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Nativity in Black, Vol. 2: A Tribute to Black Sabbath

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A selection of popular Black Sabbath songs interpreted by longtime metallic favorites (Megadeth, Slayer), newer rock kids (Godsmack, Static-X) and a wild card (Busta Rhymes) makes for a fun, if surprisingly middle-of-the-road, listen. NIB 2 is the first release on Ozzy Osbourne’s own record label, and one of the CD’s dozen tunes features Oz doing the classic ”N.I.B” with pranksters Primus; however, there’s not enough of Les Claypool’s bass peeking through on the otherwise stellar title. Static-X’s otherwise distinct techno take on ”Behind the Wall of Sleep” loses the song’s inherent groove. Megadeth’s true-to-the original version of ”Never Say Die” is rollicking. Pantera doing the dirge ”Electric Funeral” is not as aggro as one might hope; on the other hand, Slayer turn in a raw and dynamic version of ”Hand of Doom.” Truly unique renderings come from California band hed(p.e.), who do a trippy, hip-hop/funk version of ”Sabbra Cadabra,” and from Busta Rhymes, with his take on ”Iron Man.” Ultimately, though, NIB 2 proves that Sabbath did it first and best, and there’s really no improving on the original. –Katherine Turman

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  • If a cd were able to turn grey due to heavy use like old records do, then my Nativity in Black I would be white by now. Needless to say, this follow-up was a MUST HAVE. This CD opens like it should, going for the jugular with a killer version of “Sweet Leaf” by Godsmack. Having heard these guys getting good airplay lately, I must admit that their album is next on my list.. the bud is lit! And we go right up to heaven with “Hole in the Sky” by Machine Head … they have been one of my favorite bands in the past several years, and they sure do an excellent job on this album … the mellow middle part of the track pleasantly surprised me. I had never heard of Static-X before, but their version of “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” sure puts them on the map .. Onto MegaDeth and “Never Say Die,” where Dave Mustaine breaks out the finger-licking good riffs like never before… System Of A Down is another unknown band to me, but thumbs up to their powerful version of “SnowBlind” .. Pantera and their “Electric Funeral” hardly need any additional comments … Anselmo is a Sabbath fan, that much is for sure .. excellent performance! To find Primus on this Tribute album was quite a surprise, and the vocals are even from the man himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Primus’ cover of “N.I.B.” reminded me of Les Claypool’s status as the cream of the bass players’ crop… Slayer gives a brilliant sound to a very suitable “Hand of Doom,” and Tom Araya actually sounds like he could turn into a singer someday … Ex-Sepultura outfit Soulfly makes the sun shine bright in “Under The Sun,” making you wish Max had never left Sepultura to begin with … The best part of the album concluded with those nine songs because the Hed(pe) version of “Sabbra Cadabra” sounds like a rapper who got stuck in a Led Zeppelin album, and you suddenly have flashbacks of listening to early Mr.Bungle songs … Monster Magnet’s “Into The Void” is a step in the right direction again, but since it’s the longest track on the album, it takes a while to shift into the right gear and go full speed ahead.. To finish up this Ode To Sabbath, we get another rap attempt (and WAY more successful) by Busta Rhymes doing “Iron Man” with some help from Ozzy again …Simply said, this album is worth every single dime for Sabbath fans and any hard-rock fan out there .. 30 years have gone by, and their music is STILL unmatched .. Black is their color .. And Sabbath is their name! Hail to the Kings Of Doom!

    Posted on January 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve had the first N.I.B. disc floating around for years. I loved it, so naturally, I had to buy this one. N.I.B. II is a better version of the original. Better covers, and dare I say…better bands? (Soulfly sure beats Ugly Kid Joe)The best track on here is definetly System of a Down’s take on “Snowblind.” It is one of the few tracks on here that sounds nothing like the original and is awesome non-the-less. S.O.A.D. have taken “Snowblind” and twisted into a song of their own which is nothing but pure raw energy. “N.I.B.” by Primus W/ Ozzy is another standout, it is really fun to crank this one up loud. Ozzy’s voice mixed with Les Claypool’s bass is the perfect mix. (Hed) P.E.’s “Sabbra Cadabra” is another great song, again, not copying the original, but still staying true to the Sabbath vibe. I really like this song cuz they didn’t feel the need to be heavy just for the hell of it. Pantera covering “Electric Funeral” sounds more like an updated version of the original, with Phil’s voice sounding a lot like Ozzy’s. The only disappointments on here is Monster Magnet’s drudging “Into the Void” and of course, Busta Rhymes defecation of “Iron Man.”If you are a fan of any of the bands on here, do not skip this CD. It is well worth the money. As for the old time Black Sabbath fan, you might not find what you’re looking for on here, BUT Pantera, Primus, and Slayer’s tracks will most likely please you.

