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Black Sabbath - Sabotage CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.02 | 571 ratings

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4 stars Black Sabbath was unfortunately one of the bands I shoved to the side when I first discovered prog rock, and I say unfortunately because Black Sabbath has made great rock records throughout the early to mid 70's. I put them in a higher tier than say Led Zeppelin (too much over hype) and Deep Purple (came into that band too late) because I familiarised myself with Sabbath first and found them to be more musically fulfilling than I expected.

So after over a year long ''Sabbathical'' (couldn't resist) from the band, SABOTAGE made its way into my collection. Through the PAST LIVES thingy, I was already familiar with three of the first four tracks (''Don't Start'' is a little acoustic fart that Iommi does commonly); surprisingly, ''Symptom of the Universe'' and ''Megalomania'' are superior here, particularly the latter, a song I consider to be the first prog-type epic I ever listened to. I guess the studio allowed for more space to over-elaborate, but ''Hole in the Sky'' suffers from slack production and a slushy tempo, the latter problem being avoided mysteriously on PAST LIVES.

Almost as much as their previous album (SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH), this album dives deep into prog and progressive territories. Of the said tracks, ''Megalomania'' fits a prog epic description quite well and ''Symptom of the Universe'' paved the way for headbangers everywhere giving a precursor of a sound akin to bands like Metallica. ''Supertzar'' is as odd as the title; over three minutes of moaning choirs over epic guitar lines, does it get any better than that? Maybe with the overlooked rock indulgences of ''Thrill of it All'' and ''The Writ''.

This might be dubbed ''detailed metal'' as in the metal is as heavy as ever, yet the compositions here sound meticulously crafted to make an artistic statement. The only goof I could find is ''Am I Going Insane'' as it's chorus gets redundantly inane after too long. Still, I feel that this album could easily trounce much of the hard rock at the time and just maybe could compete with prog rock groups...maybe not quite...

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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