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Black Sabbath - Volume Four CD (album) cover

VOLUME FOUR

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

3.78 | 440 ratings

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Alitare
2 stars The Sabbath embraces progressive

Ah, Volume four is Sabbath's first real attempt at progressing their sound in a major way. And for the most part, they are successful. The sound is still muddy, and Tomorrow's Dream sounds like it was recorded in a pig slop bucket, but it is a hard rocking tune. Opening Wheels of Confusion is fairly progressive, but bores me. The solo at the end though, is absolutely fiery.

I don't expect the greatest of recording from Black Sabbath, but some of this just sounds mediocre, production-wise. Changes comes off rather forced, but I like it. The lyrics are just absolutely abysmal. Honestly, I have heard better lyrics on instrumentals. Changes is cheesy, and it bogs the record down. FX, better known as "needless noises" or "That intro to Supernaut" is a neat first listen, but doesn't go anywhere beyond boring atmosphere and flat sonic explorations. Not that I will let 1 and a half minutes ruin an album for me, besides...

Supernaut absolutely kicks ass. Well, standard Sabbath levels of kick ass, that is. Not the best they made, but an album highlight, and that guitar riff is killer. Ozzy's vocals aren't my cup of liquid drink as usual, but they don't ever really offend. Another wild solo from Iommi. The songs follow a solid hard rock vibe, with Cornucopia bringing the heavy back. This song would be a decent doom metal song if it didn't sound like they were recording in a dank 10x12 tool shed with tin walls.

Laguna Sunrise follows, and is another dab of experimentation. The strings and keys are not bad, but it seems a bit needless and lacking. It doesn't offend, but it doesn't amaze. Although Saint Vitus pops back in with nice hard rock. The closer follows suit, and is a decent enough song.

The album is a good metal one, but Black Sabbath have done so much better, and as an album that is supposed to add experimentation and levels to their sound it feels very mundane and mediocre. The weak production also makes me enjoy it, less. Get it if you are a fan of Sabbath. Two Stars.

Alitare | 2/5 |

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