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Black Sabbath

Reunion

Review by Gary Hill

Reunion represents the first performance of all the original members of Black Sabbath as a unit since 1979. The album is a two-disc set that consists of concert recordings from December of 1987 teamed with two new studio cuts. The band is back in all its glory. Anyone who is turned off by profanity should stay clear of this disc due to Ozzy`s onstage adlibs.

Musicians on the disc are Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.

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
Disc 1
War Pigs
This is an incredibly inspired rendition of a Sabbath anti-war classic, and includes a good amount of audience participation.
Behind the Wall of Sleep
This bluesy track, from the first Sabbath album, is very competently performed here.
NIB
Another very strong rendition of a Sab classic, this time the cut is the demonic love song NIB. "Now I have you with me under my power, our love grows stronger with every hour, look into my eyes you`ll see who I am, My name is Lucifer, please take my hand".
Fairies Wear Boots
This track, which has always shown elements of `60`s rock, and particularly Cream (integrated into that trademark Black Sabbath thunder), is performed very faithfully on this disc.
Electric Funeral
Another psychedelically tinged metal classic; this one is again handled extremely well.
Sweet Leaf
A tribute to marijuana, this one is also performed very faithfully.
Spiral Architect
A surprise inclusion here, this track is a very interesting number. A bit rawer live (particularly in the intro), but it still comes off quite well.
Into the Void
This tale of an exodus from a dying Earth is of the plodding metal variety, but still holds up quite well today.
Snowblind
Dealing with the perils of a certain white powder, Snowblind has always been a favorite of mine. Here it is quite well represented, in all its intriguing textures.
Disc 2
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Another Sabbath classic, the performance here is a bit looser and under produced, but quite satisfying, and there are some intriguing differences to the timing in places.
Orchid/Lord of This World
Orchid is a lovely acoustic guitar number that serves as an intro to the Christian based metal number Lord of This World. Both are performed competently here.
Dirty Women
Another surprising choice for this work, this is a solid rendition of a different sort of Sabbath song. This piece actually shows signs of the style of Ozzy`s early solo work.
Black Sabbath
Sabbath at their spookiest, most menacing and creepiest, this track is quite well performed, despite Ozzy`s voice hitting a few rough spots.
Iron Man
This is another faithful rendition of Sab classic.
Children of the Grave
The intro to this number has a slightly different texture than the original, but this is a solid rendition of another classic Sabbath social commentary.
Paranoid
The all-time Sab classic, this is a no-frills rendition of a no-frills track.
Psycho Man
The first of the new tracks, the intro here has a definite early Sab feel, and menace and darkness abounds. The first couple verses feel like the more mellow Ozzy solo work, and much of the rest of the song seems to merge both of these sounds.
Selling My Soul
A new Sabbath song very much in the mode of classic Sab (ala the Paranoid album era). The bridge has a more modern mode, but still not past the late Ozzy era. This is another strong cut.
 
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