The Angry Scotsman
Sabbath's debut may have been the first metal album, maybe not. Perhaps that distinction goes to Led Zeppelin or Vincebus Eruptum. Regardless, THIS is the album that really made metal.
The first true blue, heavy metal album.
Black Sabbath's eponymous album had the heaviness and dark, bleak atmosphere of metal, but was obviously still influenced by blues and psychedelic rock. The blues is stripped away here, and while the psychedelic remains, this album is about the heavy.
War Pigs. An 8 minute, progressing, psychedelic tinged song that is strongly anti-war. This song has it all, Butler's bass lines, Iommi's riffing and awesome guitar solos, Bill Ward's superb drumming, (this song is one of the best examples) and Ozzy's vocals really do fit perfectly.
Paranoid. Another Sabbath classic, this is a short, mid paced song with chuggy riffing, sustains, and lots of powerful chords. Proto thrash! Cool song, love Butler's rhythm bass under the solo.
Planet Caravan. Very different! This is a purely soft, mellow song showcasing a gentle Butler bass riff, a clean simple guitar tone in the background, sparse bongo drumming and Ozzy's distorted, chilling vocals. Later a very beautiful and melodic guitar solo comes in, and fades out with the song. Very trippy, mellow, and dreamlike.
Iron Man. Perhaps the most famous song in all of metal, hell perhaps one of the most famous in all of rock! Awesome song, and nothing really needs to be said about this one.
Electric Funeral. Awesome, trippy riff. One of the best on the album. Slow, dark song that peaks in the middle with an emotional fury, then quickly descends and closes it as it starts.
Hand of Doom. Very intriguing song. It alternates, quite abruptly between soft, groovy sections and loud, thundering ones. Also, an anti-heroin song inspired by Vietnam vets coming back with addictions to the drug.
Rat Salad. A short song that is more a showcase for Bill Ward's drumming, sprinkled with staccato riffing and mini solos. What's not to love about all that!?
Fairies Wear Boots. A bluesy type feel to it, (the leftover remnants of their debut album)another progressing song with a real feel of movement to it.
A classic and superb album. Features amazing output from every one of the members, something I wish I'd see more often today. Iommi's guitar work is just great, as is Butler's bass playing, Ward's drumming is some of the best in metal, and while Ozzy may be a bit of a joke today...his vocals were the best back then. There is no bad song, each one is well crafted, and unique. There is great variation on this album! Something we again, do not see today.