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Black Sabbath - Born Again CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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2.78 | 320 ratings

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3 stars Born Again, for the first time!

Black Sabbath! Ian Gillian! YES! (not the band) or, is it NO!

Well, I've seen many fellow reviewers pigeonhole this one, and rightly so. It is a sort of bad that very few things manage to pull off. The production is pretty anemic, the lyrics are kind of silly, the music itself is sort of underwhelming and yet I can't say that this album is actually "Bad." More like enthusiastically misguided at best, delusional at worst, and really what would rock n roll be without the occasional ugly step child to smack around? This album is made for that purpose, however accidentally.

First problem is, of course, the cover. With that image, one can not really imagine what it sounds like. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for red satanic babies with green eyes on a purple background, but really it should sound like Celtic Frost or at least Manowar with that cover, not a (pre-dates, of course) cross between Guns N Roses and Van Halen (the only valid Guns N Roses comparison would be the weird similarity between "Zero the Hero" and "Paradise City") But the overall purpose of that comparison is that this album is not really all that heavy by any standard that could be used by any band that would foolishly call themselves "Black Sabbath" and think that they could easily get away with tepid pseudo-metal/hardrock of the 80's style.

That said, if this album were an 80's Uriah Heep or Wishbone Ash album it would have been their best of the decade. It's not terrible like "Abominog" is terrible nor is it horrid like...Actually I just realized the only 80's Wishbone Ash album I got through was "Nouveau Calls" and the cover of "Born Again" actually ate my copy of it. But you get the point.

This album isn't a real Black Sabbath album (but at least it doesn't have Joe Lynn Turner on it!) and it's not at all a Deep Purple album. Sabbath and Purple together sound like a great mix on paper but the reality was, I think, that these guys were all recovering from the seventies and couldn't quite drag their carcasses through the motions required for this to be truly successful. There's a weariness, a sort of half excited half underwhelmed quality to the album that they never quite shake. The songs sound like they started off okay, but the band just decided to call it a day instead of making them really great so what you get are a bunch of songs that are *almost* really good a few that are "pretty good" and a few that just stink. The overall result is a level of mediocrity that later Sabbath albums would kill for and earlier Purple albums wouldn't tolerate.

Not terrible, but often times boring and lacking quality control. The story is that they wrote "Disturbing the Priest" because they were recording close to a church and the priest came over to ask them to turn it down, they had tea with him and agreed wholeheartedly. That is absolutely NOT metal.

TerryDactyl | 3/5 |


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