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BLACK SABBATH

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Black Sabbath biography
The historic four members of Black Sabbath went to the same Birmingham secondary school (in the then-semi slums of Aston) and played in two separate groups (Ozzy and Geezer in one called The Rare Breed and Tony and Bill in another called Mythology) then joined forces. Tony Iommi's loss of two fingertip of his fretting hand in an industrial work-related accident (he is a bit older than the other three and was working already) had almost convinced him to stop music, but his foreman offered him a Django Reinhardt album (he was missing two fingers) and this helped Tony overcoming his handicap by adding a self-made prostheses on his fingertip, but he had to detune his guitar to play with it. The now-named EARTH group (a definite improvement on the previous Polka Tulk Blues Band then the Earth Blues Band) soldiered on for a few months without much success, although they were playing 12-bar Jazz-Blues-Rock ala Ten Years After, until Toni Iommi accepted an offer to join JETHRO TULL as their guitarist in replacement for Mick Abrahams. While Iommi's tenure in Tull lasted a few weeks (his only testimony is Tull's appearance in the RnR Circus DVD), it gave him an idea of what kind of efforts were required to get a professional group together. After his return to Birmingham, he reconvened EARTH and gave them a tight schedule and work ethics, which made him assume the leadership of the group as well.

Changing their name to Black Sabbath, the group started getting gigs all over the country, and recorded their debut album in two days. This self-titled album is now one of the most influential albums ever in rock's history, especially the eponymous track, with its bell-and-thunderstorm intro, its huge descending riffs and gloomy fantasy lyrics. The group went on crazily-scheduled tours and quickly managed an international fame with the star system lifestyle including heavy use of all kinds of drugs. With their second album "Paranoid", Sabbath consolidated their aura and success, with a highly impressive and very different sound to anyone else around, great interplay and grim lyrics, and almost didn't include the title track, which would go on to be their only #1 hit on either side of the Atlantic. One of the reason of the group's success is their "Satanist" image, which attracted all kinds of freaks (we are in the aftermath of Manson and the Tate murders), but this was not really emphasised by the group itself: Geezer's lyrics (and to a lesser extent Ozzy's) were es...
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ParanoidParanoid
Warner Bros / Wea 1990
Audio CD$2.06
$0.50 (used)
Black SabbathBlack Sabbath
Warner Bros / Wea 1990
Audio CD$1.86
$0.99 (used)
Master of RealityMaster of Reality
Warner Bros / Wea 1990
Audio CD$4.83
$2.04 (used)
13 [Deluxe Edition]13 [Deluxe Edition]
Deluxe Edition
Universal Republic 2013
Audio CD$12.78
$8.82 (used)
SabotageSabotage
Warner Bros / Wea 1990
Audio CD$4.98
$4.99 (used)
Heaven & HellHeaven & Hell
Rhino Records 2008
Audio CD$6.38
$1.99 (used)
Sabbath Bloody SabbathSabbath Bloody Sabbath
Warner Bros / Wea 1990
Audio CD$4.96
$4.69 (used)
Complete Albums Box 1970-1978Complete Albums Box 1970-1978
Box set
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$42.90
$53.74 (used)
Mob RulesMob Rules
Rhino 2013
Audio CD$2.24
$0.50 (used)
BLACK SABBATH LIVE...GATHERED IN THEIR MASSES DVDBLACK SABBATH LIVE...GATHERED IN THEIR MASSES DVD
Universal Republic 2013
DVD$8.73
$7.88 (used)
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BLACK SABBATH...MOB RULES US $8.99 Buy It Now 33m 37s
BLACK SABBATH NEVER SAY DIE JAPAN CD w/OBI 2300yen US $59.99 Buy It Now 41m 9s
Black Sabbath DEBUT 1970 S/T (CD, 1990, Warner Bros.) ORIGINAL USA WB 1871-2 US $9.75 Buy It Now 56m 57s
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2h 10m
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2h 17m
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Never Say Die Black Sabbath Japan Press W/ Inserts VG US $6.99 [1 bids]
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Mob Rules Black Sabbath Japan Press W/ Inserts EX US $6.99 [1 bids]
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Sabotage Black Sabbath Japan Press W/ Inserts Mint US $22.00 [5 bids]
3h 4m
Ultimate Live Ozzy Ozzy Osbourne BLACK SABBATH Japan W/Inserts&2 Post Cards Mint US $13.40 [4 bids]
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Paranoid Black Sabbath Japan Press W/ Inserts Mint US $22.50 [6 bids]
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We Sold Our Soul For Rock'N'Roll Black Sabbath Japan Press W/Obi EX US $20.39 [5 bids]
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Technical Ecstasy Black Sabbath Japan Press W/ Inserts G+ US $6.99 [1 bids]
3h 9m
Master Of Reality Black Sabbath Japan Press W/ Inserts Mint US $24.60 [10 bids]
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Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978 [Box] by Black Sabbath US $35.00 [0 bids]
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3h 54m
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 by Black Sabbath (CD, Apr-1988, Warner Bros.) BRAND NEW US $8.99 Buy It Now 3h 58m
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4h 11m
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4h 12m
Rare STONE AXE "Extended Play" CD EP classic rock MOS GENERATOR BLACK SABBATH US $10.00 [0 bids]
4h 13m
Rare MOS GENERATOR 7" COLORED VINYL classic rock STONE AXE BLACK SABBATH KYUSS US $7.00 [0 bids]
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Black Sabbath Dehumanizer USA Cassette Tape US $6.99 Buy It Now 4h 23m
Black Sabbath TYR US $9.99 [1 bids]
4h 24m
BLACK SABBATH -- PARANOID CASSETTE TAPE US $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 42m
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Metal CD Lot - Motorhead 1916 90s Black Sabbath Paranoid NIN Pretty Hate Machine US $9.00 [0 bids]
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4h 50m
Black Sabbath Import Lp, Paranoid. Holland Nems, Gatefold 1976. Excellent US $9.99 [0 bids]
5h 2m
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BLACK SABBATH S/T LP Warner Bros 1871 green label VG+/EX US $29.99 [0 bids]
5h 23m
Black Sabbath Sabbath Bloody Sabbath CLASSIC METAL WB LP US $9.99 [1 bids]
5h 40m
Black Sabbath Ozzy Osbourne ticket Sheffield City Hall 14/01/71 US $126.07 Buy It Now 5h 40m
Black Sabbath Ozzy Osbourne ticket stub Richmond Arena 07/08/71 US $75.64 Buy It Now 5h 40m
BLACK SABBATH Mini LP SHM-CD Never Say Die 2010 Japan UICY-94471 OZZY US $24.89 [1 bids]
5h 44m
BLACK SABBATH - Technical Ecstacy LP SEALED 180 gram US $18.95 Buy It Now 5h 52m
BLACK SABBATH feat.TONY IOMMI-SEVENTH STAR YUGOSLAV ORIG 1ST PRESS 1986 EX/NM- US $18.00 Buy It Now 5h 59m
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ALICE COOPER "The Alice Cooper Show" 1977 Lp / Black Sabbath Marilyn Manson US $9.99 [0 bids]
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6h 17m
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 by Black Sabbath (CD, Apr-1988, Warner Bros.) US $1.99 [0 bids]
6h 30m
BLACK SABBATH 3LP LOT/HEAVEN & HELL/MOB RULES/MASTER OF REALITY US $12.39 [6 bids]
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BLACK SABBATH 13 First Issue JAPAN Deluxe Ed 3D Cover 2 SHM-CD + BONUS Trk US $39.99 Buy It Now 7h 16m
BLACK SABBATH "TV CRIMES"+"I" 1992 UNPLAYED PROMO CD SINGLES "DEHUMANIZER" DIO US $12.99 [0 bids]
7h 17m
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop USA Promo CD 2007 Black Sabbath US $11.99 Buy It Now 7h 20m
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Ozzy Osbourne - So Tired 1983 USA Promo 7" inch Single 45 Black Sabbath US $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 20m
Ozzy Osbourne - Mama I'm Coming Home USA Promo CD 1991 Black Sabbath US $14.99 Buy It Now 7h 20m
Ozzy Osbourne - Prince Of Darkness USA Promo 8 trk Sampler CD 2005 Black Sabbath US $19.99 Buy It Now 7h 20m
Ozzy Osbourne - Live & Loud 12 track Sampler USA Promo CD Black Sabbath US $19.99 Buy It Now 7h 21m
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7h 27m
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7h 31m
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7h 42m
Seventh Star [PA] by Black Sabbath (CD, Oct-2013, Rhino Flashback (Label)) US $8.99 [0 bids]
7h 50m
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8h 51m
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8h 56m
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More places to buy BLACK SABBATH music online Buy BLACK SABBATH & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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BLACK SABBATH shows & tickets


