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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (2004) Retail CD
A Raw Explosion, Fiery and Black: Sabbath weren't about to play it safe with their debut. While other bands played for the radio Sabbath gave us an album filled with harsh guitar riffing, fierce drumming, pounding bass lines and doom-laden lyrics. Darker than any other band around, and despite what you might have read, the beginning of heavy metal (a genre ridiculed by so many and kicked down by the awful `nu-metal' but one that has outlived and remained more popular than any other and will remain to do so.)
The majesty of this album starts with the compelling front cover. The eerie picturemore… of an old cottage with a dark figure in the centre amidst a thick forest looks like it could be straight out of Michael Reeves 'Witchfinder General'. This harrowing image has inspired countless bands (not just heavy metal) to produce a similar image for their own album covers. However, inside the cover are the distilled tales of abuse, pain and death wrapped up in a neat bow of Tony Iommi's crushing guitar riffs and Ozzy Osbourne's mournful vocals (Ozzy's vocals, on this album, have been criticised by other reviewers but to me and the majority of people who still have their hearing his voice is bang on.)
On with the music: The first track, which the band named themselves after, starts the story with thunder, distant bell tolls and the sound of rain pouring (Slayer took note for their classic Raining Blood.) We are then met with one of the darkest riffs Tony Iommi ever wrote joined by Ozzy with the classic line "What is this that stands before me? Figure in black which points at me." Immediately you realise this album isn't for those expecting commercial-friendly, melody driven songs, this is hard rock with a ten ton weight slammed on top. The Wizard is another classic track which could be a sarcastic look at the role of a drug dealer in society, on the other hand some argue it could just be about a wizard, either way it's an excellent follow up to the title track. Fuelled by a doubled up harmonica hook and an excellent riff from Tony Iommi it's not as complex as Sabbath got but Ozzy's great voice and the excellent drumming from Bill Ward (a very underrated drummer, but one of the best) add to make this one hell of a tune. Behind The Wall Of Sleep is a particular favourite of mine, formed from a simple but inspired guitar riff behind a steady drumbeat with lyrics describing the horrors of drug abuse. N.I.B is one of the most covered Black Sabbath songs live (known as Nativity In Black but it may also refer to the nick-name of drummer, Bill Ward, whose beard at the time was shaped like a pen nib) again its the riff that drives the song with lyrics in reference to the devil and his seduction of people similar to that of a seducing lover (Mwahh ha ha ha!). Tony Iommi uses doubled up guitar harmonies for his lead parts, which on the re-masters sound excellent as the guitars are split for each speaker. Crow cover song 'Evil Woman' is a three-minute single that works well mixing the guitar parts with saxophone harmony and a great chorus hook. Sleeping Village starts a softer slower number with very few lyrics, but demonstrates Tony Iommi's great riffs and solo work (and cemented his statues as guitar god.) The Warning is a Sabbath epic about a jilted lover, it's a catchy chorus more in the blues style than the rest of the songs (Sabbath were originally a blues based band called Earth don't cha know.) However, The real bonus on this song is the wacky solo work. Wicked World is another slightly bluesy number about the greed of some and the neglect of others and a fitting ending to an excellent album.
I would whole-heartedly recommend this release to any heavy metal fan. It is, as they say, essential listening. If you enjoy this album I would recommend continuing the Sabbath trail with the excellent Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Volume 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage.
|3||Behind the Wall of Sleep|
|6||Sleeping Village [*]|
|8||Wicked World [*]|
- Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (2004) Retail CD
- 1034 x 1040 px
- 239 KB
- 2459 (0 today)
- 18/05/07 by rabthescot
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