Black Sabbath/Mob Rules

Mob RulesMob Rules is Black Sabbath‘s tenth studio album, released in 1981 following the success of Heaven and Hell. It peaked at number 29 on the charts. 

It was the first album to feature Vinny Appice on drums, who had replaced original member Bill Ward on the tour in support of the previous year’s Heaven and Hell. This led to Ozzy Osbourne dubbing the line-up “Geezer and the three Wops“.[citation needed]

It is rumoured that the cover art for this album, by famed artist Greg Hildebrandt, contains a heavily disguised message that reads “KILL OZZY,”. It is apparently located toward the bottom of the picture, on the ground, written in a dark, crimson colour. However, the message is barely legible, and it is widely believed that the purported text is coincidental.[2] The artwork was not created specifically for the album, for one thing, having been done in the 1970s, but was licensed for use.

The lyrical themes are dark, notably on tracks such as “The Sign of the Southern Cross” and “Falling Off the Edge of the World”.

The Live Evil album was recorded on the Mob Rules tour.

The album is included in the Black Sabbath box set The Rules of Hell. [Wikipedia]

Turn up The Night—-This release, as a whole, seems to me the most aggressive of the Dio era Black Sabbath. This song is no exception…there is little of the mysticism and atmosphere on this release…the music is straight froward and heavier…allowing dio to really show his pipes and gives the spotlight to the band. This is classic 80’s Heavy Metal that is ALWAYS a joy to return to and enjoy. This is fantastic…..

Voodoo—-Delivering familiar strains of the trademark Sabbath song, the intro to this song reminds you of the glory days of the band. Not that the end result is a disappointment…this is classic Dio era Sabbath…there is a heavy bass guitar and drum presence that clears just enough for the vocal of Ronnie. this reminds us of the more eclectic side of Ronnie’s songwriting, but the song remains classic and plays well live even on the latest tour from the band. This is really classic Metal.

The Sign Of The Southern Cross—-Beginning with familiar acoustic refrains that we all have memorized by now, the song is full of mystical and wandering lyrics. The build up is slow, but the seasoned listener knows that the inevitable is going to happen sooner or later…this is not a disappointment…growing into one of the most wonderful and heavily dirge Sabbath songs ever. The heavy bass timbre of the band has never sounded better and Dio seems as if he is in his element as he concocts a story full of atmosphere and mystical happenings. This is familiar, tried , true and triumphant…a true classic track.

E5150—-The track has a lot of machine generated atmosphere that helped to move Sabbath into the new decade with little problem…once all of the facades are stripped away, you find that this is the same familiar Sabbath that you have welcomed and needed all along. This is different yet strangely familiar…this is the sound of masters at work and remains a very favorite track of mine…simply for the build-up and level of anticipation that would deliver a huge payoff. This is delicious Metal…long live Heaven & Hell!!! C’mon Ronnie…we all need you!!!!

The Mob Rules—-Relying on pure old-fashioned Metal, this is perhaps one of the heaviest Metal tracks that the new incarnation of Sabbath produced together. This is no-nonsense, no mystical lyrics but straight up aggressive Metal that satisfies and quenches the thirst you had but leaves you surprisingly craving more…this remains a masterpiece!!!!

Country Girl—-Much dirtier and full of blues, this is more in the line of early Sabbath…you can almost hear Ozzy singing this track….almost like it was written a long time ago and pulled out as filler for this release. I would love to hear Osbourne give this a try…I’m sure it would fit like a glove.

Slipping Away—-Delivering a nice mix of contemporary Heavy Metal and the familiar Sabbath sound, this is Ronnie in his element. It seems as if this track was built around his lyric and it works like you would never believe. This is remarkable…the chord changes stay true to the Sabbath sound, but the lead guitars are much more Dio than anyone could predict. This is a wonderful mis of two different attitudes coming together to produce a masterpiece of a song. Brilliant. The drums are…..incredible!!!

Falling Off The Edge Of The World—-Full of atmosphere and a build up that almost makes you mad, this 5 minute track shows the band delving back into the slow and dramatic deep sounds of the Birmingham beginnings. This is freakin classic Metal from the English quartet. I could never ask for a more momentous track from the band…even Ronnie seems to fall into the nostalgic groove with little problem. This is remarkable…you have never heard a bass line as powerful as this and Dio paints a perfect picture around the corners of the canvas,,,this is incredible!!! Hail Sabbath!!!!

Over And Over—-Again…..this surprises me …..the familiar sludge that defined Sabbath remains perfectly intact, despite the direction that Dio wanted to move the band into. With his vocal style, the track takes on an almost Blues style that really compliments the overall tone of the track. This is remarkably familiar yet surprisingly fresh. Fantastic….WOW!!!! 

****1/2 out of 5


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