Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Prog Sabbath - 100%

Doominance, January 26th, 2015

Black Sabbath had released five amazing albums from 1970-1973. The band took a well-deserved break from writing and recording new music after a blazing start to their musical career. The Birmingham-based rockers had started out as a heavy blues band with their self-titled debut album and 'Paranoid', then went on to play more straight-forward (and down-tuned) heavy metal with 'Master of Reality' and 'Vol. 4', and the band continued to explore new territories within the heavy music scene by releasing 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath', which wasn't only heavy, but also combined some soothing, and almost cheerful, progressive rock/metal elements with brilliantly executed acoustic guitars and keyboards.

Black Sabbath would build on what they created on 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' and released the even more experimental and progressive 'Sabotage' in 1975. While not as sophisticated (and in my opinion; amazing) as 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath', 'Sabotage' has got some of the band's finest moments in terms of evolving and just pure musical enjoyment.

'Sabotage' starts off in a ferocious manner with "Hole in the Sky"; a song that has a very heavy and memorable riff and some of Ozzy's finest vocals. It's a relatively straight-forward track, if you compare it with the more technical and progressive semi-epics that are also on this album. The same can be said about a song like "Symptom of the Universe", which has a very fast, and almost proto-thrashy main-riff, but then breaks into an acoustic section that is perfectly executed and doesn't interfere with the mean heaviness otherwise heard on this track. "Thrill of it All" is another song that is fairly straight-forward and driven by the might riff of Iommi, and is probably the best pure "metal track" on 'Sabotage'.

The more progressive elements are exercised to the fullest on the almost ten minute epic "Megalomania". It's got pretty much everything that later prog rock/metal bands would later exercise and further build upon. A quite complex song structure, tempo changes, mood changes... it goes from slow, dark and melancholic to a fast, up-beat song and the song just feels shorter than it really is. "The Writ", the album's closing track, can also be considered a semi-epic clocking in at almost nine minutes and shares a similar progressive nature to "Megalomania", though, not as impressive in terms of complexity. The keys/synth is also utilized more on 'Sabotage' than ever before on "Am I Going Insane (Radio)" and the impressive instrumental "Supertzar".

Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill are all in great shape too as far as musical talent goes. Ozzy's voice is stronger than ever, Tony's guitar-work is more progressive-orientated, as well as technical and virtuoso-like, than ever before, but still flexes his straight-forward heavy rocking riffs too, and rhythm section Geezer and Bill are as solid and bad-ass as always.

There is really nothing wrong with 'Sabotage'. I prefer 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' by an inch or so, but 'Sabotage' is well and truly a masterpiece in its own right and deserves the highest praise from all metal fans, since it covers pretty much everything that is metal today (except the extreme black and death metal, but you get the point).