  • Black Sabbath at Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon on 18 Apr 2014
  • Black Sabbath at Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary on 20 Apr 2014
  • Black Sabbath + Reignwolf at Rexall Place, Edmonton on 22 Apr 2014
  • Black Sabbath at Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles on 26 Apr 2014
  • Black Sabbath LIVE in Abu Dhabi on 29 May 2014
  • Black Sabbath at ?? ???????????, Moscow on 1 Jun 2014
  • Black Sabbath at ??????? ??????, ?????-????????? on 3 Jun 2014
  • Sweden Rock Festival on 4 Jun 2014
  • Black Sabbath + Soundgarden at Kindl Bühne Wuhlheide, Berlin on 8 Jun 2014
  • Impact Festival 2014 on 11 Jun 2014
  • Nova Rock Festival 2014 on 13 Jun 2014
  • Black Sabbath + Soundgarden at Königsplatz, München on 13 Jun 2014
  • Black Sabbath + Black Label Society + Reignwolf at Unipol Arena, Casalecchio di Reno on 18 Jun 2014
  • Black Sabbath + Soundgarden at Hallenstadion, Zürich on 20 Jun 2014
  • Hellfest 2014 on 20 Jun 2014
  • Black Sabbath + Soundgarden at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart on 25 Jun 2014
  • Graspop Metal Meeting 2014 on 27 Jun 2014
  • Black Sabbath + Alice in Chains + Black Label Society at Stadion, Essen on 27 Jun 2014
  • British Summer Time: Black Sabbath on 4 Jul 2014

BLACK SABBATH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BLACK SABBATH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 566 ratings
Black Sabbath
1970
4.25 | 631 ratings
Paranoid
1970
3.99 | 487 ratings
Master Of Reality
1971
3.77 | 415 ratings
Volume Four
1972
4.07 | 491 ratings
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
1973
3.94 | 373 ratings
Sabotage
1975
2.70 | 264 ratings
Technical Ecstasy
1976
2.86 | 256 ratings
Never Say Die
1978
4.03 | 367 ratings
Heaven And Hell
1980
3.43 | 262 ratings
Mob Rules
1981
2.59 | 206 ratings
Born Again
1983
2.52 | 141 ratings
Seventh Star
1986
3.19 | 135 ratings
The Eternal Idol
1987
3.23 | 156 ratings
Headless Cross
1989
3.22 | 137 ratings
Tyr
1990
3.09 | 179 ratings
Dehumanizer
1992
3.32 | 115 ratings
Cross Purposes
1994
1.71 | 111 ratings
Forbidden
1995
3.52 | 91 ratings
Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
2009
3.70 | 154 ratings
13
2013

