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Black Sabbath - Paranoid CD (album) cover

PARANOID

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

4.25 | 670 ratings

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Petrovsk Mizinski
Prog Reviewer
5 stars While the debut contained one song that I would call metal, the rest of that album was really an electic mix of blues, hard rock and jazz elements, but always via hell. Paranoid is a somewhat different beast and arguably just as influential, if perhaps even more so than the debut. If the debut contained the one song that defined heavy metal, then it's fair to say Paranoid as an album sharpened that definiton to that of a sword, yet it still had that fairly eclectic mix of styles present on the debut. Another thing I find very remarkable about this album, is that it was released the same year as their debut, a whole 7 months later, and for any band to be able to release something of such brilliance in such a short period of time, is nothing less than a astonishing achievement. Ozzy Osbourne once stated in a feature of Guitar World Magazine that the music of Black Sabbath reflected the fact they came from a polluted, dreary and dismal town in Birmingham. I could certainly feel this in the first album, but Paranoid is even more bleak and demonic sounding.

War Pigs has always been my favorite Sabbath song. It fails to follow a standard song structure, which has always added to the excitement and emotion for me, as well as having some fantastic lyrics and of course, incredibly tight song writing from Tony Iommi Despite it's length, I can't find a moment of this that isn't exciting and interesting to listen to. Being a guitarist myself, I always got chills down my spine listening to the first guitar solo and the way that Iommi overdubbed another guitar part into the solo. The outro, named Luke's Wall, is a stunning climax to War Pigs, with some very effective riffs. Usually by the time the song ends, I don't feel like I've sat through a nearly 8 minute song, it's just so captivating and exciting it almost seems to rush by.

I guess Paranoid is one of those songs that has been overplayed throughout history and will continue to do so, but I cannot dislike this song because of that. It's simple and it's over fairly quickly and nothing musically outstanding here, but I love the lyrics and that straight forward chugging riff courtesy of Iommi was a massively influential heavy metal rhythm guitar model for many generations of metallers and of course, I can imagine it will no doubt continue to inspire many more metallers out there well into the future. I've realised Planet Caravan was always a song that divided people, but personally, I love this song so much. So atmospheric and pyschedelic sounding, with Ozzy's voice being somewhat muffled and distorted, but this only adds to the brilliance. When Iommi's jazzy solo comes in, we're taken on another journey until the end of the song. Iron Man has another one of those instantly recognisable riffs, and while not the greatest song on the album, the outro was a real highlight for me. It's slightly reminiscent of Luke's Wall perhaps and has one of my favorite guitar riffs on the album. Electric Funeral is very doomy sounding and we get the slightly contrasting fast and funky section in the middle. Very cool song, and very awesome lyrics as well. We have an anti Heroin song, called Hand Of Doom , which is a very dynamic song, with a quiet verse and very loud chorus. We have a very lengthy middle section, which I remember caught me off guard the first time I heard it. Another very doomy song and very powerful too. Rat Salad is a very jazzy song and also features a drum solo showing Bill Ward's prowess. A cool little number, and the fact it's an instrumental is a nice touch to the overall feeling of the album. There is much despute as to what is actually about, but to me, it doesn't matter so much, because the song is so good anyway. Lots of different moods and feelings going on in this song and another top notch and highly emotive outro.

This album, along with the first one from Sabbath, have been simply massively influential on so much music, from metal, to stoner rock and more. Unlike Led Zep and others of the era, I simply cannot stop listening to this, it's just that amazing to me.

Petrovsk Mizinski | 5/5 |

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