Friday, 24 December 2010

CD Review: Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath (1970)

Out of the gloomy Birmingham darkness, a new music genre is born.

With one of the all-time spookiest album covers and music to match, Black Sabbath distort all that came before them to create something new called heavy metal.  Suddenly the guitar is as important as the vocals, and the package is delivered with the energy, power and danger of an explosion with blinding light. Music would never again be the same.

Black Sabbath holds its power decades after it crept out of the shadows.  Lyrics obsessed with evil and the supernatural, with Ozzy Osbourne sounding tortured on vocals and amplifying the sense of dread with his harmonica.  Tony Iommi deciding that the electric guitar can be played with more prominence than anyone thought possible, and starting his journey of inventing a seemingly endless stream of legendary riffs.  Geezer Butler taking the bass out of the shadows and making it an essential part of the music. Bill Ward frequently muscling his drum set to the forefront.

Black Sabbath is an appropriately messy collection of music that the band was playing live, placed on record in one day, most of it in one take.  It doesn't take much to capture genius.  

The Wizard, N.I.B., and Wicked World demonstrate Back Sabbath's range and courage in immediately exploring the rapidly diverging avenues of the sound that they are inventing.

But there could be no better introduction to metal than the opening rainstorm, the bell tolling in the distance, followed by Iommi's thunderous opening riff of the title track Black Sabbath.  Right there, you're in or you're out for life.  Welcome to the opening steps in the journey of metal.


Tony Iommi - Lead Guitar
Ozzy Osbourne - Vocals
Terry "Geezer" Butler - Bass Guitar
Bill Ward - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Black Sabbath - 10
2. The Wizard - 9
3. Wasp / Behind The Wall Of Sleep - 8
4. Bassically - n/a (short instrumental)
5. N.I.B. - 10
6. Wicked World - 9
7. A Bit Of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning - 7

Average:  8.83

Produced by Rodger Bain.
Engineered by Tom Allom and Barry Sheffield.

All Ace Black Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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