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Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.12 | 773 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Prog Bloody Rock

Sabbath's 5th studio album, is in my humble opinion there best in means of composition, being highly elaborated compared to their previous albums. This album is what I would like to call Sabbath's Heavy Prog album. It isn't actually for Rick Wakeman's addition, if not for the inclusion of keys as an important role of the music. The rest of the line-up is the same, Tony on the guitar, Ozzy on the vocals, Geezer on the bass and Bill on the drums.

Another difference from previous Sabbath albums is that this album brings no more 'verse-chorus-verse-chorus' formula to the songs(well, on most of them), even if in previous albums they had adventured like in the songs War Pigs or Faires Were Boots or Wheels of Confusion, those still featured the heavy and raw sound of their debut, here the Prog aspects are predominant and not made coincidentally. But I'll have to warn you, while Sabbath is proggier they're also more melodic, key factors being the use of keyboards, Ozzy having a drastic change of voice, Geezer's bass is not sludgy and as present as before, and due to the cleaner production. However, compared to other classic Rock/Prog bands, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is still relatively heavy.

The album opens up with the killer title track. While it may seem a simple hard rock song from the first listen, you'll then discover that there's more to that: swift of riffs and contrasting acoustic guitar. A fantastic way to open an album, and it very much sums up the new sound of this album.

The album follows up with A National Acrobat. Another heavy song, with again time and mood changes. This song, as the previous one, evolves into heavier moods, led by Tony's heavy riffing. There's a lot of complex stuff through the song.

Typical for a Sabbath album, you got a soft instrumental between the heavy songs, this one is called Fluff. While I never was fond of them, this one is a pretty nice one with acoustic guitar and piano. Though as always, well at least for me, they're a bit out of place.

The album continues with the famous Sabbra Cadabra. As the first two tunes, this one starts off as an unstoppable machine of heavy guitar/bass riffing with Bill doing some fine drumming. However, in the middle of the song you got a drastic transformation with synths and piano by virtuoso key-man, Rick Wakeman. The mood there is a bit more funky if you want, but still the main riff is there hidden. The one who shines here, besides Rick, is Geezer's stunning bass playing.

Next stop, Killing Yourself to Live. Another evolutionary buddy as the already mentioned ones. Amazing this song is, a tiny-epic, even if it's just 5:41 minutes, seems like 10. You got some few synths, but the dominating instrument here is Tony's razor guitar, it kills everything in it's way, giving some fantastic solos throughout the whole song, as well as riffs.

We continue and we find Who Are You?. A synth led song, a tad too electronic for Sabbath. You have some average deliveries from Ozzy's voice and the song really is a bit dull and monotonous. Not a bad song as for what it is, but Sabbath isn't a good candidate for it.

We move on and find up with Looking for Today. Similar to the title track, mixing from electric, semi-heavy, guitar to soft, yet entertaining, acoustic guitar. At the end, the song changes of riff slowly, with the appearance of Tony's guitar solo.

The album finishes up with another killer song, and quite a classic I must say. Spiral Architect begins with gentle acoustic playing ala From the Begining from ELP, and then moves to a rock ambient but with less heaviness compared to the other heavy tracks from this album. It has some very nice orchestral arrangements throughout the song, but the end of the song is quite odd and really leaves the album open, but overall the song is great.

Certainly you may notice by just reading this review, Sabbath progressed a lot. While there are some flaws like the experimental Who Are You? breaking the whole majestic flow, nonetheless this is a masterpiece: Sabbath's most elaborated album. Highly recomended for Heavy Prog and Hard Rock fans!

The Quiet One | 5/5 |


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