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Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.12 | 771 ratings

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Gustavo Froes
4 stars This album,which is the last in the series of classic Osbourne-era Sabbath recordings,stands out as the one that gathers more prog elements,and actually has Rick Wakeman as a guest(!).Even if the final result somewhow fails to captivate as much as Master of Reality or Vol.4(for me personally)did,this is one of the band's most relevant musical efforts from a technique point of view.If Paranoid was a major sucess due to a great number of catchy heavy metal hymns,Sabbath Bloody Sabbath achieved similar popularity without containing a any anthems such as War Pigs or Iron Man.This is a very consistent and elaborated record,and would be a masterpiece if some flaws that are unfortunately hard to ignore didn't exist.

Tonny Iommi takes a step backwards here,brining the arrangements more up front throughout the album.Although passionte moments such as Embryo are indeed missed,it's safe to say that this was ultimately healthy to the music,and passages such as the brilliant chorus of the title track reflect that mervelously.The latter opens the album with a typical Iommi riff and threatens to become a generic Sabbath tune at it's first moments,but soon evolves into a geniously crafted composition,structured in two parts connected by a very dramatic guitar solo.This is the only track in the album that became an all-time classic of heavy metal(even though it isn't quite suitable in the genre).My only complain towards it is the unsatisfatory vocal performance of Ozzy Osbourne,which in this album became to high-pitched and would actually never be like it used to again.On the other hand,the lyrics found here are among the band's very best.

For a recording as exeperimental and 'off the wall' as this one,Killing Yourself To Live and Looking For Today,although not bad songs(if again slightly damaged by Ozzy's voice) could have been kept out in favor to more prog-oriented music,or at least something in the line of Sleeping Village from the first album,a song that would be perfect in Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,with it's haunting guitar laments that are beyond the simple boundaries of therms like'hard rock' or 'heavy metal'.

Fluff,although a nice and original instrumental attempt to follow the tradition of a soft song on each record(for instance the very good Changes from Vol.4 or Laguna Sunrise also from that album),ended up sounding to pastoral and ultimately boring,but the intention of giving a break between heavy tracks remains effective.

My favourite track from this album would have to be A National Acrobat,with a swirling riff that literary haunts the song,echoing every time a verse is concluded,before the piece become a free-form experimentalism jam,with Iommi's guitar scratching the speakers.Spiral Architet is another remarkable composition,orchestrated for greater drama and with a climatic chorus,closing the album as a powerfull epic.

All in all,the overall sounding of this record is very dark,even if it doesn't holds the charisma of previous efforts.Compared to what was going to be made by the band in a near future,this is an absolute masterpiece.From an early-mid seventies perpective,though,Sabbath Bloody Sabbath still turns out to be a very good album.

Gustavo Froes | 4/5 |


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