bit more bluesy in places. The next song, N.I.B, is just sheer brilliance. Kicks off with a cool bass solo, and has some cool riffs too. There is a riff from about 2:50 which leads into the guitar solo, and that whole section instrumental section just blows my mind with it's brilliance and emotion. This section is repeated again, to amazing effect. Easily one of my favorite Sabbath songs, one I could never get sick of listening to over and over, pure genius. Evil Women is a classic bluesy type track, which isn't amazing, but sorta catchy and not a bad listen at all. The intro to Sleeping Village is so haunting and simultaneously so raw sounding and goes drives into the classic Sabbath rocking sound which is partly bluesy and partly jazzy as well, which is a nice touch. Another remarkable song here too. Warning is a cover song and very doomy sounding, while being a fairly basic type of blues sound. We then get a crazy and lengthy instrumental section, featuring a lot of guitar improvisation from Iommi. Some people find this bit boring, but I still remember the first time I heard it and just falling in love with this section instantly. Again, a top notch track, displaying a variety of feelings and emotions. I happen to have the version which has Wicked World on it to, and this song combines a jazzy feel in some sections while still keeping the bluesy rock theme this album is notable for. The vocals sound very raw here, as do the other instruments, and this seems to contribute to the evil and Wicked feel of this song. The song ends with crazy noise and feedback, and just seemed to be the most appropiate way to the end the album for me.

This is the band that combined jazzy stuff, along with blues and hard rock, and transformed it into something else entirely. Fans of metal, prog metal cannot be without this album, and of course this has to be of great interest to any prog fan out there.

Petrovsk Mizinski | 5/5 |

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