BLACK SABBATH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.91 | 56 ratings
Live at Last
1980
3.35 | 89 ratings
Live Evil
1983
2.88 | 18 ratings
Cross Purposes Live (CD + VHS)
1995
4.25 | 76 ratings
Reunion
1998
3.93 | 56 ratings
Past Lives
2002
4.11 | 18 ratings
Live at Hammersmith Odeon
2007
3.90 | 21 ratings
Heaven & Hell: Live from Radio City Music Hall
2007

BLACK SABBATH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.33 | 11 ratings
The Black Sabbath Story - Volume 1 1970-1978
1991
3.90 | 10 ratings
The Black Sabbath Story - Volume 2 1978-1992
1992
1.65 | 21 ratings
The Last Supper
1999
3.64 | 11 ratings
Never Say Die
2003
4.50 | 2 ratings
Inside Black Sabbath with Tony Iommi
2003
4.25 | 4 ratings
Cross Purposes Live
2003
4.50 | 6 ratings
In Concert
2004
4.33 | 3 ratings
Total Rock Review
2006
3.71 | 19 ratings
Heaven and Hell: Live from Radio City Music Hall
2007
5.00 | 2 ratings
Children Of The Grave
2008
2.57 | 5 ratings
In Moscow
2008
4.75 | 4 ratings
Madman Alive in Athens
2008
3.80 | 5 ratings
Classic Albums: Paranoid
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live. Gathered in Their Masses
2013

BLACK SABBATH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 5 ratings
The Best Of Black Sabbath
1971
4.00 | 4 ratings
Attention! Black Sabbath
1973
4.50 | 4 ratings
Pop Giants: Volume 9
1974
4.67 | 3 ratings
Reflection
1975
3.06 | 31 ratings
We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll
1975
4.67 | 3 ratings
Attention! Black Sabbath Volume 2
1975
5.00 | 2 ratings
Children of the Grave
1976
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of Black Sabbath
1976
5.00 | 2 ratings
Paranoia
1976
5.00 | 2 ratings
Star Gold
1976
4.14 | 10 ratings
Greatest Hits
1977
5.00 | 3 ratings
The Singles 1970-1978
1978
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Best: The Ultimate In Heavy Metal
1983
5.00 | 2 ratings
Collection Vol.1
1984
5.00 | 2 ratings
Hand of Doom
1984
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Sabbath Collection (original)
1985
1.48 | 4 ratings
Blackest Sabbath
1989
5.00 | 3 ratings
Black Sabbath
1990
5.00 | 3 ratings
Backtrackin'
1991
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Black Sabbath Story
1991
4.20 | 5 ratings
The Ozzy Osbourne Years
1991
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Ultimate in Heavy Metal
1991
4.33 | 3 ratings
Iron Man
1992
4.67 | 3 ratings
Iron Man (Alternative Version)
1994
2.03 | 7 ratings
The Sabbath Stones
1996
4.67 | 3 ratings
Best Ballads
1996
4.75 | 4 ratings
Under Wheels of Confusion 1970-1987
1996
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Originals
1996
5.00 | 2 ratings
Black Sabbath 1970-1987 Digital Remaster
1996
4.50 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2000
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Singles 1970-1978
2000
3.77 | 15 ratings
The Best of Black Sabbath
2000
4.50 | 6 ratings
The Complete 70's Replica CD Collection 1970-1978 (boxset)
2001
4.67 | 3 ratings
Rock Champions
2001
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Best of Black Sabbath
2001
4.73 | 11 ratings
Symptom of the Universe
2003
4.30 | 10 ratings
Black Box (The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978)
2004
5.00 | 3 ratings
Selections From - Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978)
2004
1.72 | 6 ratings
Greatest Hits 1970-1978
2006
5.00 | 2 ratings
Rock Giants
2006
4.00 | 3 ratings
Black Sabbath
2006
3.56 | 15 ratings
The Dio Years
2007
5.00 | 2 ratings
Audiobiography
2007
4.83 | 6 ratings
The Rules of Hell
2008

BLACK SABBATH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 12 ratings
Paranoid
1970
4.09 | 11 ratings
The Wizard
1970
3.89 | 9 ratings
Evil Woman
1970
4.00 | 8 ratings
N.I.B.
1970
4.00 | 5 ratings
Coleccion Underground N° 3: Presentando Paranoid
1970
3.83 | 6 ratings
Paranoid
1971
2.76 | 8 ratings
Iron Man
1971
3.33 | 3 ratings
Rock Power
1971
3.50 | 8 ratings
Snowblind
1972
3.14 | 7 ratings
Tomorrow's Dream
1972
3.50 | 8 ratings
Snowblind
1972
3.86 | 7 ratings
Wicked World
1972
3.75 | 4 ratings
Black Sabbath/Status Quo split PROMO
1972
3.71 | 7 ratings
Paranoid
1972
4.00 | 8 ratings
Paranoid
1973
4.00 | 7 ratings
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
1973
4.22 | 9 ratings
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
1973
2.62 | 10 ratings
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
1973
3.75 | 8 ratings
Hole in the Sky
1975
3.50 | 8 ratings
Gypsy
1976
3.29 | 7 ratings
It's Alright
1976
3.67 | 6 ratings
Hard Road
1978
3.71 | 7 ratings
Never Say Die
1978
3.60 | 5 ratings
Hard Road
1978
4.29 | 7 ratings
Die Young
1980
4.78 | 8 ratings
Neon Knights
1980
4.00 | 7 ratings
Mob Rules
1981
4.20 | 5 ratings
Turn Up the Night
1981
4.00 | 7 ratings
Paranoid
1982
4.00 | 7 ratings
Paranoid
1982
4.00 | 7 ratings
Paranoid
1986
4.00 | 3 ratings
Seventh Star Sampler
1986
3.80 | 5 ratings
No Stranger To Love
1986
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Shining
1987
3.80 | 5 ratings
4 Songs From The Eternal Idol
1987
4.20 | 5 ratings
Devil And Daughter
1989
4.20 | 5 ratings
Devil And Daughter
1989
4.00 | 6 ratings
Call of the Wild
1989
4.17 | 6 ratings
Devil and Daughter
1989
2.50 | 7 ratings
Headless Cross
1989
3.71 | 7 ratings
Feels Good to Me
1990
4.00 | 3 ratings
Castle Gold Collection: Volume 22
1991
4.00 | 3 ratings
Kerrang! Four-Play
1992
4.00 | 5 ratings
Time Machine
1992
3.80 | 5 ratings
TV Crimes
1992
3.83 | 6 ratings
I
1992
3.60 | 5 ratings
Get a Grip
1995
3.50 | 6 ratings
Psycho Man
1998
2.00 | 1 ratings
Paranoid
1998
3.75 | 4 ratings
Reunion
1998
4.14 | 7 ratings
Black Mass
1999
4.20 | 5 ratings
The Best Of Black Sabbath
2000
4.14 | 7 ratings
Paranoid
2000
4.00 | 7 ratings
Paranoid
2004
4.25 | 8 ratings
The Dio Years (Sampler)
2007
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Devil Cried
2007
3.80 | 5 ratings
Heaven and Hell (Radio Sampler)
2008

