I wonder if there is a metalhead out there who doesn't already have this?
The band is so essential to the history of Heavy Metal of all styles that
it really makes it hard to review anything by them - so much of what could
be said about them goes without saying... I could just say 'get this NOW'
and leave it there, but just in case anyone out there DOESN'T have anything
by them (or only has other albums by them...), I'll give this a shot...
The band started out based in blues, and a lot of the blues influence
spreads over into their early work, especially their first album, but this
album without a doubt started heavy metal. Period. Elaborate
arrangements, heavy sounds, moody, sludgy power chords and minor-key riffs,
song structure, lyrical content... everything that any true 'metal' album
has done has been done already, and on this album. The first song, "Black
Sabbath" is a prime example - a loud power-chord with tritone riff,
excellent use of dynamics (playing the riff stronger in the breaks, softer
in the verses), and the tempo/feel shift halfway through to the muted
triplet riff, then blasting open with huge power chords (and a counterpoint
bass line that NOBODY has ever gotten right in any cover of the song I've
heard...) and one of the most conventionally blues-but-still-shredding
solos ever laid on tape. And that's just the first song. Warning, Behind
the Wall of Sleep, the Wizard... the whole album is just great. Special
note goes to NIB with its' great bass-solo intro. Essential.
© 1999 lord vic