The bells chiming at the start of the eponymous début from Birmingham’s Black Sabbath, indicate the start of Heavy Metal as a genre.
Released in 1970 Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi opened a portal to a dark world. Although often thought to be full of occult references the heavy doom laden sounds of the songs were actually more concerned with drug abuse and social challenges. Extended beyond it’s psychedelic and blues roots, Black Sabbath’s tendrils and claws reach out and grab the listener, drip feeding dread until a torrent of riffs and solos are unleashed.
Featuring the tracks Black Sabbath with it’s chimes and The Wizard with it’s shuffling blues harmonica the album moves through a number of styles all with that heavy sound. NIB and Behind The Wall of Sleep make up the first side.
The second side starts with a cover of Evil Woman, again a rocked up blues boogie. This leads into the acoustic intro of Sleeping Village , developing into a 10 minute stomper, often cited as being one of the prototype Stoner Rock tunes. Closing with Warning the album slopes of into the distance. A true classic of blues rock, they evolved more into the metal sound over the follow up albums Paranoid, Master of Reality, Volume 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
Through several line up changes, numerous solo outings, Ozzfest’s, Downloads and reality shows the band are still recording and playing together. 2013 saw them tour with the classic line up for their 13 album.
Oh, no, please God help me!