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Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.12 | 783 ratings

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3 stars

This is such a mature effort from Black Sabbath, it almost came as a shock to me when I first heard it.The songs have multiple elements and progressions, the guitar work is much more diverse and varied. The whole band seems fired up, and Ozzy actually does a good job singing with passion?! Indeed. The guitars when doomed down, seem even more dark and de-tuned than normal, with Ozzy demonically screeching in the fore.

The songs are inspired and creative (for Sabbath) and remain interesting. The material is solid and never devolves into filler. Iommi could write guitar lines that wrapped around your ears and choked them masterfully. The lyrics don't venture too far from metal's cliche (but, hey these guys invented that cliche!)

I normally dislike Ozzy's vocals, but I actually am quite fond of them, here. the guitar is bluesy and metallic, either when it is sludgy and doom-laden, or screeching and flinging itself about. National Acrobat loses a bit of steam, though, and I feel it is overlong.

Fluff is a simple song, and has pretty melodies. Does it fit on a Sabbath record? I think so. It is mature and adds much needed diversity. It is also an instrumental, and no one who isn't very familiar with these guys would ever guess it came from them. Again, I feel it wears out its welcome near the end, but a good change.

As a note, the songs seem a bit muddier than normal, which is very muddy. And the lyrics, which were never amazing, seem just as mediocre. The songs also sort of lose their metallic edge in favor of standard hard rock, halfway through (at about Sabbra Cadabra/Killing Yourself To Live) Although, the guitar effect is interesting on the latter. The songs are still fairly dark, and that is a good thing. Who are you has the Wakeman work. And, it is perhaps one of my least favorite songs, here. It just comes off as a mundane little trick to say "hey, we have Wakeman!" It doesn't rub me the right way, and is hardly progressive. The keyboard riff is mediocre, and the song feels weak. It is a sad sight when my favorite part of a Sabbath song is Ozzy's singing...

The rest of the album is solid hard rock with metal undertones except for The last song, which is a synthesized strings pop rock song. The album has a good deal of experimentation form Sabbath, and a few of the numbers are absolutely great, but some of it falls flat. Still a solid release. Again, nothing ever feels like filler, the title track is damn good, and they do open their minds a bit, here. Also, some of the songs seem to go on for longer than I'd like.

Not Black Sabbath's best, but a fine listen. Three Weak Stars.

Alitare | 3/5 |


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