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The Synonym of All the Things I've Done - 95%

Evershifting, December 3rd, 2017
Written based on this version: 1975, 12" vinyl, NEMS Records

*Tap tap BGHAARR!*

Yes Ozzy, you're looking through a hole in the sky but we're all looking through the hole in our heads left by that monstrous opening. Holy smeg that riff is so cool, it's almost delicious it's that good. This album is a true great for music in general, heavy/progressive metal and 1975 AND THE WHOLE THING IS JUST BECAUSE OF FOUR SONGS!!! What? Only half the album? But surely that makes it only half good? Well bollocks to that, I have a love that never dies for this record.

Recognised by some as the first thrash song, Symptom of the Universe has another pummelling main riff so epic you need a whole song as an intro. No wonder this is one of Sabbath's best loved tracks; it's straight heavy metal, powerful and aggressive with Ozzy at the helm. Naturally people love it. I on the other hand so love the thrashy riff but enjoy that dropping transition to the second part of the song with the different structure and solos. Somehow they forced even more into this song and it still didn't break despite the mild reggae influence of the final passage. A true testament to the magic powers of these four Brummies.

Yes only half the songs on this record you will actually remember BUT that is because the others just aren't a match. If they had appeared on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Judas Priest's Rocka Rolla they would of been hailed as classics. Unfortunately "Am I Going Insane and The Thrill of It All aren't on those albums so are kinda filler here but by no means are garbage. Speaking of garbage Supertzar should of never been invented let alone published on such sheer wonder as Sabotage. Other more minor annoyances include that strange jumping bit near the end of "Thrill of It All" and the fact the Bill Ward's drumming has lost all of the jazz fills, rolls and tricks from Paranoid and Master of Reality. Which is a shame because Sabbath's most technical and intricate album deserved, no, damn right NEEDED those mega patterns. Instead of the "THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD" gifted in every track as soon as the rest of the band gets more forceful. I dunno, hopefully he was doing a bit more behind the kit and the mix just stuck it all underneath the other instruments. Even the remastered versions still have this flaw though...

As I said before Hole in the Sky has it's monster main riff and kinda sits as a "standard heavy metal" regulator for the three other giants of the album...

With enough evil to scare off Melissa the notes creep out off the back of that weird twist at the end of the previous track. Megalomania makes you sit back and think" ah I get a break from the weirdness and go back to the type of classic Sabbath from Paranoid or their eponymous song. Yeah you do but not for long... The fucking song just takes off, switching to an odd time signature, occasional chord bursts from Iommi's guitar that are reminiscent of an F1 car shooting past and the best damn vocals of Ozzy's career. He is literally possessed at this point, shrieking ever maddening verses over the top of a bloody fantastic rolling bass line. It really is a trip in someone else's mind. I simply cannot describe properly the elation I get from this insane twist in the track. I cannot believe they didn't play this (or any) of Sabotage at their final gig. Which was amazing by the way.

Overall this is a very well presented and laid out album. Only Superstar spoils it but ah well, it's still the best Sabbath record.

Highlights: definitely the four titans of this album; with head crusher extraordinaire Megalomania sitting in it's crown at the top of these, grinning and picking it's teeth with a thunderbolt both of which were wrestled off of Zeus. The wah wah afflicted bass of Geezer in "The Writ" produces that little bouncing feeling is not your drugs finally kicking in (ok it might be), beautiful lyrics really shine through, helped by the dual layered vocals and crystal passages. The mad twists halfway through Mega and Symptom really show off the progressive nature of the record and the band at the time, it's just such a shame that they couldn't keep up this golden streak. Don't do cocaine kids.