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Black Sabbath

Technical Ecstasy

Review by Gary Hill

A controversial album for Black Sabbath, this disc found them stretching into new and untried directions. The trademarked Sab metal is still present, but it is joined by other diverse sounds. Although it does not strictly fit within the category of progressive metal, I have included it here because of the amount of experimentation present on the recording.

Black Sabbath`s lineup at the time was Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. Gerald Woodruffe joined them on this release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Back Street Kids
This competent Sabbath metal cut features a somewhat quirky arrangement.
You Won't Change Me
A darkly metallic intro featuring effective keys provides the beginning of this cut. The piece includes many varied textures and styles from progish elements to straightforward rock and roll. "Nobody`s gonna change my world, That`s something too unreal, Nobody can change the way I feel." This is a very strong composition, and the later segments feature some wonderful piano work.
It's Alright
Feeling much like a late era Beatles song, this tune is very unusual (for Sabbath), and features the vocals of drummer Bill Ward.
Gypsy
A strong Sab metal track, this one features impressive drum work. The chorus has quite a catchy groove and other segments include dark progish textures.
All Moving Parts Stand Still
This is a midtempo metal cut with a rather funky bass line.
Rock 'N' Roll Doctor
Essentially a metallic hard rocking piece with honky tonk piano, this is a fun song.
She's Gone
Based primarily on guitar and vocals, this is a beautifully poignant ballad with prog sensibilities. She`s Gone is a very strong cut dealing with losing a love. "And now it`s hurting so much, What can I do?, I wanted you to be my wife, The days are passing slowly, Since you`ve gone, Your memories are all I have." "My summer love has turned to rain."
Dirty Women
A solid rocker, this provides a strong conclusion to the album.
 
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