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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.24 | 1034 ratings

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3 stars A tolling church bell rings out over a sleeping village on a rainy morning, and ushers in a new era of music... witness the birth of Heavy Metal. The influence and importance of this band (and this album) can not be over-stated. Black Sabbath played heavier and were darker than any rock band before them... single-handedly inventing what would become Metal music. This is an extremely hard album to review, especially for a website dedicated to Progressive Rock. The atmosphere of nostalgia is so thick when i listen to this album that it's nearly impossible to look objectively at it. Black Sabbath have long been my favorite band as well...

These songs take me back to when I was 5 years old: my father introduced me to Black Sabbath at a young age and this music is deeply embedded into my very soul... my dad dropping the needle on those vinyl records, and the massive sound that poured from those speakers are among the earliest and most treasured memories of my life. This band's first six albums are among the most important recordings in Rock history. Being as objective as possible, I must say that this debut is overall not as good as what would follow. Putting aside the legacy that this music created, it is still basically very simple blues-based Rock and Roll... only played more aggressively wicked and with more sinister intent than anything that came before it. The title track is gloom and doom personified... an undeniable classic and the song that birthed an entire genre of music. 'The Wizard' has a dark mythological pall draped over it... as does the menacing Blues of 'Behind the Wall of Sleep'. An overcast sky... sorrowful wails of wind and rain splattering on medieval British cobblestone streets. 'N.I.B.' contains the most evil riff on the album and an ominously bleak mood... yet is somehow enchanting and comforting to my soul. The second half of the album is not as good... I have never found it up to the standard of the first side. Dominated by prolix Blues-guitar solos, there is not much here of a progressive nature... this is simply Heavy Blues. ...but does the superior first side even contain anything 'progressive'? I would say yes... in it's own way it pushed the boundaries of what Rock music was, or could be, at that time. Not 'Prog Rock' per se... but inventive hard rock music with it's own progressive ideas of what 'Rock' should sound like. Still, i believe the band would write much stronger material over the course of their next few albums...

For the purposes of this site, i give this iconic record a 3... though it pains my conscience to not declare it a masterpiece. I simply believe there are too many weaker moments on the second side to warrant 4 stars. God, have mercy on my soul for this sacrilege!

AdamHearst | 3/5 |


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