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Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy CD (album) cover

TECHNICAL ECSTASY

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

2.76 | 350 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
2 stars For an astonishing six years, between 1970 and 1975, Black Sabbath released six albums. Ever progressing from the first blues rock helping of the first and eponymous album to the perfect blend of prog and metal on Sabotage from 1975, they offered a very unique, never really matched set of albums. That is truly a feat. Knowing full well of their excessive use of substances, alcohol and grueling tour schedule, one realise that something had to give. And it did. When Technical Ecstasy was released in 1976 one felt and knew that something had happened and by the looks of it, that wasn't good.

Technical Ecstasy is perhaps the hardest album to warm to of all the albums during the classic years. Repeated listens haven't changed my point of view and the probability is that it never will. The problem lies in the lack of memorability in the material itself. No, this is not a stinker of an album. The songs are not awful. They are simply not that "catchy" as they used to be, on previous albums. There are songs that are great. "Back street kids" is a good opener. High spirited but gloomy. The disco type stuff represented on "All moving parts stand still" is equally good and that may be, funnily enough, my favorite. "Dirty women" is not half bad either. But when the album has spun, what remains? Not much, really. It is one of those albums you sort of enjoy when spinning but you can't really remember what you've just been through. Apart from a couple of tracks. "Rock'n'roll doctor" is terrible.

I believe in judging any and all albums for what they are, not in comparison to others. If you do I think you miss the point. On basis of that, I look at this album as an individual, not bothering about what came before or even after. Still, little can save it from my judgement. Compared to other albums during the 70's this one is the weakest and the most lacklustre, bleak and gloomy of the lot. Not that Sabbath ever was a joyous band but there was always a vibrant, lively tone to it all. This is not the worst album ever made and it is really not you typical bad one either. It is a downfall due to obvious reasons. As far as I am concerned they bounced back on the next album, Never say die which is one of my favorites. It is, however, less spirited and involved.

I would not say that Technical Ecstasy is purely for collectors but it is not really a three star album. While not being essential it is not something to shy away from either. It is part of the Sabbath history and as such it is an interesting piece of history. Take a listen with an open mind but do not expect it to be anything like Paranoid or Vol.4. Because it is not.

GruvanDahlman | 2/5 |

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