Black Sabbath
Master of Reality
[Warner Brothers]


Master of Reality probably runs a very close second to Paranoid as the most influential metal album of all time. Black Sabbath stayed in basically the same musical territory as Paranoid but moving a bit more into using atonal/unconventional riffs (in particular I'm thinking of the intro and main riffs to "Into the Void", or the bridge in "Children of the Grave"). This is also the first album that the band started tuning down on, giving the album an ungodly low end crunch that just makes these slabs-o'-doom even more earth-shattering. Of course, being ones to shake things up, they also threw on another ballad, in the song "Solitude", but they went a completely different direction than "Planet Caravan"; "Solitude" features a slow, clean-picked single-note guitar riff and steady bass line, and Tony Iommi even contributes some excellently melodic flute playing at the outro. Also featuring "Lord of this World" (one of my top five favorite Sabbath songs), this song is another must for any self-respecting metalhead.


1999 lord vic