BLACK SABBATH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.52 | 91 ratings

BUY
Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars It was never meant to be a serious project after being asked to record three songs for a compilation about SABBATH during the DIO years, but Tommy Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Vinnie Appice had such an easy time writing new songs that they decided to release a whole album's worth. Although this is the exact same line-up as the BLACK SABBATH albums MOB RULES and DEHUMANIZER, they decided to name the band after the first album DIO did with SABBATH in order to differentiate it from the Ozzy era of the band.

This album is everything you could possibly want from a SABBATH album of the DIO era. The songs are catchy traditional doom metal and the production is modernly recorded but the fuzzed out metal sound makes these feel nice and dirty as well. DIO's vocals are as good as ever and the songs are very well written showing that the band really had some music makin' mojo left in them after years of mediocre albums apart from each other. The result of this reunion is more than just a nostalgic trip into the past, but this album succeeds in sounding very good in a modern sense as well being not just a carbon copy of their previous releases together.

This is my favorite album by SABBATH since the album HEAVEN AND HELL and in my humble opinion the best DIO album since his debut HOLY DIVER and if you count this as a side-project (which I don't) then it is my favorite in that department. A very welcome blast from the past and that album cover has to rate amongst my very favorite in all of metal with that totally wicked beast in the depths of hell brandishing its three-forked tongues. Sadly this was DIO's last album he performed on before he passed away from stomach cancer. RIP Ronnie James. What a great way to go out with this one.

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 13 by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 154 ratings

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13
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars Finally. After 35 years Ozzy, Geezer and Tony finally get together to release a much anticipated album. Bill Ward opted out and Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine took the slot, so this isn't a complete reunion but it really sounds like classic Sabbath. The band stayed as true as they could to the classic 70s era and I have to say that I really like the results of the effort.

What we get here is retro SABBATH in all its glory. The production is up-to-date but the songs feel like this album could have come out right after SABOTAGE and is by far more interesting than either TECHNICAL ECSTASY or NEVER SAY DIE. There is no doubt that there is some blatant self-plagiarism here. The very beginning riff sounds like the beginning riff of the very first album from 1970. The song "Zeitgeist" is a clear reference to "Planet Caravan" from PARANOID. If you listen throughout the album different parts will remind you of older songs.

A recycled album maybe but one that I really enjoy hearing and never really expected would be released after the gazillion attempts over the years to make this happen. Despite this not being a full reunion and also in no way in competition to replace any of the classics as a favorite album, I still find this a very satisfying listen. I can get behind this retro sound only because this is like a new beginning. If they decide to begin releasing new albums I really hope they don't stagnate trying to recreate the past and move on into some newer frontiers. 3.5 rounded up

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 Paranoid by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.25 | 631 ratings

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Paranoid
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I remember being weirded out by the cover of Black Sabbath's debut LP when I first saw it. The macabre image of a pale specter in a graveyard along with the band's dark name was more than enough to keep this still green-behind-the-ears, dyed-in-the-wool Baptist boy from wanting to know what their music sounded like. Then, sometime in early '72 while living in Denton, Texas I moved into a house on the outskirts of town with my band's sound tech, Gordo Gondolf, and our roadie, Malcom Patterson (R.I.P.). Malcom LOVED Black Sabbath, especially their "Paranoid" album. My bedroom was right next to his and he would play it loud and often. I, on the other hand, was into Deep Purple at the time and, in order to drown out the roar coming through the separating wall, I would play my copy of "Machine Head" at full volume. This probably drove poor Gordo out of his gourd but his room was at the other end of the house and maybe the metal battles between Malcom and I didn't bother him all that much. Anyhow, whenever I hear the name Black Sabbath that's what comes to mind and it's not a bad memory to revisit because despite our differences in musical tastes Malcom was a good egg and fun to be around. The point is that, other than the cuts played on FM stations, I never really heard his favorite group's songs past the first few measures and certainly never considered them progressive. But the older I get the more interested I am in rock & roll history and I finally decided it was time to listen to "Paranoid" with an open mind.

The disc begins ominously with "War Pigs/Luke's Wall" wherein the band sets up some dreary aural scenery beneath a wailing siren before vocalist Ozzy Osborne bursts in like a lightning bolt. I'm always taken aback by the excellent quality of Ozzy's singing as evidenced here where he has to fill up a lot of open space. Say what you want about these guys but they had a unique style all their own and since that's one of the core definitions of prog rock I now concur that they belong in our hallowed genre's halls (more so than many others, I might add). Wearing headphones, I was intrigued by how they took advantage of the basic two-channel stereo pan technique in their mix to broaden their sound, something that's a bit of a lost art these days. "Paranoid" is next and my opinion is that these fellas took what I term "riff rock" to a whole new level. While they aren't exactly my cup 'o Lipton and never will be I do respect their authenticity. They played what they heard in their heads and they were in complete agreement about the mood they were trying to create. "Planet Caravan" is next and I was shocked when I heard it. It owns a quasi-Moody Blues atmosphere with Ozzy singing through a Leslie speaker cabinet to conjure up an other-worldly feel. The song is performed with remarkable restraint and Tommy Iommi's guitar solo borders on jazz as ghostly piano chords create a dense backdrop. It's a very engaging track that caught me completely off guard and it's by far the most impressive song on the album.

