Thursday, January 8, 2009

January 8: Black Sabbath, "Black Sabbath"

Artist: Black Sabbath
Album: Black Sabbath
Year: 1970
Label: Warner Brothers

The name Black Sabbath brings with it preconceived notions of Satan influenced, heavy metal music. The reality is, this is worlds from the truth in both content and sound. While the band may be best known for songs off of their Paranoid album, their self-titled debut may very well be their true tour de force.

Throughout Black Sabbath, the influences of the psychedelic movement can clearly be heard. Extended jams and "free, if not a bit spacey" vibe can be found in each song on the record. However, the mood of the record is overall darker than anything previous. Consider for a moment that a majority of the songs clock in at well over 6 minutes, some nearing 15 minutes...these are not to be written off as "brief" areas for jamming. The record takes the ideas from the psychedelic movement, tosses in a bit of blues, and turns up the volume.

Guitar God Tony Iommi drives the record, mixing powerful riffs alongside masterful soloing. The guitar, bass, and drums provide a perfect canvas onto which Ozzy (before he was doing stupid TV shows) paints his one-of-a-kind vocals. While at the time, the style was labeled as "heavy," it is laughably tame when compared to what is considered "heavy metal" today. Black Sabbath is a rock record, plain and simple...just a bit darker.

The album is so perfectly done that the songs seem to blur together into one 40 minute work of musical genius. If you truly love music, you need to get over the false image of Black Sabbath's music and grab their debut record immediately.

Standout tracks: "Black Sabbath" and "Wasp/Behind The Wall Of Sleep/Bassically/N.I.B." and "Wicked World."

No comments: