Black Sabbath / Black Sabbath

Black SabbathBlack Sabbath is the debut eponymous studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Released on 13 February 1970 in the United Kingdom, and later on 1 June 1970 in the United States, the album reached number eight on the UK Albums Chart and has been recognised as one of the main albums to be credited with the development of the heavy metal genre.

The Analysis:

Black Sabbath—-Although I was only 6 years old at the time this was issued, I can only imagine the impact this kind of music must have had on the world. indeed, this was Heavy Metal…a signature brand of doom sludge that was a brand new sound for the public. Add together the deep, intense and plodding music with the crystal clear and high vocal from Osbourne, this was a whole new adventure that even the 60’s didn’t prepare people for. This, for its time. is damn remarkable…the sound is still magnificent and the entire feel of the song is steeped in an evil darkness. Just incredible! The scary and frightening imagery that Ozzy managed to produce with his lyrics are unforgettable…one of the bands that started it all!!!

The Wizard—-The intro from the harmonica was a magical and almost genius idea to me. This is a recurring sound all through the song…even as all hell manages to break loose underneath the masterful bass delivery. This shows its age a bit…carrying with it a lot of the psychedelia of the late 60’s and even reminding me at times of later Led Zepplin…I guess it is all of that Blues/Metal sound. The drums on this track are still incredible….a short song…compared to some early Sabbath, none the less, the song wears you out and leaves you gasping for breath. this has enough punch and enough lyrical imagery to keep you going for days!

Wasp/Behind The Wall Of Sleep/Bassically [N.I.B.]—-Clocking in at almost 10 minutes, this is remarkably lead driven at the onset of the song…make no mistake, the bass is very prevalent in the song, but the leads shine a bit brighter. This is dirty and gritty…allowing you to really see the origins of the band…from the dirty, poor Steel Towns in the UK. Osbourne still sounds remarkable…you can really almost catch every single word that he manages to deliver. This is a huge song…moving through the assorted suites seamlessly and leaving you panting for breath when it is all finished…this is a timeless piece of history…where it really all began for the Heavy Metal movement…this WAS the Wretched Spawn!!!  When the beginning riffs for Behind The Wall Of Sleep begin, you realize where every Priest or Maiden song came from…this is freakin’ historic!

Wicked World—-With the cymbal sounds so prominent at the intro, the sound of this track is a bit clearer than anticipated…but the deep bass from Butler is not long behind…giving us a nice retro sound that almost could be a Zepplin classic. This has such a great rhythm sound…and the vocal from Osbourne is not that far removed from a Plant wail. The surprising thing about this is how damn catchy it is to me…even all of these years later. This is steeped in Blues/Rock sounds that helped to formulate the genre I so comfortably sit in these days. This stuff is stellar.

A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village Warning—-At an astounding almost 15 minutes in length, this is reminiscent of the jam sessions that many of the bands of the time embarked on. The opening strains of the song are so damn accessible and again I am forced to make references to the early days of Zepplin. Even today, this sounds experimental and delivered with a bit of hesitancy…when the bass kicks in, I am wrapped in a comfortable blanket that once again reminds me of how much I really loved this band. This music was not delivered as music is today…then, every instrument and contribution from members were important and key ingredients of the sound. Only when egos and drugs entered did things become fragmented…in these early days, the band depended on each other for its sound and the cohesion is unmistakable. This is superb!

Evil Woman—-For me, right from the onset, this song has a remarkably accessible sound that plays well even today…this is not a far stretch from a lot of the stuff that Ozzy has managed to deliver in his solo career. From what I understand, this is a cover song from an American band called Crow…it is damn catchy and has managed to stick to me ribs for over 30 years…this is fantastic….secretly one of my favorite tracks from this release.

****3/4 out of 5


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