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Black Sabbath - Paranoid CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.30 | 898 ratings

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4 stars It's hard to give Sabbath's sophomore effort anything less then 5 stars but I will give it a shot! In many ways it confirms and sometimes even tops the excellent debut, but in the second half of the album it feels a bit disjointed and even hurried.

The opening tracks need no introduction, both War Pigs and Paranoid are metal monuments, and rightfully so. War Pigs for its epic ambitions, originality and outstanding song writing and execution. Geezer Butler worms his way through all crawling war pigs here, Ozzy still has that morbid guttural tone in his voice, Bill Ward's tribal drumming is a pagan feast on its own and Iommi is his awesome self.

Paranoid must be the best rock song under 3 minutes ever. Period. Such power and atmosphere with so seemingly simple means. Amazing. Planet Caravan will be less known to the average metal fan but it's an almost kraut rock alike experimental ballad with muted percussion, eerie sound effects and Ozzy's voice processed through a vocoder to make it even more morose. A psychedelic moment from Sabbath.

Iron Man would be laughable if any other band would try it but they pull it off. One simple riff and Ozzy just singing along with it. It has a short break and a big ending but it's a tad too long really. The similar Electric Funeral works better for me. Another riff right out of Iommi's bottomless treasure box and Ozzy wining along with it.

Hand of Doom is where I loose touch with the album. Hard to say why, the bluesy bass riff is great and the performance edgy and focused but somehow I rarely listen to this track. I think the change of pace around minute 2 doesn't work for me, too much like it's another song starting, even though the second change around minute 3.40 is great. Rat Salad is bit awkward. A drum solo on a studio album? Wasn't that a Led Zeppelin thing?

Luckily they kept one masterpiece for the end. Fairies Wear Boots is one of Sabbath's most remarkable songs ever. It's like Led Zeppelin looking right into the hollow eyes of doom. Big 4.5 notation for this masterpiece.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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