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What is this so called "Heavy Metal" - 99%

TheZombieXecutioner, December 28th, 2012

The legendary Black Sabbath crashed into the music scene in early 1970 with their groundbreaking debut. Pioneering a genre isn't easy, but Black Sabbath seems to pull it off with ease. Combining blues, jazz, and rock into what is now known as heavy metal. Showcasing the classic metal riffing, unique vocals, and truly phenomenal rhythm section, making this one of metal's best offerings...and I'm not just saying that because it was the first metal record, simply because it is just that good.

Guitars are supplied by none other than the legend, Tony Iommi. Delivering crushing riffs ranging from blues, rock, and even jazz. The eponymous "Black Sabbath" and "The Wizard" have great heavy opening riffs that really show what heavy metal is all about. Other riffs like "Behind the Wall of Sleep" and "Wicked World" are very bluesy and show Iommi's roots as a guitarist. Some great solos are on this record as well. "Sleeping Village" has a nice bluesy solo that climaxes greatly and brings the song nicely back to the main riff. The group's cover of Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation's "Warning" really show Iommi's improvisational skills towards the middle and end with a three minute solo. Overall his tone is great. Very heavy with a nice and smooth mid section and twangy highs that fit perfectly with the album.

The real star of this album is Bill Ward. Laying out some of the smoothest and grooviest beats, rolls and fills I've laid ears on. I'll admit, I am a sucker when it comes jazzy drum rolls and beats and let me tell you the rolls and fills on this album satisfy my jazz craving. Beats like that on "Behind of the Wall of Sleep" are catchy as fuck and hold the whole song in place well for Geezer to jam while Iommi rips up on the guitar. Some great rolls and fills are also present like on "The Wizard" and "Wicked World" that would make any jazz fan proud. Ward's kit has a very clean and natural sound to it that I admire. Along with Ward's jazz and blues background he is a great addition to the rhythm section.

Also within the rhythm section is Geezer Butler on bass. Geezer does a great job on this record, really backing up Iommi's licks and riffs with a great sense of rhythm and timings. "Behind the Wall of Sleep" has some great classic Geezer lines that are in perfect harmony with Ward's beats and Iommi's riffs. "Warning" also has a great groovy bass line that shows his true capabilities to keep a groove going and improvise around it. Other than bass lines, "N.I.B." has an awesome bass solo intro slathered in some wah-wah and a bit of distortion. The solo is pretty great and leads perfectly into the opening riff. In general Geezer's bass is very clean and very playful. He is not shy to toy with the groove or add his own thing into the songs, which really makes his bass playing unique.

On top of all of this stand Ozzy's vocals. Ozzy's voice sounds rather old as if he pulled a Benjamin Button and started with the voice we would later have at 50. It actually fits nicely in the blues infused music and sad lyrics. The lyrics are typical Sabbath stuff consisting of doom, evil, and darkness. The opening track "Black Sabbath" has a fantastic vocal role in the song. Speaking of being visited in the night by a the devil, it works so well with the music. "Wicked World" also has great lyrics. Talking about how the world is kind of fucked up as well as political criticism. In the end great vocals, actually one of few albums were Ozzy actually "sings".

Thus, metal is born. Rooted on blues, rock and jazz Black Sabbath presents the original sound of metal. Showcasing heavy riffs, dark vocals and lyrics, and a rhythm section that is tighter than a nun's cunt, this is a must for any metal fan or those looking to get into metal.