BLACK SABBATH — Master Of Reality (review)

BLACK SABBATH — Master Of Reality album cover Album · 1971 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Master Of Reality is one of Sabbath's most convincing albums of the Ozzy years. It will appeal to modern metal audiences for its dense and heavy doom attack, but it has more to offer then just that. Most of the songs have gone beyond the heavy blues of the first album and contain more complex arrangements and even some folk influences.

Sweet Leaf kicks things into action. Vintage Iommi riffing and Ozzy shouting against it. Works brilliantly. Very similar to Iron Man but less silly and much more convincing. On After Forever a light folksy tune fights with ultra heavy churning metal sections. This diversity make them appear even heavier then they are. Embryo is a great folk tune again on clean electric guitar and serves as an excellent introduction to Children of the Grave. Great percussion work here.

Orchid sets off side two with a gentle acoustic track. The songs that follow represent the pinnacle of Sabbaths 70's work. The songs here set the benchmark for all future doom bands. Lord of This World does it in a slow funeral tempo, Solitude with gentle guitars and flutes, Into the Void with vintage head-banging staccato riffing and eerie chanting. The variation between slow and fast will become a template for nearly every future doom metal album.

I wouldn't claim Master of Reality to be better then the preceding album but it simply works a lot better for me then Paranoid, which lacked a bit of punch and was uneven in the songwriting. Master of Reality is a doom masterpiece!
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