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Black Sabbath : Black Sabbath

I can only imagine the impact this album had when it was originally released back in 1970. It is save to say that this is one of the most important releases in the history of music (not forgetting other early 'Sabbath albums). While I do not consider Black Sabbath to be a Doom-metal band, I believe they and this release have been very important for our little genre.

The album begins with a thunderstorm and a bell tolling introducing the first track 'Black Sabbath'. This track has so many characteristics one can later find back in the Doom-metal genre, that its significance can not be overlooked. The slow pace of the song, the build-up, Ozzy sounding positively scared, this truly is an epic track. Of course there are no bad tracks on this album and if you ask me all of the tracks here are classics but that first impression 'Black Sabbath' makes on you is unforgettable, truly blood freezing. When the second track 'The Wizard' starts it is clear that on this album there still are a lot of blues influences. Actually one can find a slight blues atmosphere on the entire album.

All in all this entire album is filled with a mix of great musical ideas, melody, emotion and raw power. In fact it is close to impossible not to spot all sorts of ideas that later grew out into entire genres and spun off all sorts of new bands. Aside from a doomy undertone, you can also for example hear the groove one can link to Stoner rock. However, if I were to compare this album to the albums that followed in its wake, I prefer those. 'Sabbath experiments less on albums like 'Paranoid' or 'Master of Reality' than they do here. Sometimes it does feel like the band is just jamming away. Which feels very spontaneous, but I prefer my songs a little bit more solid (not that I dislike this album, not by far!).

An interesting side note may be that the song 'N.I.B.' does not stand for "Nativity in Black" as many people think. It is a reference to a nickname the band had for Bill Ward's beard at the time, a "pen nib". It is also worth noting that the amounts of re-releases of this album are numerous and that the track listing is not always the same. For this reason, you may want to shop around and see what version is best. In my experience the later Castle Communications re-releases are the next best thing to an original release (ha! try finding one of those!). Featuring additional information, art and liner notes.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Black Sabbath
2. The Wizard
3. Wasp
4. Behind the Wall of Sleep
5. Basically
6. N.I.B.
7. A Bit of Finger
8. Sleeping Village
9. Warning
10 Wicked World

[note by reviewer: I can not find any other release with this odd tracklisting and I suspect it to be wrong! Most tracklistings look something like:

1. Black Sabbath
2. The Wizard
3. Behind the Wall of Sleep
4. N.I.B.
5. Evil Woman
6. Sleeping Village
7. Warning
8. Wicked World]

[note by admin.: I searched long and hard to figure out which release has that ten song track list. I am not 100% sure if these are the ones he made the review from, but the tracklist fit the 1987 CD releases made by Warner Brothers (1871-2) and Creative Sounds (6006).]

Duration : Approx. 39 minutes

Visit the Black Sabbath bandpage.

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