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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.24 | 1034 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Where to begin? Well, this is one of the most influential albums. Ever. This album is the birth of metal. Sure, its roots lay in the late 60's hard rock and psychedelic bands of England, but this album is what cemented it, and was the first true metal album. Given the numerous sub-genres it has spawned and the thousands upon thousands of metal bands there have been from all across the spectrum, the impact can not be under estimated.

As mentioned above this genre grew out of psychedelic and hard rock, but drew heavily from blues. This would make sense, being that rock also grew from the blues. This album, is HEAVILY blues influenced. It can be heard the in the groovy bass, as well as the riffs and solos. You can also hear the hard rock, in the heaviness and loudness of the guitars and the psychedelic rock in the overall feel, and the solos. So given all that, what makes this the first metal album?

The heaviness. At the time it was unparalleled. Not to mention the slow, grim feeling. The darkness of it. My parents and teachers told me stories of how this band was "the devil's music" and "scary" and how they might be scolded by their own parents for listening to "that Satan music". THAT is metal.

Black Sabbath features some great musicians. There is of course Ozzy, who belts out some great vocals, and really contributes to the dark, bleak feeling. Tony's guitar playing is great and for the time truly heavy. Geezer lays down some of the best bass you will hear, not to mention one of the first uses of the wah pedal on bass. Also, he wrote most of the lyrics. Then of course there is Bill Ward. He just throws down some great sounding beats and is powerful, and lays down perfect fills. Just has a real knack for "feeling" the groove.

Black Sabbath. Perfect intro for the album. It sets up wonderfully for the riff, which is slow, heavy, and gloomy. The bass is funky, the drums complement perfectly and Ozzy's voice is the right fit. It picks up after a few minutes and then throws us into some pretty trippy soloing. You have now listened to the first ever heavy metal song.

The Wizard. Starts out with some harmonica. (How's that's for some blues?) Well it continues. The whole song has a very bluesy feel. A great song and one of the best showcases of Ward's drumming.

Behind the Wall of Sleep. Another bluesy song, this is more of the same, which is a good thing! Another superb song with some of the best bass on the album, and great drumming. The riffs are just so cool sounding and the lyrics are dark and inspired by Lovecraft.

N.I.B. A song told from the point of view of Lucifer, (though it may not be quite what one might expect!) Begins with a wah-wah bass solo. I fell in love instantly. Another amazing song with some good solos. My personal favorite from the album.

Evil Woman. This may be the most blues inspired song on the album. You can hear it in the riffs, the solos, the bass, and the overall song structure and feel of it. Not to mention the lyrics about the "evil woman" and Ozzy asking her to "don't you play your games with me".

Sleeping Village. A slow song, actually quite progressive this one has it all. Slow and bleak. Heavyness. Blues inspiration. Wild, dual solos, amazing bass playing, and perhaps the best drumming on the whole album.

Warning. A ten and a half minute song, this one is also very progressive, (the most on the album). This song spans all the genres I have mentioned above. Some of the solos just blow my mind.

I have not said too much about the songs specifically because you just have to hear this album. I can not stress how huge it is and it's impact on music. Every song on the album is good, and it never seems boring or drags and the musicianship is just superb. I personally give it five stars. However, this is not a progressive rock album and while it gave birth to metal, it has no influence on prog. We all know prog also is more descended from jazz then blues, and jazz is one thing you do not here on this album. While it is a spectacular work, and one of my favorite albums ever, for the purposes of this site, I'd say it deserves a rating of

4 stars

JJLehto | 4/5 |


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