BLACK SABBATH — Vol 4 (review)

BLACK SABBATH — Vol 4 album cover Album · 1972 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Time Signature
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Genre: heavy rock / heavy metal / doom metal

After having been on a roll of groundbreaking records, Black Sabbath's "Vol. 4.", while still a great album, and unique, having the typical Sabbath sound and Iommi trademark riffage stamped all over it, is less engaging than the preceding albums. That does not mean that "Vol. 4." is a bad album, which contains a number of strong songs, but it also seems that the band were growing tired at this point.

There are plenty of heavy riffs as the intro and main riffs of "Wheels of Confusion", which in general contains a plethora of cool hard rocking guitar riffs, as does the stoner "Tomorrow's Dream". "Changes" is a cheesy piano-based ballad, which may have worked better with another vocalist. "Supernaut" is another stoner rock tune whose driving Iommi riffs are as headbanging-inspiring as anything, and then it contains a nice little percussion-driven bridge. "Snowblind" is a quite heavy track, but its main track ,and while it's a good song, to be sure, it doesn't quite reach the level of heavy classics like "Iron Man", "Black Sabbath", "Electric Funeral" and the like, "Cornucopia" is a very dark tune which blends doom-laden slow riffs with uptempo boogie-driven riffs, and, while it is not as well known as "Snowblind" it is a more engaging and captivating song, I think. "St. Vitus Dance" strikes me as being a bit ordinary compared to a lot of the other material on the record, while "Under The Sun / Every Day Comes And Goes" is a heavy doomy rock song, with uptempo parts, which has not been given the attention it deserves.

As with the preceding album, "Vol. 4" has an extremely dirty guitar sound which suits the heavy and dark hard rock style of Black Sabbath.
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