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This is what metal sounds like. - 100%

PriestofSadWings, January 17th, 2007

It remains a mystery to me how an album this perfectly metal could have been produced only 6 years after the genre's founding. In any case, this was a seminal masterpiece and an incalcuble contribution to the cause of metal. From the masterful opening of Tyrant to the closing strains of Deceiver, there is absolutely no filler here. None of the random bluesy jamming that plagued Sabbath's first two albums. No lyrics about how I wanna go hot rockin', or livin' after midnight, or breakin' the law, or you've got another thing comin'. Tipton and Downing are great throughout the album, and Alan Atkins' drumming, while inferior to Simon Phillips or Les Binks, gets the job done. And this is Rob "the Metal God" Halford at his best. There are six songs here and all of them need to be highlighted.

Tyrant is, in my opinion, one of the greatest songs ever made. The solo (the third one!) is pure brilliance of the sort not heard since Deep Purple's Highway Star four years earlier. Rob Halford gives one of his most gripping vocal performances ever, including the 10 - second scream at the end, and the verses headbang with authority.

Genocide is less impressive, but still great. It's a medium paced pounding song with a Man-on-the-Silver-Mountain-like riff. The really amazing thing about it, though, is the climax at the end with Halford almost rapping the lyrics. It segues into a great fade-out solo, too. Epitaph and Island of Domination are no less awesome. Epitaph is a slow piano ballad with an impressively emotional lyric and vocal. But it's real job is to set up Island of Domination. As the piano fades, you hear a bass line coming in. And then the song explodes into the vocal intro -"BEWARE..." It absolutely sounds like the most awesome thing on the planet every time I listen to it. The song itself features an intricate riff, a driving bass line, and Halford showcasing his whole range - the lower parts as well.

Victim of Changes has a slow, pounding, Sabbath riff, a cool break and solo in the middle. Did I mention that the vocals kick ass? Well they do. This is Rob Halford's crowning vocal performance. The Ripper is a short song, but it is definitely full of suspense, especially with that eerie breakdown in the middle. As well, it is one of the first songs I learned on bass.

And now we come to Dreamer Deceiver and Deceiver. How to describe this song? Stairway to Heaven without the boring parts? That's probably the best description. Halford sings an entire verse in that falsetto banshee scream of his. There are two beautiful solo sections (one in each part), and the last half a minute of the build-up really earns Halford the title of Metal God. And when it breaks through to Deceiver, the song slams into gear. Pure metal euphoria, with the high point of the whole album being Halford's desparately screamed last verse and chorus. And after that, it fades out with a few acoustic riffs. And there is nothing more to say.

I highly recommend this to any sane person who likes good music, not just metal.