Black Sabbath
[Warner Brothers]

Back with a vengeance, you might say. After Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Black Sabbath was having lots of managerial/business problems, and the anger and frustration seemed to have come out in the music on their sixth album, Sabotage. This is probably their most ferocious-sounding and heaviest album; right from the start, the main riff to "Hole in the Sky" almost bowls the listener over, and after that song it barely lets up for 30 seconds of acoustic guitar before it starts blasting again with "Symptom of the Universe". The band does use quite a few softer parts later through the album (the end of "Symptom", the beginning of "Megalomania", and "Supertzar", as well as small parts in the other songs), but they often serve to set up an even heavier part later on. Two of the album's finest moments are "Thrill of it All", a multi-part epic that shifts from a tight, staccato main riff to a soaring, almost triumphant ending section, and the album's epic closer "The Writ", featuring lots of 'white-and-black' section shifting and some of their heaviest riffing. Overall the sound (especially the guitars) is the thickest and heaviest it had ever been, and Ozzy turned in his strongest vocal performance with Sabbath (and probably ever). Another album that goes unsung because there are no 'hits' on it, I think it's undoubtedly the band's heaviest album, and IMO it's tied with Vol. 4 for their best.

1999 lord vic