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Sabbath's peak of musical maturity - 100%

Satanwolf, May 8th, 2007

Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath," the fifth album from Black Sabbath, is the perfect mix of their metal and melodic sides. The album is almost prog-metal, and even features contributions from Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Much musical growth was evident on this album, yet Sabbath retained their heaviness and their penchant for tales of madness and mysticism.

The opening title track is a perfect example of where the direction of this album is going to go. Starting off with one of Tony Iommi's classic metal riffs and Ozzy's anguished cries, the song moves between heavy and melodic sections. "A National Acrobat" is total doom heaven and one of my personal favorite tracks, and displays excellent leadwork from Iommi. Bassist/
lyricist Geezer Butler did a bang-up job of the lyrics to "Acrobat," a tale of death and reincarnation. "Fluff" features some beautiful acoustic guitar from Iommi backed by Wakeman's keyboard melodies in an instrumental number very atypical of Sabbath. "Sabbra Cadabra is a fast-paced love song as only Sabbath can deliver, with more emphasis on rhythm in the second half of the song.

Side two opens with "Killing Yourself to Live" a tale of frustration and confusion featuring a strong vocal performance by Ozzy. "Who are You?" is probably the most overtly progressive number on the album, with it's emphasis on keyboards (written by Osbourne?!), yet is another very dark number lyrically. "Looking for Today" is again on the melodic side, with a flute melody played over the lyrics. The album closes with "Spiral Architect," simply one of Sabbath's greatest and most beautiful songs and a live favorite, clearly demonstrating the musical growth experienced by the band.

The album cover features some of Sabbath's best artwork, a man caught in the nightmare of a black mass. Musically this was the peak of Sabbath's creativity, but also their unity. "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath" remains one of Sabbath's most influential albums and one of the best of the band's contributions to the metal genre. This stunning release should be experienced by every hard rock/metal fan.