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Black Sabbath - Mob Rules CD (album) cover

MOB RULES

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

3.43 | 262 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars With the 1981 release of Mob Rules Black Sabbath seemed to repeat the same old story like the one from a decade earlier where they first released a single-based album and then followed it up with a magnificent complete album experience of Master Of Reality in 1971! The results this time might not be as magical but at least Mob Rules definitely gets my seal of approval for being the best Sabbath album of the '80s!

It's true that the first few run-throughs might suggest that the band were just rehashing the Heaven And Hell formula where they start with an upbeat opener, Neon Knights/Turn Up The Night, have one lengthier tune towards the album's midpoint, Heaven & Hell/The Sign Of The Southern Cross, and finally conclude with a strong ballad, Lonely Is The Word/Over & Over. Looking at it this way will definitely make Mob Rules seem like the weaker album since Heaven And Hell definitely had the stronger standout moments. Fortunately Mob Rules doesn't have the problem with the same amount of filler material, instead these weaker standout moments perfectly mix together with the rest of the compositions creating the album experience that I've been longing for even since the early days of the debut album and Master Of Reality!

Here we have completely unexpected moments of excellence with the album's title track and especially Falling Off The Edge Of The World, which is often considered to be the most underrated Black Sabbath track since it was rarely performed by the band and seemed to have fallen just like it's title would suggest. While The Sign Of The Southern Cross and Over & Over might not be as strong as their counterparts from Heaven And Hell there's still a lot of passion in these performances that says to me that the band were really trying to take the material up a notch. As for the rest of the tracks, Voodoo was a big concert favorite and was eagerly performed by the reunited Heaven & Hell lineup up until the end. Country Girl and Slipping Away could be dismissed as being filler, but I actually like the way they smooth out the otherwise rough transition between the album's title track and Falling Off The Edge Of The World.

I'm really surprised that more people haven't embraced Mob Rules for being the strong album that it really is! No, it doesn't feature any of the hits. Personally though, I would never exchange this complete experience even for an album comprised of the best bits from Paranoid and Heaven And Hell. A must-have album for all Hard Rock fans out there!

***** star songs: Turn Up The Night (3:40) The Mob Rules (3:13) Falling Off The Edge Of The World (5:04)

**** star songs: Voodoo (4:33) The Sign Of The Southern Cross (7:45) Country Girl (4:03) Slipping Away (3:45) Over & Over (5:28)

*** star songs: E5150 (2:54)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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