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Black Sabbath - Master of Reality CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.09 | 914 ratings

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4 stars The third Black Sabbath record is widely regarded as a classic and is also one of the heaviest albums of the band's long catalogue. Here we have Black Sabbath showing an emphasis on slower songs, an approach that the band repeated with the next record, “Volume 4”.

Well, and the question is: is “Master of Reality” a good album? Yes, it is, no doubts about it. It's incredible how a band could release three top notch albums in two mere years, but, I tell you, Sabbath did it. While not being a long record (“Master of Reality” contains six songs and two interludes, with the total playing time being, roughly, 35 minutes), it is a very cohesive and strong piece, all the songs flowing well together and sounding fresh. Sadly, “Master of Reality” is often despised by the majority of the people, who constantly say that “Paranoid” is the “be-all, end-all” of Sabbath's catalogue. How wrong they are, indeed...

Moving on, every musician sounds pretty inspired here. The guitar is obviously the most important instrument of this album; Tony Iommi dominates everything here with his amazing riffs really shining. Almost every riff is, indeed, very catchy and heavier than the ones featured on the band's past records. So, we can find here Iommi's riffs in their heaviest form, that's for sure, even though “Volume 4” also has a couple of interesting heavy ones. He doesn't solo as frequently as on “Paranoid” but the solos still play an important role on the majority of the songs. Ozzy Osbourne delivers a competent performance, with his unique voice, even though he isn't, technically speaking, the best singer out there.

As for the rhytmic department, Geezer Butler's bass guitar isn't as audible as in the past, unfortunately, but is still there. I miss songs like “Wicked World” or “N.I.B.” though, with their big emphasis on the bass lines, but heh, it's not a big issue at the end of the day. As for Bill Ward he delivers, like on the previous albums, another excellent performance. His fills are, at times, pretty fast here (check out the middle segment of “Sweet Leaf”) and the beats are all very well composed and fit the music very very well. He also shows some restraint, not destroying the tunes with exaggerated fills or something, so that's a clear plus in my books.

The songwriting is obviously top notch, Black Sabbath is one of the best bands out there in that field. Almost every track is pretty catchy (the choruses are very well written), from “Children of the Grave” to “Solitude” there are always some hooks present. The middle sections of the majority of the tunes are also filled with decently long instrumental sections, filled with nice riffs and solos. With the inclusion of the two instrumental interludes (“Embryo” and “Orchid”) and the ballad “Solitude”, the record also becomes pretty varied, which makes up for a richer listening experience.

So, highlights? “Children of the Grave” probably is the best tune of the bunch, being one of the faster songs too. Great crescendo and intro, leading us to great heavier segment, filled with dynamic drumming and nice riffs. “Solitude” is another one, a pretty underrated track if you ask me, great atmosphere and vocals. “Lord of this World” is a bit weaker but still great, with its fantastic chorus, and “Into the Void” is another monster of heaviness, even containig a little thrashy part on it. “Sweet Leaf” is a bit on the average side, though, and so is “After Forever”, the (pretty forgettable) second track.

Concluding, another great album by the metal gods; a very consistent and original piece, and also one of the heaviest Black Sabbath records ever. Absolutely recommended to every metalhead out there.

Best Moments of the CD: “I love you... Oh you know it!” the thrashy segment on “Into the Void”. The intro of “Children of the Grave”.

“Lord of this world! Evil possessor!”...

Nhorf | 4/5 |


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