Ozzy growls through an electric fan as Tommy's guitar drones menacingly to begin "Iron Man." To call this number "heavy" is to do it an injustice because it's unbelievably gargantuan in scope. (Malcom used to blast this tune first thing in the morning just to bug me.) Again, nobody in the biz was doing rock this way in that it had such a minimalist attack. To embellish it would've ruined the aura so they were happy to leave well enough alone. Kudos to Iommi re: his ability to double his guitar tracks with such precision. Not easy to do. "Electric Funeral" is another riff-based rocker but the wah-wah effect on one of the guitars gives this plodding number a different hue. Their sudden leap into the shrill bridge section is jarring and then they return to the original theme to finish it out. Geezer Butler's bluesy bass line starts "Hand of Doom" in a subdued air but then they crank it up for the chorus. As they did in the preceding track, they change gears midstream and go running off into curious detours. It's kinda like they combined 3 or 4 song ideas into one. "Rat Salad" is an instrumental that most likely was written in the studio one day while they were waiting for Ozzy to show. It surely came in very handy in concert because drum solos were mandatory in that era and this gave their stick man Bill Ward a vehicle in which to hog the spotlight for a few minutes. Thankfully, he doesn't wear out his welcome here. They end with "Jack the Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots" that starts out as a high-spirited instrumental before morphing into a metallic rocker rumbling over a semi-shuffle beat. Osborne's vocal is sufficiently devilish and they sound like they're enjoying themselves. It's apparent to me that they owe a lot to Cream for inspiring their means of delivery but they do so with a lot more abandon than Eric, Jack and Ginger did.

"Paranoid" was recorded just four short months after the release of their first LP and it only took them six days to complete. That left little time to over-think the music and it worked to their advantage because its "spareness" is what gives it such an unorthodox, raw flavor. Call it the genius of the uncluttered mind. It certainly tapped into a hungry demographic because even without the help of a Top 40 single the album rose to #12 in the USA and sold over 4 million copies. While you won't find any of these tunes on my personal playlist I do have a better understanding of their appeal and look forward to hearing where they took it from here. They are without question the godfathers of metal and they started a ball rolling that hasn't slowed down since. They were true innovators and that earns them an extra star in itself. 3.5 stars.

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 Black Sabbath by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.20 | 566 ratings

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Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by rachelene

5 stars A fine album, and seldom does a band start a career with such a fine offering. I am a bit ambivalent about BS, and basically I only really enjoy their 3 first albums, but this is the one I enjoy the most. It's not that the musicianship is extraordinary--Iommi doesn't show much virtuosity, although he has tones that belong only to him. I suspect that the most competent musician in the band is actually Butler. Still, what I like very much in the first album is that we can feel what influenced them, and I can smell a lot of Cream in this album.

This a fine example of the whole being more than the sum of its part. It's sometimes cheesy (and Osbourne could sure lay it thick at times), sometimes a bit too easy, and sometimes the musicianship sounds suspicious, and still, despite all this, the album remains an experience to enjoy and behold. It has the magic spark that makes me want to listen to it again and again, in the same way I enjoy listening to Led Zep, The Who or Zappa. It may not strictly be prog, but most progressive rock music lovers should enjoy it; in my opinion, this recording has the wonderful gift of not generating listening fatigue... 4.5 / 5 for me.

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 Technical Ecstasy by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.70 | 264 ratings

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Technical Ecstasy
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

3 stars By 1976, Black Sabbath had seemed to be losing the momentum gained from their steady rise-to-fame from the Earth-shattering debut to the long famous 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' album - even their next album after SBS - 'Sabotage' (1975), has proven to be a mighty effort, although never reaching the heights of the renowned previous album. The new album, 'Technical Ecstasy', presented the world with a somewhat 'generic' version of the pioneering Heavy-Metal genre the band had initially had a hand in creating, the overall production being a frad over-compressed and guitar-heavy, the songwriting being a tad tired and uninspired. Having stated the negative aspects of this album (including a Sci-Fi Robot-Porn escalator-love cover-art), it offers a blend of tracks which do have occasional flashes of colour and diversions from their tried-and-true formula. A point worthy of mention is the fact that drummer Bill Ward has been appointed lead-vocal on a ballad tune called 'It's Alright'. It has a nice mellotron- fuelled interlude of a positive nature, but overall is a weaker tune that nobody would guess was BS. Having mentioned 'mellotron' - Gerald Woodruffe is the man contributing lots of keyboards here, and I find that it's his efforts that really lift some rather bland tunes up to snuff. Most 'standard' tune award goes to 'Rock 'n Roll Doctor' (but it's alright.....ha-ha - pun intended). Highlight would have to be the song 'You Won't Change Me', with superb phased organ and ballsy riffs. The longest cut, closing track 'Dirty Women', shows a strong vocal from Ozzy, and a tight instrumental arrangement (although the closing riff outstays its welcome by a minute or two). Ward gives us some double bass-drum in this section. Recommending this album as a solid 3-star effort is a fair assessment from my P.O.V.

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 13 by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 154 ratings

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13
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I was very excited when Black Sabbath announced a reunion tour and a new album on 11-11-11 (November 11th, 2011) and so began the wait for the mid-2013 release date!

