|Review: Black Sabbath - Sabotage|
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Year released: 1975
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: August 21, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 4.35/5 (87%) (40 Votes)
Black Sabbath's sixth album, Sabotage, finds the band still chugging along, cranking out quality Doom Metal. The album features a couple of classics in the doomy and depressing "Hole in the Sky" and the high energy riff-fest "Symptom of the Universe," a song in the mold of "Paranoid." The band actively sought to scale back the high tech studio work and non-metal elements that marked the previous album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, with some success.
The first half of Sabotage (side A of the original vinyl release) has the stronger material, with both the aforementioned hits. We also get the now obligatory acoustic guitar song, "Don't Start (Too Late)" and the slow, dirge-like "Megalomania," with its pre-"Crazy Train" musings on insanity. The second half starts with the rocker "The Thrill of it All" and marks the return of some of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath's studio shenanigans. Keyboards fill out the sound, giving the chorus a big, commercial sound. The instrumental "Supertzar" is rescued from layers of choral vocals, keyboards, bells, etc. by Tony Iommi's signature, fuzzy riffs that provide the foundation for the song. "Am I Going Insane (Radio)" is another trippy, psychedelic number that is OK if you like that sort of thing. The album is rounded out by "The Writ," with its over-extended riff and lots of shouting by Ozzy.
Sabotage isn't in the class of earlier albums like Paranoid or Master of Reality, and the fact that this is their sixth album in five years helps to explain some of the inconsistent song writing. Nevertheless, Black Sabbath could still write some great Heavy Metal at this point in their careers.
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