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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.24 | 1034 ratings

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4 stars It's got sort of a push/pull relationship with me. Yes, Black Sabbath's debut has innovation, history, or at least a big shock factor to those who first heard it (I don't think the subject of Satan had been exploited to that extent in that time period). I hear it now, especially after coming from later, better works like PARANOID and SABOTAGE, it sounds like the band needed to work a few more kinks out in order to make the material outstanding. It's probably why PARANOID has a higher critical regard; the band took the formula of BLACK SABBATH and fine-tuned it into a heavy metal monument.

But as a heavy rock album heavy on the riffs, BLACK SABBATH is still a juggernaut in its own regard. Tony Iommi just has this way of making guitar riffs instantaneously memorable, even if you've heard a song for the first time. Fans still commonly regard ''NIB'', ''The Wizard'' and the title track as classics, and the guitar riffs have plenty to do with that. There's still more to it than that.

For the longest time, I had no idea that the song ''Black Sabbath'' was partially inspired by Gustav Holst's ''Mars-Bringer of War'', and I had known the Holst piece since age 15 and first heard the Sabbath piece a few years later. This essentially proves that this album is much more than simple riffing. Listen closely to ''Wicked World''; there's more of a jazz influence than you were initially expecting. Both the title track and the beginning of ''Sleeping Village'' set up doomy atmosphere, almost leaving the listener in goosebumps. And there's the cover of Aynsley Dunbar's ''Warning'' which is the closest Black Sabbath ever sounded like, get this, Led Zeppelin.

The Black Sabbath debut does have unplugged holes, but the total rifferama is worth owning this rock landmark. Even if many CD re-releases botch the track listing.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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