The band released their first new single God Is Dead? a couple of months prior to the album release and I thought that it was a pretty decent track, even though the track was almost 9 minutes long and had little variation throughout it's first 7 minutes. End Of The Beginning was the second single and it initially sounded like the band trying to recreate the mood and sound of their band-titled track off the debut album. Eventually I've grown to like both these singles but none of them sounded like anything new nor was it all that forward-thinking.

Once I finally got a hold of the album it didn't take me long to begin enjoying it. I immediately found my favorite track off the bunch, Dear Father, which is both strong in its content and performance. The rest of the material felt like it was either in line with the two singles or was even better, which pretty much means that there are no lesser compositions among these eleven tracks! Tony delivers memorable guitar riffs, Ozzys vocals are great and Geezer/Brad provide solid foundation for the tracks. The only negative aspect that I can think of were the lyrics written by Geezer Butler which often felt quite flat, this was especially apparent on the two singles. Still, it's not a huge problem for me considering that the rest of the record is pretty solid.

If you are a fan of heavy metal music then 13 is definitely one of the top 5 albums you should be getting this year, an excellent album well worse the price of the admission. I would definitely recommend grabbing the deluxe edition of the album which features three bonus tracks, all of which are great and one of them, Methademic, even manages to show signs of excellence thanks to the riff work from Iommi. If I were Sabbath then I would call it a day and end on the high note which this record definitely represents.

***** star songs: Live Forever (4:46) Dear Father (7:20) Methademic (5:57)

**** star songs: End Of The Beginning (8:05) God Is Dead? (8:52) Loner (4:59) Zeitgeist (4:37) Age Of Reason (7:01) Damaged Soul (7:51) Peace Of Mind (3:40) Pariah (5:34)

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 Never Say Die by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.86 | 256 ratings

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Never Say Die
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars If Technical Ecstasy suffers of an unfairly maligned reputation, NSD really justifies it, and really smelled the rot settled in the band. Ozzy had been shortly replaced by Savoy Brown vocalist Dave Walker, but the Oz was back for this album, which is completely uninspired. NSD is a downright poor album, exuding boredom that even the album title screams out loud; and the grim pilot of death and doomy artwork is just as boring. Though maybe not as evident as on Technical Ecstasy, a few track titles just hint at the lack of inspiration that permeates through the album. Part of the problem is of course the very standard song structures, and Ozzy's voice, often bordering the annoying.

If I spoke of filler track in the previous paragraph, it's clear that absolutely no NSD tracks would've earned a spot on Master Of Reality or Sabotage, save (maybe) Johnny Blade, this despite a very poorly chosen synth early on in the track. The only other tracks really worth mentioning are the album-lengthiest Junior's Eyes or the more aerial Air Dance. The rest of the album is mostly made of lacklustre stuff, like the opening title track, Hard Road, Shock Wave, Over To You, Break Out (despite some brass arrangements ala VdGG's Jaxon)) or the closing Swinging Chain.

Ozzy will get the boot once more after this album and the band would enter some kind of lethargy for a year or so, until they found a superb albeit diminutive new frontman. Ok, NSD might not be as bad or hopeless as I might hint at, but it's definitely their poorer effort of their first 15 years of existence. Don't get me wrong though: a poor Sabbath album was always superior to a Thin Lizzy, many Judas Priest or most Blue Oyster Cult albums. .

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 Technical Ecstasy by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.70 | 264 ratings

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Technical Ecstasy
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars After a couple of impressive albums, with TE, Sabbath hit a lower mark (and no just according to me) and would enter a rather negative slide that would last most of the second half of the 70's. Heavy drugs used by Ozzy and Ward were lessening their health and provoked erratic behaviours on stage and it affected truly the studio album's quality as well. And it sounds like it. Of course, all bands that come up with a few brilliant albums in their early career are bound to come up with lesser works in their next few albums, as their original and innovating ideas reserves dwindles, their inspiration wane or even completely fade as albums continue to pop up. A notable change is the non-black album sleeve, with that strange and slightly sexual escalator Hipgnosis artwork.

Not everything is that dark, though as Iommi (and to a lesser extent Butler) tries to hold the ship afloat with his still-excellent guitar work, and the continued presence of keyboards does provide some (sometimes surprising) variety, like the calmer It's Allright, but it does not automatically mean that it's all that good either. There are even a couple of tracks that are worth the detour (but not the price of admission), such as the almost-brilliant 6-mins+ You Won't Change Me, All Moving Parts or even the almost-delicate She's Gone. But a big part of the album is filled with some heavy unrefined rock tracks, like the opening Backstreet Kids, RnR Doctor, Gypsy and the closing Dirty Women. As the track titles unwittingly demonstrate, you'll easily guess that the lyrics are really not a strength in this album.

To their fans, if albums such as TE and NSD were clearly not as good as their previous efforts, Technical Ecstasy is often relatively unfairly maligned; because the album has a better production (the bass is much more audible than in SBS or 'Tage) and with still a few honest tracks. I'd say that TE suffers from the following lacklustre NSD's chronological proximity.

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 13 by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 154 ratings

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13
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In listening to this, the first Black Sabbath studio album with Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years (I'm not counting the two studio tracks that were tacked onto Reunion), it's impossible to escape one overwhelming impression: everybody involved REALLY wanted this to sound like a classic Black Sabbath album. This isn't necessarily for the best, as the ways in which they succeed at this and the ways in which they fail at this each undercut the album in their own way. On the one hand, nods to the band's past abound, both in general stylistic imitations of older material and in occasionally coming very close to directly plagiarizing themselves. On the other hand, Ozzy clearly sounds like an old man trying to imitate his younger self, and more importantly the album (as many people have noted) is mixed far too loudly to properly capture the atmosphere the band's classic albums had at their best. Those albums had often been loud and heavy by the standards of their day, but there was enough space in the mix to lend a sense of mystery to the sound, whereas everything here is so loud and in-your-face that that aspect of the band's sound is completely lost. Chalk it up to another Rick Rubin special.

