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Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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2.78 | 370 ratings

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2 stars Black Sabbath are typically known as a heavy, doomy, scary rock/metal band. Iommi's guitar alone has the power to send shivers down your spine. Compound that will Bill Ward's booming, factory-like drums, Geezer's wicked bass and Ozzy's haunting vocals and you've got a winning recipe for one of metal's most innovative groups.

Now, imagine a Black Sabbath that still has Osbourne, Iommi, Bulter and Ward playing, yet without all of the descriptive words in the previous paragraph. What if instead of scary, doomy, or angry songs we get some cheerful songs, some melancholy songs and some basic RnR songs? What if the heavy guitar riffs were to make way for a smattering of keyboards and dated orchestrations? What if someone sang lead vocals other than Ozzy? TECHNICAL ECSTASY is the answer to all of those questions, and I cringe at the answer.

Truth be told, I really wanted to pick this album up after hearing that this was a more light-hearted Sabbath. Honestly, I liked it for quite some time, but around the time that I discovered progressive rock was when I realised how cheesy the album sounds. Right off the bat, ''Back Street Kids'' sounds like a very lame attempt at a Black Sabbath song; a wimpy riff compared to earlier material and syrupy lyrics about the ''rock and roll'' lifestyle.

Much of the rest of the album doesn't work for me as well. I'm not a big fan of ballad type material, so I toss songs like ''You Won't Change Me'' and ''She's Gone'' off to the side. Bill Ward gives a nice vocal performance on ''It's Alright'', but it's the only positive I have for that song. Every other song fits into the ''Back Street Kids'' type mould with mixed results. ''Gypsy'' and especially ''Dirty Women'' are the two tracks I consider the best the album has to offer, but neither would have fit well on an earlier album, say SABOTAGE.

If you want a good, powerful Black Sabbath album, I would steer you towards PARANOID, SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH or SABOTAGE. If you want a subpar Sabbath album with none of the great Sabbath perks, then TECHNICAL ECSTASY is for you.

Sinusoid | 2/5 |


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