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After releasing a string of great albums, yet changing and shifting within each year, Black Sabbath continued to grow as musicians and expand on their creation that is heavy metal. Sabotage in an album that proved that Black Sabbath were some of the most innovative musicians in history. On a personal note, this author's taste in music was rooted very early on with many songs on this album.
Sabbath, being a band known for putting the "heavy" and/or "doom" in metal, certainly did that on this album. But, as per usual, the approach had some twists on this album as it did on every album they've done up to this (and even beyond today). The album kicks off with the more upbeat "Hole in the Sky". Right away, this song gives you the goods, and delivers one of the most CLASSIC Sabbath riffs ever. Along with riff-father Tony Iommi, Geezer Buttler pounds away with groovy bass line that keeps the song in motion. Bill Ward plays in an interesting way with Bill Ward, as he follows but puts his own spin on things. And of course, Ozzy delivers his classic nasal performance but it works with Sabbath's evil persona.
So it's pretty obvious that the riffs here rule already after the first song. If that's not enough, "Symptom of the Universe" is the third track on this album, and delivers one of the quickest Sabbath riffs to date that proves to be absolutely crushing and proves to be a prototype idea for many bands to follow within the years. And just when you think you understand this song, the dynamic group that is Black Sabbath switches into completely different gears and some how manages to make it there logically. Whether it be from drugs, genius, or a combination, they certainly pulled it off flawlessly.
Driven to delusions, "Megalomia" hynotises the listener with it's behemoth like pace, as well as in magnitude. This song gets a lot more up beat later on which concludes itself well. Next anthem like "The Thrill of it All", which delivers more extraordinary riffs. Not only are the riffs great, but the leads pulled off are brilliant as they are mesmerising. Tony Iommi plays better than most guys with four fingers despite the fact two of his are partly prosthetic. It's truly an awe to hear.
the cleverly named "Supertzar" sounds mythical with it's chants and eeir atmosphere. The riffs certainly sound pretty evil for 1975. It's pretty clear by now that each song has it's own well defined moments that make each song memorable, and thus, something that is timeless. Following the instrumental, a spacey "Am I Going Insane (Radio)". This proves to be the weakest point on the album personally, but is still an interesting tracks.
A deep and pulsing bass line leads us to the last track, "The Writ", that soon explodes with a mid-paced riff. This song already has the words "THIS IS LONG" written all over it, but it's Black Sabbath doing it, so it's guaranteed that it'll be heavy as hell, full of dynamics while still making sense structurally. Subtleties come forth on this song, like demonic sounding vocals that are faintly singing along with Ozzy, that proves to be an enjoyable combination. This song ends of the album quite nicely with it's dark riff that leads us out of the track.
The production here proves to be a great mix as Tony Iommi's playing sounds distorted with a certain clearness to it that allows listeners to hear each note, and this just shows how flawless of a player he is. The bass is given plenty of room in the production as it proves that the bass has just as much room to move around in the songs in a rhythmic but soulful manner. Each cymbal on Ward's kit sounds warm and resonate well, and the bass and toms all have a great thump. It sounds classic but it sounds so huge at once. Certainly subtleties can come forth in the music too such as keyboards in the background.
This album proves to be one of Black Sabbath's greatest with Ozzy, and thus one of their greatest in their large discography. It's a stand out record that was as heavy as it was dynamic. This deserves all the praise it gets, and perhaps then some.