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(389 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • The title says it all. Normally, when a band releases their second album, it is utter [edit] compared to their debut. That’s not the case with Sabbath. You get killer guitar solos from THE Tony Iommi, great basslines from Geezer Butler, great drumming from Bill Ward, and of course the signature vocals from Ozzy Obbourne. Here’s what I think of the songs…

    1. War Pigs(5/5)Classic song. If you haven’t heard this song, I luagh at you!
    2. Paranoid(5/5)See #1
    3. Planet Caravan(5/5)Great ballad
    4. Iron Man(5/5)See #1
    5. Electric Funeral(5/5)
    6. Hand of Doom(5/5)
    7. Rat Salad(5/5)Nice drum solo.
    8. Fairies Wear Boots(5/5)Funny lyrics.

    You SHOULD buy this if….
    1. You like music.
    2. Are living.
    3. Are anti-mainstream, as I am.
    4. A fan of metal.
    5. A fan of hard rock.

    You SHOULDN’T buy this if:
    1. You already have it.
    2. Can’t find it.
    3. If you don’t have enough money.

    Posted on January 1, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Fans will debate my title for ages. But, their is no doubt that Black Sabbath is certainly one of the most influential & yet oddly underappreciated bands of the twentieth century. I’ll focus only on the half of the album I prefer. “Planet Caravan is an often underappreciated soft tune that lingers in your mind. Tony Iommi & Geezer hit it right with “Iron Man.” The formers riffs were unique when this album came out in 1970 & they still are. Geezer drums in time with Ozzy’s Monotone delivery. Many say this song gets overplayed. But, why? Someone must be requesting it as they do LED Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” In “Hand Of Doom,” the thumping drums & Tony’s piercing riffs give it true juice. “Rat Salad,” is unlike any instrumental I have ever heard. It holds the mystery around the band well. “Electric Funeral.” is a unique twist for a protest song against nuclear war. It may be the best track on the album? “Paranoid,” their most popular & bizarre of songs even though it makes little sense.

    Posted on January 1, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • “Paranoid” is not only Black Sabbath’s most popular and breakthrough album, it is also arguably the best heavy metal album of all time. Saying that it’s the best metal of all time should be enough to persuade you to buy it, but if you’re still not convinced, read the rest of this review.

    Black Sabbath debuted in 1970, so they’re probably one of the only bands you listen to that you’re parents/teachers have heard of, can tolerate, and maybe even grew up listening to. Black Sabbath also saw the beginning of a guy named Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy would be fired from the band later in the 1970’s, but he formed his own band, which was equally as successful. Plus, the work he did with BS earned him the title of “heavy metal’s godfather.”

    Black Sabbath are, to me, the epitome of heavy metal, since (probably) at least 90% of modern metal bands were somehow influenced by them. Granted, Led Zeppelin were probably the band to give birth to heavy metal, but Sabbath are just as responsible for most bands (from Pantera to Slipknot to Eyehategod). And “Paranoid,” an album which featured five very famous songs, was pretty much as heavy as heavy music got in the 1970’s, and was also the beginning of a type of metal known as “doom metal.” Doom metal is slow and melancholy and has dark and sludgy riffs. Bands like My Dying Bride and Crowbar wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Ozzy and the gang. Tony isn’t as good as Randy Rhodes, the guitarist in Ozzy’s solo band, but he still is pretty great. Plus, he is even more of a legend when you consider Randy Rhodes probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Tony.

    “Paranoid” is plenty old (now), so it’s sound quality has definitely taken a dip. Other than that, however, it has aged very well. It is still getting radio play and bands are still being influenced by it. Even if Black Sabbath broke up, their legend lives on through other bands. Thus, if I’ve ever heard an album that has withstood the test of time, this is it.

    “War Pigs” follows the classic Black Sabbath song structure (soft-loud-soft-loud). It begins with a few guitar riffs and a drum beat, before turning to “dun dun” riffs, with a high hat crashing in between them. Ozzy then starts to sing about witchcraft and war, Bob does some good hand drum work and Tony plays slowly cascading riffs. A wailing guitar solo is included, and the tempo speeds up, but the song ends soon thereafter.
    “Paranoid” might be the catchiest song the album. It’s very fast paced with groovy guitars (which chug in the verses), has good vocal hooks and a short but sweet solo is tossed in at the end.
    “Planet Caravan” is very spacey and mellow, due to the almost aquatic guitar chords, dreary vocals, and soft hand percussion (which almost sound like tribal drums). This song is partially famous because Pantera covered it, and even though they did a pretty good job, there’s nothing like the original version.
    “Iron Man” opens with a few thumping drums, then a world famous and very catchy guitar riff. The first four words are spoken with a robotic voice, and then the music changes to echo the vocals and lyrics. There’s some more good, driving drumming here, but I think this guitar solo is the best on the album.
    “Rat Salad” is an instrumental, and Bill’s drum work makes it famous. It begins with almost machine gun snare drumming and fast pounding floor toms, and there’s a great drum solo around the 1:15 mark. This everything but the kitchen sink solo lasts for about 50 seconds.

