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Black Sabbath - Volume Four CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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3.88 | 679 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Continuing on the black artwork (a bit of an exaggeration calling this an "artwork" for this and the previous albums), Vol 4 continued on the heels of their MoR album, which had set the real blueprints for the future heavy metal genre. The least we can is that the quartet repeats the formula with riff- laden songs; and this is what we'll find in all but two songs in the present album. Well, it seems that both Iommi and Butler didn't want to limit themselves to guitars. As Iommi had previously toyed with a flute and keyboards, Butler also plays the mellotron in the softer acoustics songs.

As far as the catalogue of songs presented here, you'll find a majority of riff-laden tracks like Snowblind (guess what Ozzy was singing about) and or Supernaut, but it would be exaggerating to say that these are groundbreaking, despite the latter's electronic short prelude called FX. The only "hard rock" track that present any interest (IMHO, of course) is the opening 8-mins Wheels Of Confusion, which feature a few tempo and ambiance changes. As for the two acoustic tracks, the almost-5-mins Changes feature Geezer on the trons over Iommi's calm guitar and Ozzy's spooky vocals. Laguna Sunrise is more of an acoustic guitar piece, showing Iommi's guitarist influences.

Hardly essential in my book, Vol 4 is still a very worthy album to unconditional fans, even though the album's title and artwork are clearly pointing to a certain lack of inspiration, despite their will to expand the instrumental horizons by introducing more KBs.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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