Then again, if Ozzy and Tony and Geezer (Bill Ward didn't contribute for various reasons) really felt the strong need to make another Black Sabbath album together, this approach was probably the best of the realistic options. Ozzy and Tony had each had ample opportunity to try different approaches since parting ways, and I think it would be very generous to say that the results for each had been "mixed." Making a deliberate stab at imitating their style from 40 years previous may be artistically disappointing in that it would limit the ceiling of what this project could deliver, but it would also significantly limit the floor, and given that this approach also represented the chance to make a truckload of money, I'm perfectly ok with them taking this route. At the very least, Tony lived up to his part by writing plenty of great riffs, which he hadn't always done since Ozzy left, and it's nice again to have so many parts with Tony clearly in one channel and Geezer in the other.

The oddest feature of the album is just how long some of the tracks last; the album takes up 53 minutes in a mere 8 tracks. It's as if, among all of the other features the band decided to pull in from its classic period, the band decided they really needed to include "epics" along the lines of the longer tracks from Vol. 4 or Sabotage, and there isn't always a lot of justification for this. "God is Dead," for instance, lasts a whopping 9 minutes, but however good some of the riffs might be, I feel like this could have been easily reduced down to 5. "Age of Reason" has a killer riff of its own, but it's not enough to justify its 7- minute length either. There are long tracks that more-or-less deserve their full running times, though. The opening "The End of the Beginning" starts off as a hilariously blatant rip- off of "Black Sabbath" (both in the riff and in the nervous drumming), but it quickly spins off into a completely different (and kinda awesome) riff before growing into a guitar-frenzied passage that occasionally sounds like "Looking for Today" but only a little bit. "Damaged Soul" is a full-fledged 8-minute slow metal blues, with Ozzy playing some decent harmonica, and given that the band really hadn't done anything bluesy after the debut, I'm very happy to hear them go back in this direction for one track. The closing "Dear Father" also stands out with crushing primary and secondary riffs (there's a riff starting around the 3:00 mark that kicks a tremendous amount of ass, and there's a faster one after it that drives the song to its end), and it's kinda funny how the album closes with the same rainfall/chime sample that started off the debut album.

The other three tracks are a "Planet Caravan" imitation ("Zeitgeist") that isn't as great as the original but still kinda pretty, and a pair of five-minute decent riff-based heavy rockers ("Loner," "Live Forever") that could have blended right into the band's classic period (with different production, obviously). All told, this mix of decent-to-good tracks, hurt some by the excessive loudness and the blatant retreading, earns a ***, but it turns out that the version I have has four bonus tracks, and they're really good (almost enough to make me think about boosting this to ****). My favorite of the lot, and my favorite of all of the tracks from this album, is "Methademic," which grows from a quiet acoustic introduction into a speedy thrash-y rocker with lots of guitar texture in the verses and a killer riff in the breaks, with the best vocal melody of the album by a long shot. "Peace of Mind" is built around a riff where the guitar drops out at the end to highlight the bass (before speeding up in the second half), and if Vol. 4. had this song instead of, say, "Cornucopia" or "Snowblind," I'd think more highly of that album.

"Pariah" is a little weaker, but it has its own share of good ideas (and it has more contrast in the sound than a lot of the material from the main album does), such as the riff that plays when Ozzy sings the hilarious Sabbath-y chorus of "I'm your pariah, for your desire, ain't no Messiah, just your pariah." And finally, "Naivete in Black" is not an original song title for the band, but the song is nothing like its predecessor, reminding me more of something like "Neon Knights" than of an Ozzy-era track, and the blending of past styles works well here. I guess what fascinates me most about these four tracks, and consequently helps me like them so much, is that they strike me as tracks where the band backed off from its deliberate attempts to sound like its classic self, but in the process managed to capture the spirit and quality of its classic self far better than elsewhere; after all, at the time they were making those albums, Black Sabbath didn't yet know what the classic Black Sabbath sound was, and they were just making music the best that they could. The decision to relegate these tracks to bonus tracks that are only available in some editions baffles me.

If you like classic Black Sabbath, you'll probably like this album, but it's also unlikely that you'll regard it as important as the best albums from that era after you've listened to this three times. Still, I do rate it the main album as the equal of Vol. 4, and the version with the four bonus tracks slightly higher; given that my initial reaction upon hearing of an impending new Black Sabbath album was to brace myself that I'd give a ** rating, this outcome makes me very happy. It's a little unjust to live in a world where this got tons of press while the 2013 Deep Purple album Now What?! was ignored, but them's the breaks I suppose.

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 Sabotage by BLACK SABBATH album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.94 | 373 ratings

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Sabotage
Black Sabbath Prog Related

Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Supposedly, this album is totally underrated, but given that almost single review I've read for it has raved about how good it is (even people who otherwise dislike Sabbath tend to praise this one, in my observation), I'm not really sure how accurate that description is. Then again, I can't see Sabotage numbers getting a lot of play on classic rock radio, and it differs pretty strongly from the conventional wisdom of what Black Sabbath is supposed to sound like, so I guess I can see where people would be eager to apply the 'underrated' tag. Personally, I find the album more intriguing in theory than in execution, but I still tend to enjoy it a good deal more than not.

