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Black Sabbath - Paranoid CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.30 | 899 ratings

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4 stars Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970)

When taking in to account this cornerstone of the heavy metal genre was released as early as 1970, it can be stated this really is a special offering. Black Sabbath embraced the riff- based approach to accompany the heavy styled song-writing and the guitar chords sound low and pompous. Don't expect to hear that harsh shredding sound of modern heavy metal, the amplification of the time would not have allowed such sounds. Black Sabbaths style could be seen as a logical next step. Bands like the Blue Cheer, Vanilla Vudge, May Blitz and Led Zeppelin already cleared the way for the maximum heavy approach to develop in the early seventies. It still remains a mystery why the real boom of heavy metal took place in the early eighties, but I guess that punk, prog and disco slowed the development of decent heavy metal some years.

With Paranoid the band reached to stardom. Whilst the record still features the ground- braking sound of the debut, it also has attractive song-writing that even resulted in success in the charts. 'Iron Man' and 'Paranoid' became signature songs of the band, though 'War Pigs' shows that the band was also gifted with extended song-writing capabilities (that remind me a bit of the more daring songs of Uriah Heep). The vocals of Ozzy are iconic and it's good that his high pitched vocals fill the spectrum, where other metal bands would be plagued by the emphasis on only the low spectrum of both vocals, guitars and rhythmical section. The guitars (often you'll hear more then just one) of Tommy Lee are original whilst the rhythms section succeeds in creating a heavy back-up.

It's a bit strange that the band settled with the amateurism when it comes to the cover artwork. The debut looked beautiful and this silly photo makes me skip this record way to often.

Conclusion. Enough said about this early metal classic, it's very attractive for fans of the metal genre as well as that of seventies heavy rock (Purple, Zep, Heep, etc.). As prog- related I can give this four stars, the record hasn't much relevance for progressive rock itself in my opinion. I would rather point to early works of Judas Priest (like Sad Wings of Destiny) for such pleasures. Four stars for this one.

friso | 4/5 |


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