BLACK SABBATH — Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (review)

BLACK SABBATH — Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album cover Album · 1973 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Pekka
By 1973 Black Sabbath had been shaping up a new heavier brand of rock with four excellent albums, and with that year's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath they were definitely not slowing down. The über-heavy riffing of the title track must have been as shocking for general public at the time as the devilish orgy depicted on the front cover, and while pushing for new extremes in heaviness they once again managed to produce a very diverse album of high quality songs.

One of the great underappreciated gems in the Sabbath discography is A National Acrobat, part of which Metallica had the sense to incorporate into their cover of another track of this album, Sabbra Cadabra. The former is a mostly mid-tempo multi-part song featuring some masterful riffs by Tony Iommi and a wild instrumental section, while Sabbra Cadabra is a surprisingly fast and happily rocking song about love, interestingly featuring the prog wizard Rick Wakeman on keyboards. They both sandwitch a lovely acoustic instrumental called Fluff, and next up is one of my absolute Sabbath favourites, Killing Yourself to Live. Great groove, melodies, and the chorus riff is absolutely crushingly fan-tas-tic. And did I mention Ozzy's vocal work which just keeps on getting better by the years? It does, and would still be even better on the next album.

This album is unfortunately held from complete greatness by two rather fillerish tracks. Who Are You with it's campy scifi synthesizers and the plain rocker Looking for Today just aren't nearly as impressive as the rest of the material, but luckily nothing I'd ever want to skip either. The album ends on a high note with Spiral Architect, a fitting rather calm closer with some nice string accompaniments.

Despite slight inconsistency one of the finest Black Sabbath albums ever and a classic heavy metal album worth everyone's time.
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