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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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2 stars Born Again is without doubt Sabbaths most maligned album. Given the strong albums that preceded and the fact that Ian Gillan had joined for the vocals, it is no surprise that many people were very disappointed. I had pretty much ignored the album as well and only knew one song Zero the Hero from a cover by Godflesh.

To complete my Sabbath series here I picked it up after all. Free of any preconceptions or expectations about the whole adventure I wasn't all that disappointed, meaning this isn't the worst Sabbath album. One remark though, the sound is really really bad. The overblown and over-reverbed 80's production has squashed all possible power out of this album. It's one big muddy plastic murk, devoid of dynamics and edge.

But onto the music now. Trashed is an OK opener. Give this a remix and it would be good. The second track however gave me a bit of a startle. Much to my surprise I knew this Disturbing the Priest song, again from a cover, this time by Psychotic Waltz (I though it was just an old demo song of their own making, I had no clue it was a Sabbath cover). It's a very strong track, very progressive for Sabbath. It's so haunted, dark and dissonant. Had Iommi been listening to Bauhaus when writing this?

Zero the Hero is almost industrial metal. Gillan's vocals aren't entirely appropriate here though. His bluesy vocals don't sit well with the ominous main theme. Dark, spooky, heavy, and very original again. I didn't know Sabbath had an influence on the industrial scene (well maybe yes I did, as also Ministry did a Sabbath cover).

The rest of the album is second-rate material of the kind that also disgraced Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die. But the just those two excellent highlights are motivation enough for two stars.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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