    Posted on January 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I have been waiting about a year for the release of this album and now that it’s here, I must say it’s been worth it. Since there are 12 different bands on the album I’ll review each track individually on a scale of 1-5. 1). Sweet Leaf -Godsmack. 5/5. This is a geat rendition of the song and a perfect opener for the CD. These guys have a bright future. 2). Hole In The Sky – Machine Head. 4/5. Great job on the song, definitely rocks but pales a little in comparison to the sound that MH has on “The Burning Red”. 3). Behind The Wall of Sleep – Static-X. 3.5/5. Good song, but lacks some intensity and the vocals could be better. This band’s original stuff is pretty damn good though. 4). Never Say Die – Megadeth. 3/5. This song rocks but Mustaine’s vocals sound mousy and I’ve never been a big Megadeth fan anyway. 5). Snowblind – System Of A Down. 5/5. This song is a great original sounding version of the Sabbath classic. I normally hate SOAD, but I must say they’ve turned in a great tune with this. 6). Electric Funeral – Pantera. 4.5/5. Great version, sounds very close to the original, but they could have thrown in a few more of their own twists. It’s Pantera though, so you know it’s got to be good. 7). N.I.B. – Ozzy with Primus. 4/5. This also sounds pretty close to the original and Les Claypool’s bass intro is great. 8). Hand of Doom – Slayer. 4.5/5. Great job on this one with Slayer adding their own sound to a tightly knit version of the original. 9). Under The Sun – Soulfly. 4/5. Really heavy and rocking, this sounds more like a Soulfly original than the lesser-known Sabbath cover that it is with Max Cavalera’s growling vocals. 10. Sabbra Cadabra – Hed(pe). 1/5. This song sounds so stupid I can’t really put it into words. There should not be any reggae/funk sounding stuff on this record and the singer sounds like he’s constipated. For a great version of this, check out Metallica’s take on it. 11). Into The Void – Monster Magnet. 3/5. This song really sounds awesome – when it finally starts. I’de give it a higher score, but the 2 minute intro, 30 second pause, and 1 minute long outro really annoy and fill up time on the cd for no apparent reason. 12). Iron Man (This Means War) – Busta Rhymes. 1.5/5. Once again, I’m not sure how this song got on here. It’s terrible and no one should have to hear this song disgraced by a rapper going on and on about his “ni**as” over and over again. I gave an extra half a point for Ozzy’s new chorus which is pretty cool. Overall, this cd is great. Buy it now, and forget about the last couple of tracks.

    Posted on January 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • VARIOUS ARTISIS – Nativity in Black Vol. II
    This album may be a few years old now but after listening again to this the other day I had to leave my 2 cents.
    First off cover albums are very difficult to review so I will do a song by song review and average the total score.

    1. “Sweet Leaf” – Godsmack – 4.5/5
    -A great opener – Godsmack really nailed this track on the head… They gave it a bit of their own edge but still kept the premise of the song.

    2. “Hole in the Sky” – Machine Head – 4/5
    -Machine Head seems to do either really good, or really, really bad… Luckily this falls within the first.

    3. “Behind the Wall of Sleep” – Static-X – 2/5
    -Just not feeling the vibe – too `electric’ and just too much like Static X…

    4. “Never Say Die” – Megadeth – 4/5
    -Mustaine does a good rendition but I feel like something is just missing on this cover that stops it from being great… Then again maybe it’s just Mustaine.

    5. “Snowblind” – System of a Down – 4.5/5
    -My favorite song on the CD that sounds little like the original but brings an entirely new element an already classic song.

    6. “Electric Funeral” – Pantera – 5/5
    -Probably the best cover on the album… Phil and crew do an amazing version of this tune.

    7. “N.I.B.” – Primus (featuring Ozzy) – 5/5
    -I feel bad for Geezer Butler…. Les Claypool schools the old school master on this version… and having Ozzy sing the Vocals only makes this track better.

    8. “Hand of Doom” – Slayer – 5/5
    -This actually sounds little like what you’d expect Slayer doing a cover to sound like… A very mature sound and probably tied with Pantera for the best cover on this album.

    9. “Under the Sun” – Soulfly – 4/5
    -Though significantly heavier than the original this is still very well done… Love the breakdown!

    10. “Sabbra Cadabra” – Hed (pe) – 2/5
    -Yeah it’s just weird… Not in the good way like the S.O.A.D. Cover… This is just odd.

    11. “Into the Void” – Monster Magnet – 3/5
    -Just not feeling this track… Not bad, just not great…

    12. “Iron Man” – Busta Rhymes – 1/5
    -Yeah umm… ok. “I work hard to take care of everyone of my N!&&#+$…”
    I like Busta for rap but please don’t EVER!!! Cover Sabbath Again!

    TOTAL: 44/60 = 3.66 Stars (rounded up to a generous 4 Stars)

    Truth is if you are a Sabbath fan and you like some of the bands on here it is easily worth your time and money… However, if you’re a 70’s Purist I probably wouldn’t bother….

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    Posted on January 21, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This CD is good overall. Here’s my review1. SweetLeaf – Godsmack. Great guitar tone, but the song sounds too much like the original.2. Hole in the Sky – Machine Head. I was very dissapointed in this song, because Machine Head rules. It sounds like its mixed up.3. Behind the wall of Sleep – Static X. Good remake, its got a disco feel to it. 4. Never Say Die – Megadeth. Good cover also, but its Megadeth, and megadeth sounds the same no matter how they do a song.5. Snowblind – System of a Down. If there is a reason to buy this album, this is it. Great remake. They put their own spin on it.6. Electric Funeral – Pantera. I love Pantera, but I couldn’t tell if it was Phil or Ozzy singing the vocals, too much like the origial.7. N.I.B – OZZY/Primus, Just like the original8. Hand of Doom – Slayer. This is a stand out track. It is raging start to finish. 9. Under the Sun – Soulfly. This is a great remake of this song. 10. Sabbra Cadabra – Hedpe. Good remake, to hip hop for me.11. Into the Void – Monster Magnet. Good overall cover, but it clocks in at 12 min, too long12. Iron Man – Buster Rhymes. This should be deleted from the disk. Overall, if you like Sabbath give it a try. Soulfly, Slayer and System of a down are the 3 best covers.

    Posted on January 21, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now