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Black Sabbath - Sabotage CD (album) cover

SABOTAGE

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

3.98 | 519 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sabotage is the sixth full-length studio album from UK heavy metal legends Black Sabbath. Allthough easily recognisable as Black Sabbath itīs a pretty different album compared to the early releases from the band. Sabotage was the most elaborate and costly production from the band at the time of its release. Produced by Tony Iommi himself Sabotage took almost a half year to record and produce. The tensions between Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne that had already started to emerge got even worse during the recordings of this album as Ozzy Osbourne felt that Tony Iommi was way too obsessed with getting the right sound.

The music is still riff based heavy metal, but there are some slightly more sophisticated elements on the album as well. Sabotage is a rather difficult album to review as it both have some of the greatest songs that Black Sabbath ever wrote and some more average songs as well. After listening to the first five tracks on the album I was sure I was gonna give Sabotage a 5 star rating, but the last three songs are not as good as the first part of the album. Hole in the Sky, Megalomania and especially Symptom of the Universe are fantastic masterpieces of classic heavy metal IMO. The opening riff in Symptom of the Universe is one of the greatest examples of the essence of classic heavy metal riffing. Pretty simple yet powerful, memorable and effective distorted guitar riffing. The more sophisticated elements in the music I mentioned above is examplyfied by the acoustic ending to Symptom of the Universe, the structure of a song like Megalomania and the symphonic ending to the latter. A good example of proto-prog metal IMO. As mentioned the second part of the album doesnīt quite hold up to the extremely high standard the first part sets and the simple Am I Going Insane (Radio) is a very average tune. For all itīs progressive promise I donīt find The Writ that interesting either. The instrumental choir and classical music/ heavy metal piece Supertzar is pretty interesting and succesful to my ears and The Thrill of it All is actually a great song so the second part is not bad at all but just not as good as the heavy metal classics that make out the first part.

The musicianship is excellent. Itīs obvious that the band used more time in the studio than they used to. Their early releases sometimes come of as sounding a bit sloppy which is rather charming but Sabotage is very well played and it suits the music on the album well. I have to give a special mention to Ozzy Osbourneīs vocals on Sabotage. Itīs like he gives his all on this album and he comes of sounding really sinister on some of the tracks.

Ozzy Osbourne might have been unsatisfied with what he referred to as an over produced sound but I think the sound is absolutely wonderful. Seldom have I heard something this powerful.

Sabotage started out as a 5 star album for me but after listening to the album many times I have to admit that I donīt find the second part as great as the first part and therefore a 4 star rating is more warranted. Sabotage is an excellent and very enjoyable album though and highly recommendable to fans of powerful riff based classic heavy metal.

On a site-note. Remember to take a look at that cover an extra time. Iīm not sure what Ozzy Osbourne is suppossed to look like but thatīs a weird outfit if I ever saw one. He looks like a cross between a geisha and Punky Meadows. Boy they must have had a great time back then.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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