|Review: Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy|
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Year released: 1976
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: September 2, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
1976 saw the release of Black Sabbath's seventh studio album, Technical Ecstasy, as well as their subsequent surrender of the title of heaviest band on the planet. Technical Ecstasy is still heavy, but the 70s hard and progressive rock that had been creeping in on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage takes over completely. Factor in the fact that Judas Priest's awesome Sad Wings of Destiny had been released the year prior and other bands like Scorpions and Motorhead were just gearing up for some great runs and the writing on the wall that Black Sabbath's time was over was clear.
Technical Ecstasy is almost completely devoid of the Doom Metal that defined the band. What little Doom there is gets saddled with trippy, almost happy choruses ("You Won't Change Me") or foolish lyrics ("Dirty Women.") I mean, a song about prostitutes is not exactly typical Doom subject matter. The rest of the album is nothing more than a collection of riffs ripped of from the likes of Yes ("Back Street Kids"), Kansas ("All Moving Parts [Stand Still]") and Lynyrd Skynyrd ("Rock ‘n' Roll Doctor.") What's truly interesting is how much of "Gypsy's" guitar parts ended up on the title track to Ozzy's solo album Diary of a Madman. Randy Rhoads must have snuck them by when Ozzy was on a bender.
Taken by itself Technical Ecstasy isn't horrible, but in the context of Black Sabbath's body of work up until this point, it pales in comparison. There is a reason even long time, highly knowledgeable fans of Heavy Metal have never heard, or even heard of, Technical Ecstasy; it is a bad Black Sabbath album.
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