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Black Sabbath - The End CD (album) cover

THE END

Black Sabbath

 

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3.24 | 10 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The End" is an EP release by UK heavy/doom metal act Black Sabbath. The EP was released through Vertigo Records in January 2016. "The End" features 4 unreleased studio tracks, recorded during the sessions for "13 (2013)", and 4 live tracks recorded on the tour ("The Reunion Tour") supporting the album (recorded between April 2013 and April 2014). So while the EP was released to coincide with Black Sabbath final farewell tour ("The END Tour"), and was only available for purchase at shows on that tour, it actually doesn't feature material recorded live from said tour.

Stylistically the studio tracks pretty much follow the same heavy/doom metal formula as the band also played on "13 (2013)". Quality wise it's not necessarily obvious why these four tracks were left off "13 (2013)", as they are generally as memorable and powerful as the material featured on the album. Especially "Season of the Dead" is quite a brilliant track. The sound production resembles the one on "13 (2013)", which is again natural as these tracks were recorded during the same sessions as the material on "13 (2013)". The sound production is powerful, dark, and organic, although the drums could have prospered from a more organic tone.

The live recordings feature a professional sound quality, and the instrumental part of the performances is of high quality throughout. Ozzy Osbourne's performances are a bit more up and down. He for example sounds great on "Under the Sun" (from "Vol 4 (1972)"), while his performances on the three tracks off "13 (2013)" ("God is Dead?", "End of the Beginning", and "Age of Reason"), vary a bit more in quality. He generally sounds alright when he sings loud anthemic parts, but he has a hard time hitting the right notes when he sings more mellow, and occassionally it even borders the embarresing. Overall the live tracks are pretty great though.

So while "The End" is not a perfect release, it's certainly a release that fans of the band should find a worthy purchase, and especially those who enjoyed "13 (2013)" should find a lot to like here. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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