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The end of the end - 80%

kluseba, November 26th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Blu-ray + DVD + 3CD, Eagle Rock Entertainment

There it is: the end of the end. Black Sabbath has massively influenced heavy rock music in the first ten years of its gigantic career and has managed to go out with a bang over the past five years of its career, including a strong comeback album, an outstanding final extended play and a series of concerts including the very last one from their hometown of Birmingham included here. There exist numerous versions of what might be Black Sabbath's final release. Any fan should definitely go for a version including the entire concert plus a final recording session of five Black Sabbath classics in a vivid live in studio approach. The band shows that it hasn't lost any of its atmosphere, charisma and energy after forty-nine years and it will be missed dearly.

The concert summarizes one last time everything Black Sabbath has always stood for. Bluesy, gloomy and precise riffs, hypnotizing guitar solos, dominating bumblebee bass guitar sounds, tight drumming with occasional percussive elements, eerie melodic vocals, mysterious and occult lyrics and a show with only few special effects but a true front man with a humble attitude, great sense of humor and, most importantly, a close connection to the audience. The sound of the release is authentic, energetic and unpolished. The video section is acceptable even though it includes a few too many cuts and split screen sequences which is a problem most contemporary concert movies suffer from but it certainly isn't among the worst of its kind. The atmosphere at the beginning and the end of the show is amazing but I found that the audience was at times surprisingly quiet in between.

Obviously, some elements such as the set list could be criticized here but that wouldn't do the band justice. Is this concert the best show ever recorded by the band? It certainly isn't but it's clearly above average and the historical context of the show makes it an unforgettable milestone in the history of music. Should you own this package? If you like rock and metal music of any kind, you most definitely should. Thank you for the music and God bless Black Sabbath.