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Rondellus : Sabbatum

Have you ever wondered how Black Sabbath would have sounded had Ozzy and the gang been born in the Middle Ages? Well, to be honest, neither had I. But Estonian 'early music' band Rondellus have. They did more then just wonder however, and recorded one of the most unique and interesting cover albums ever made! Rondellus has been promoting medieval and renaissance music since 1993 and already recorded 3 other albums (nothing to do with metal). I'm not sure how they now came upon the idea to cover Black Sabbath, but I am glad they did.

Twelve Black Sabbath songs have been re-arranged and re-written (incl. translating all lyrics and song titles to Latin) to truly place them in the Middle Ages. Everything is also performed on medieval instruments like for example a Hurdy-Gurdy and Lute, giving the songs a truly medieval feel. However despite the songs being heavily reworked, you can still recognize all the songs with relative ease. Some are dead on easy like 'Post Aeternitatem' (After Forever) while others might take a bit of time.

While I believe this to be one of the most interesting, creative and wonderful CD's that I have come across in a long time, I do have one point of criticism. Black Sabbath has often managed to create heavy, thick sounding songs. This thick and heavy sound has been lost in the transformation. Sometimes the focus on Gregorian chants overshadows the often very fragile music. Esp. with the opener 'Verres Militares' (War Pigs) you almost feel like you've entered a church where they are singing Latin hymns of praise.

All in all I will recommend this album to anybody who likes more than just metal. It doesn't really matter if you're a Black Sabbath fan or not. The idea behind this CD is practically enough reason to get it. Compliment that with the obvious skill of Rondellus and the recognizable Black Sabbath songs, and you've got something worth getting.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Verres Militares
2. Oculti Lilioli
3. Funambulus Domesticus
4. Symptoma Mundi
5. Post Murum Somnii
6. Post Aeternitatem
7. Magus
8. Solitudo
9. Rotae Confusionis
10. Planetarum Vagatio
11. Via Gravis
12. Architectus Urbis Caelestis

1. War Pigs
2. Junior's Eyes
3. A National Acrobat
4. Symptom of the Universe
5. Behind the Wall of Sleep
6. After Forever
7. The Wizard
8. Solitude
9. Wheels of Confusion
10. Planet Caravan
11. A Hard Road
12. Spiral Architect

Duration : Approx. 53 minutes.

Visit the Rondellus bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
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