BLACK SABBATH — Black Sabbath (review)

BLACK SABBATH — Black Sabbath album cover Album · 1970 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
The Crow
This Black Sabbath's debut album is also one of their finest.

A milestone, which sounded really hard, scary and original back in 1970. The creepy lyrics, together with the strong guitar riffs and the powerful Geezer Butler's bass, are the basis of this influential album. Before Black Sabbath made their appearance, any band brought so many obscurity and darkness into a simple record.

This scary lyrics are maybe a bit laughable today, and the music is not really dark, compared with other actual bands but the fact is that these bands are here today in part because the Black Sabbath's legacy. It's impossible to find a single band, from which so many genres were developed: Stoner Rock, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Black Metal... The influence of Black Sabbath is just too big. Only bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the usually forgotten Uriah Heep are comparable... But not really!

The album itself is not so hard as later albums, and like the first Led Zeppelin's work, it has a lot of blues influences (Behind the Wall of Sleep, Sleeping Village...) and some psychedelic elements too (N.I.B., The Warning...), while the true Black Sabbath's style was still to be developed.

But it has also the deep and hard Iomi's riffs, which together with the odd Osbourne's voice, are the Black Sabbath's trademark. So the style is not so well developed as the classic Paranoid, and not so well orientated as the stoner-milestone Master of Reality, a fact which makes this album a diverse piece of rock, where Black Sabbath shows all their influences, and where they started to make their own very important legacy. However, it's not their most representative album in my opinion.

Best songs: Black Sabbath (the main riff is the born of Doom Metal... I like the accelerated final part), N.I.B. (another album's classic... The bass intro is great, and so is the chorus) and Sleeping Village (this dynamic riff, is the root of stoner metal...)

Conclusion: this album is excellent, and its influence has been very big in the past four decades. Maybe Black Sabbath is not a blind recommendation for young and unexperienced listeners, but if you are curious to discover the origin of modern heavy metal you must hear this record.

My rating: ****

This review was originally written for ProgArchives.com, and rewritten to be included here.
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