The most obvious thing that stands out when listening to Sabotage is that the ambitions shown on the last couple of albums have only increased. Whether this was because the band really didn't want to be thought of as stupid potheads anymore, or whether it was just the drugs fooling them into thinking they were actually capable of becoming "serious artists," we may never know (I'd say a little of column A, a little of column B), but this is definitely not the Sabbath of Master of Reality. On the other hand, it's not really the Sabbath of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath either; the "artsy" elements of SBS were mostly cosmetic (and kinda perfunctory, truth be told) in nature, courtesy of synthesizers or strings or whatever. On Sabotage, the "artsy" features come from the songs themselves, through experimentation in style and structure. Furthermore, the instrumentation makes a very noticeable return to the guitar-bass-drums basic sound of the '70-'71 albums, which has the beneficial effect of largely requiring the experimentation aspect to be coupled with quality riffs. The result is an album that, in many spots, can easily satisfy both an art-rock lover and a metalhead who gets off on ass-kicking riffs (as long as he can tolerate a lack of the killer tone of Reality). It should be little wonder, then, that this album is often hailed as one of the earliest examples of "prog-metal," and is almost always cited as one of the important foundations of post-70's heavy metal.

As cool as this sounds in theory, though, it doesn't cover up that there are a couple of tracks I really don't like that much. "Thrill of it All" bugs me in that the opening minute of guitar wanking just doesn't sound cool enough to me to justify its minute-long ramblings, and the main song part seems too torn between wanting to be a simplistic screech-rocker and a multi-part mini-epic to remember to bring out the best characteristics of either. I'm also not terribly fond of "The Writ," even though I like the relatively slow first part, which combines moderate heaviness with a weird "bubbly" effect on the bass that sounds to me like Sabbath has been drawing on the same muses as Pink Floyd. But sheesh, the variations of the theme that make up the middle chunk of the piece don't inspire me at all (and I'm not sure having the second vocalist trying to harmonize with Ozzy was such a good idea here, and that's not even mentioning the whispering of "cats" and "rats" at various times), and when Ozzy goes into melodramatic mode from time to time, it gets really stupid sounding. I mean, I'm all for maturity, but only when it's done right; otherwise it tends to cross the line into "laughably pathetic," which parts of "The Writ" definitely do.

Fortunately, I tend to like everything else on the album quite a bit, so a good grade still comes to this album from me. For some reason I still can't fathom, George Starostin (a web-reviewer whose opinion I generally respect) ripped on the opening "Hole in the Sky" as predicting "their soon-to-come downfall into the world of mediocrity," but I just can't see it. It's a slightly different kind of metal than what they had done before, but that's fine with me, as I was never a giant fan of their previous metal styles anyway. It cycles through a small set of easy-flowing distorted riffs with Ozzy throwing in one of his best absurdly-high-pitched vocal performances yet, and has such a nice vibe of moderate ass-kicking that I can't help but enjoy it to death. Then, after a brief (and kinda pointless) acoustic instrumental, we hit "Symptom of the Universe," which pretty much invents the chugging heavy riffage that characterized 80's Metallica and other related bands. The main riff is simple but fabulous (making it simply fabulous, I guess), Ozzy's singing sounds incredibly intense as it crashes against the main rhythm, the brief speedy section has quality soloing that Tony couldn't have even tried to pull off five years ago, and then out of nowhere they end it with Ozzy singing over a cool Spanishy acoustic guitar section. Man, if the entire album sounded as inspired as this track, I'd name it as Sabbath's best in a heartbeat, and maybe even consider an overall rating upgrade. But alas, I'll just have to settle for this piece of Sabbath perfection.

Up next is the 9-and-a-half minute "Megalomania," which I don't find as great as some people I know do but nonetheless entertains me quite a bit. The opening slower section is longer than I'd prefer, but it does have that neat effect of (twice) fading in Ozzy's vocals with incessant overdubs until he actually starts singing. And come to think of it, I do like the wailing, moody and dark bits of guitar sounds that surround Ozzy as he builds to lines like, "Why doesn't everybody leave me alone," so really, the only thing I have against the opening section is that it's drawn out too long (then again, I like Yes' "Ritual," which pretty much marks me as a hypocrite in this matter). As for the second part, it didn't really get me that much the first few times I heard it, but then one day while walking home from work, I found that not only couldn't I get the riffage and vocal hookage out of my head, but I really enjoyed singing those parts to myself almost ad nauseum. Overall, then, the song could probably be cut down to six minutes without much problem, but the stretched-out length doesn't exactly leave me feeling cheated out of precious seconds of life, so I can largely ignore that little quibble (and besides, I'd be bummed if the three minutes cut from it would include Ozzy's out-of-nowhere "SUCK MEEEEEEEE!!!").

The other two tracks tend to split some fans a bit, but I'm fine with them. "Supertzar" is definitely the most atypical track they had yet done, but it's a case where I largely applaud the band's creativity. Over the standard "dark" instrumentation, we have what I can only describe as "The Monk Choir of the Damned," as the concept of Gregorian chanting is totally turned on its head and stripped of any and all positive spiritual connotations. It seems kinda silly when I take a step back and think about it, and I can see where some might want to see this as a clear example of the band going off the deep end, but I'm cool with it. Just as I am with the surprisingly synth-drenched pop-rocker "Am I Going Insane (Radio)?," which functions extremely well as a contrast to the over-overblown "The Writ" (on my copy, "Am I Going Insane" actually ends the album, even though on most the closer is "The Writ;" that makes three Sabbath albums I own that have the ordering of the last two tracks wrong). What can I say, the chorus rules, the guitar breaks are surprisingly melodic, the synths don't really interfere much, and there's disturbing laughter at the end. Fine by me.

Overall, then, I kinda want to give this album a higher grade than I actually do (this is a low 4-star rating), since I like to dwell on positives instead of negatives, and maybe I should. Then again, those two tracks I don't like really bug me, so I guess I'll just keep it where it is. Regardless, this is a crucial album to own for anybody who calls themselves a Black Sabbath fan, and is just as essential in understanding the overall nature of the band as is Master of Reality or Paranoid. Besides, this the last Black Sabbath studio album that I can say I like with no reservations (the first couple of Dio ones are okay but only have a song or two each that I tend to love), so it can probably be considered a farewell of sorts to the band's prime.

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