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Black Sabbath - Paranoid CD (album) cover

PARANOID

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

4.25 | 650 ratings

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Gustavo Froes
4 stars This is probably one of the most overrated albums in rock n' roll.It's actually great,but I think what people don't realize is that individual songs don't necessarily make a good album.Paranoid contains in it's first 20 minutes the 3 most famous songs of the band's career,which is probably the main fault of the album:no matter how incredible Side B could possibly be,it would still be overshadowed by these three monstruos anthems.We can't blame the band for that,after all the title track was,ironically,a throw-out number when it was written(in 5 minutes,so they say).Still,things happened as they did,and these songs became the very roots of heavy metal as we know it today.

I have to say,War Pigs is one of my favourite songs by this band,and an incredibly dramatic opening.I do think part of the reason why this album causes such a good impression over first-time listeners is this apocalyptical chord introduction.And what a song.It contains multiple time signatures,all to which the band respond furiously.An incredible solo by Tony Iommi halfway thorugh the track sets the absolute mood of the piece,in a song that can be classified(though I hate this term)as genuine heavy metal.Geezer Butler,Bill Ward,Iommi and Osbourne are all outstanding here(this is probably the album where the band better interacts between each other).But since this opening anthem,it is already noticeable that the rawness and coldness of their debut is gone.

The title track comes following with it's straight rock n' roll,very cool and groovy.Maybe this song doesn't deserve the attention it had over the years,but it is still great.By now,the radical change in Ozzy Osbourne's voice since the previous effort released earlier that year is already noticeable,and unfortunatly it didn't worked out for the best,at least for me.I always thought of his voice in classic Sabbath recordings as too high-pitched and at times annoying,which wasn't really necessary.

Before the third and last classic song,there's a little gem,totally overshadowed by giants and truly lost in the mists of time.Yes,Planet Caravan is a great song,for me as good as(or even better than)the following Iron Man(though I should say this is just my personal opinion,considering many people completely dislike and get bored by it).This is a pshycedelic echoing ballad,with great space lyrics and weird vocals.It takes a good time to be aprecciated,though,if one ever comes to.And Iron Man,the ultimate heavy metal anthem,kicks in.Personally I don't see much in this song.At times,it leaves me completly stoned by the riff and it's nervous last minutes,others it annoys me with the main verse sang very poorly by the Madman.These is far from being a bad tune,but I'm just stating in these reviews that people give way too much praise for this song and Paranoid.

It's time to turn the record side and get ready for the unknown side of the all-time heavy metal masterpiece.

Electric Funeral is easily the worst track in the album,giving away the first signs of the band's decadence(even though by 1970 Black Sabbath was far from decadent).The slightly comic element's of the song ruin it for me,as they did in the their late seventies albums.And Ozzy's vocals are those he would turn to in those shamefull 80's songs.

Hand of Doom and the instrumental Rat Salad are nice tracks,nothing too special.The former actually presents a great structure of growing intensity,but at times it's a little bit repetitive.

The closing song is one of the best in the album.Fairies Wear Boots,though it isn't incrdibly original,is a great rock n' roll fest.I just love the way it starts,with a growing guitar meddley,to be follwed by lenghty Iommi's old-school guitar solos.And the chorus is one of the best I ever heard in their early material.

I do think every rocker should listen to this at least once,but for the band's standard,but it is still highly overrated.Ironically,this one and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,the two most famous and referenced albums by the band,are Black Sabbath's two weakest efforts from that glorious early period.Let's not say weak.The two less-good statements they are.I guess I just love this band for all the wrong reasons.

Gustavo Froes | 4/5 |

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