    “Paranoid” is nothing short of a classic. It is absolutely essential listening, and a cornerstone of any heavy metal collection. Buy this album or forever be un-metal Plus, since heavy metal is an important part of rock’s history, “Paranoid” is a must own for any complete rock collection.. And even if metal isn’t your thing, at least give Ozzy, Tony, Terence, and Bob credit for being the influential godfathers of metal, and for making one of the most important albums of all time.

    Posted on January 1, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album is not only the band’s finest hour but also one of the best heavy metal albums ever produced. Although there were many great moments on their first five albums, Paranoid is their only release that is fantastic from beginning to end. Also worth noting is that Paranoid, with the exception of AC/DC’s Back In Black, is the best album ever recorded where the songs are based on heavy memorable riffs.

    How great are the tracks here? Three of the greatest heavy metal songs ever, “War Pigs”, “Iron Man”, and the title track are all present here with the latter two being the band’s only Top 100 hits. Lead singer Ozzy Osbourne still performs all of these songs regularly whether it’s with his solo band or with Black Sabbath on the Ozzfest tours. “War Pigs” is arguably one of the greatest anti-war tracks recorded, which is astounding since these issues were typically touched on more by singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan and Neil Young than bands of their genre. “Iron Man” is still one of the coolest guitar riffs ever recorded and along with the title track still receives generous airplay on classic rock radio. Amazingly, the rest of the album is very strong as well. The tracks “Electric Funeral” and “Hand Of Doom” both feature slow memorable riffs in the chorus and verses and then go into killer jams during the middle of the track. The instrumental “Rat Salad” is also excellent, carried by Bill Ward’s underrated energetic drumming. The heavy shuffle of “Fairies Wear Boots” and the moody “Planet Caravan” are also great tracks. This is also their most influential album as Paranoid encouraged literally thousands of teenagers to pick up a guitar and later form heavy metal bands. You can still hear this influence in many of today’s heavy bands like Staind and Disturbed. An essential album for all heavy metal fans. Highly recommended.

    Posted on December 31, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The span between their debut album and Paranoid was not very long (a little less than a year) but the difference was huge. All the grinding, powerful riffs from their 1st album had been refined and tightened and the legend that was Blak Sabbath became solidified here on their classic sophomore effort. Paranoid has so many truly great Sabbath classics that even the lesser tunes here are overshadowed by their greatness, erasing the few spots of mediocrity. Originally to be titled War Pigs (hence the pink guy on the cover wth the sword and shield)this is the epoch of hard, dark, killer rock. Moving forward from here Sabbath would never fully capture the greatness of Paranoid. If there ever was a must-have heavy metal album, this is it! I grew up listening to this as a kid in the early 70s and I gotta tel ya, these songs are imprinted in my soul!

    War Pigs/Luke’s Wall – Orginally titled Walpurgis(The Witches Sabbath) with completely different lyrics (hear the original on Ozzy’s The Ozzman Cometh) Sabbath felt the whole Satanic thing was getting too out of hand. New lyrics and new title. This is one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time! Absolutely perfect. I can never get tired of hearing it. Tight, cohesive, astounding! A true classic!

    Paranoid – This is Black Sabbath’s signature song. Straight-forward rocker. Actually only made it on the album because they needed another song to round out the playing time. Ended up being the title of the album, even though the cover is geared to War Pigs, which was going to be the original title. Wow. A filler tune that became great. Who would have guessed? Ozzy to this day stil ends his shows with this Sabbath clssic.

    Planet Caravan – This weird little tune actually grows on you to the point where you wind up liking it. Stange effects on Ozzy’s voice make him unrecongnizable. Eerie. Haunting. Not their best, but cool enough to garner a Pantera cover years later. Iommi’s playing here is mature and melodic. Experimental Sabbath.

    Iron Man – Another Sabbath classic! There are so many here! This became a car comercial jingle last year. Pounding. Metal. In-your-face riff. Another truly great tune. I AM IRON MAN!

    Electric Funeral – Often overlooked, Electric Funeral is a great song. The riff makes your head swim and the lyrics are kinda cheesy, but this song rocks. Dark, politically-angry, sci-fi metal goodness!

    Hand Of Doom – Starts off mellow and moves along into a rocker. About addiction and anti-Vietnam sentiments and, well…. Death & Destruction! One of my personal favorites and another often overlooked song.

    Rat Salad – If Paranoid were said to have a weak point, Rat Salad would be it. Nothing more than an instrumental to showcase Sabbath’s jamming skills and Bill Ward’s drumming prowess. But…it still “Rocks out loud!” as my younger daughter would say. And it showed us something as well: that Bill Ward was a highly-underrated drummer. At a time were everyone was hailing John Bonham and Keith Moon and such as the essential rock drummers, Ward was strangely absent from the list of greats.

    Jack The Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots – Yet another Sabbath classic! The lyrics are funny! I’m sorry, but they are. Still, this is a great song where most last songs on albums weren’t. ‘Cause smokin’ & trippin’ are all that you do…. Yeah! Hilarious. Classic.

    Overall, this is Sabath’s most coherent, cohesive effort Their perfect album. With so many staple songs on one recording, how can one not realize that this is the Bible of heavy Metal Albums! Ozzy, Tony, Geezer & Bill became the Godfathers of Metal with Paranoid. And rightly so!

    DIG IT!

    Posted on December 31, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now