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Black Sabbath - Volume Four CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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3.88 | 692 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 1972 saw the release of 'Volume 4', an album of great expectation from a growing legion of fans who were being turned on to Sabbath's heavy, dark music. It's actually quite an amusing observation (to me, anyway) that a lot of the crowd Sabbath appealed to (even these days) are Emos, speed-freaks and pot-heads with 'heavy' attitudes (gross generalisation, though) but the music and Ozzy's singing still 'tapped in' to the consciousness of 'straighter' music lovers around the globe.

By the time this album was released (and more so their next one), the band were well and truly riding on the crest of a wave to the 'big time'. Volume 4 starts out with quite an epic - the 8min + 'Wheels of Confusion', one heavy monster with an excellent rhythm, great riffing from Master Iommi, and some great tempo changes throughout. The instrumental passages are quite breath- taking. 'Tomorrow's Dream' is memorable thanks to its simple structure and progression - that statement is relative to most of the songs on the album, too, but they all have a distinctive sound, almost murky, Geezer de-tuning his bass to 'D' (or maybe even 'C') and the rebellious sounding vocals of Ozzy (no-one can match up to him, even if other singers technically surpass him), and occasional mishaps (there is a chord that Iommi botched in the crazy 'Cornucopia' - somewhere at a tri-tone riff). There is generally one mellow track on a Sabbath album, or even reflective balladeering - this time around we have the song 'Changes', with a beautiful piano and mellotron arrangement from an uncredited Rick Wakeman. Of the remaining tracks, 'FX' is created from echoplexed guitar picking, 'Supernaut' has one of the most endearing riffs you'll hear on this album, 'Snowblind' is a pure classic, 'Laguna Sunrise' is an almost symphonic piece with Iommi on classical guitar backed with a wistful string arrangement, 'St. Vitus Dance' is has an unusual rhythm, and 'Under The Sun' is FULL-ON Sabbath at their heaviest - absolutely phenomenal track. Definately 4.5 stars for this one.

Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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