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The Bible of Metal - 93%

Reaper, August 11th, 2004

The second classic by Black Sabbath is just as required as the first album. It is just as classic yet offers a very different ‘cup of tea.’ It is probably just as influential as the first album while providing a much different approach musically and lyrically. The first track proves the different approach that Black Sabbath took on this album.

Starting off with “War Pigs/ Luke’s Wall,” it is a much faster opening track than the previous album’s “Black Sabbath.” Although still a bit slow it does offer more of a melody and much more diversity in the sound. More riffs and melody are how this album differs from the first one. Songs such as “Paranoid,” demonstrate the faster paced characteristic of Black Sabbath that the first album has but only scraped upon.

The intended filler, “Paranoid,” has become the most revered Sabbath song amongst many fans. The song is perhaps one of the most memorable songs in Metal and therefore has a very high replay value. It is very difficult to describe this song, even though I have heard it countless amounts of times. It is pretty useless as well, as pretty much every Metal fan has heard this song as well.

Now I’m not a big fan of songs that don’t fit into the overall feel and represent the overall atmosphere that the album brings about, but the third song, “Planet Caravan,” is one of my favorite songs that hold such characteristics. This is what I see when I listen to this song:

“At night, my caravan and I are wandering about the Mid-American desert and it is getting cold, we stop and create a fire in order to keep warm. I unfold my Indian rug and rest it on the rough soil below me. The moon is over me as I lay back and gaze upon the infinite stars that populate the night sky. A coyote howls in the distance as I roast a rabbit above the open fire. I place Paranoid into my Cd-payer, fast forward to the third track and fall asleep to the knowledge that I am living in never-ending bliss.”

Atmosphere!!! Oh the Atmosphere that this album incites is indescribable. This is what makes this album such a great listen. From the first to the last track atmosphere and lyrical and musical genius captivate the listener’s interest. Nothing else matter when I listen to this album. The world might be coming to an end, yet I will have this in my stereo till Judgment day.

The underrated tracks would be track five and six, “Electric Funeral” and “Hand of Doom,” respectively are great songs that don’t get as much attention as “Paranoid” or “Iron Man,” even though they are great songs that have much to offer. Both of the songs encompass the slower and faster attributes of the Black Sabbath sound and the tempo interchange is done perfectly and doesn’t contain a repetitive feeling to the songs.

The concluding track is a very fine selection. A better tack, in my opinion, would have been “Planet Caravan,” just because of the atmosphere it creates and would add a great ‘fade out’ feel to the album. No big deal, as it is a grand track for a classic album. Great lyrics and riffs, but most of all great drum work by Bill Ward. Tony Iommi and Bill Ward create a perfect melody that is very adequate to the overall impression that the album portrays.

This is the album that has introduced me to Heavy Metal music. Righteously so it was one of the greatest albums that I have heard. For every fan of Metal, this is the album for you. Your Metal journey will not be complete without this marvel of an album in your collection. Listen to it, love it and bow before the genius that is Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.