Photos by Nick Tomecek
This record brews a storm, literally.
The remastered version of “Black Sabbath,” the metal group’s self-titled track on its 1970 self-titled album begins with the soothing sounds of a thunderstorm and a bell ringing. The storm metaphor continues flawlessly with a lengthy buildup featuring Ozzy Osbourne’s signature vocals and a strong bass line. I’m entranced with the dark lyrics.
The storm brews in “Black Sabbath: and breaks with “The Wizard.”
“The Wizard” is the quick-paced hype you waited for during Osbourne’s introductory moans. The harmonica in this song gives it an unexpected flair, showing the group’s blues-rock influence.
“Wasp/Behind the Wall of Sleep/Bassically/N.I.B.” is a nearly 10-minute bass and drums masterpiece. The collection of bass riffs between the four- and six-minute marks is a powerful moment in metal history.
“Wicked World” is perhaps the most relevant song on the album to-date.
The world today is such a wicked place
Fighting going on between the human race
The lyrical mention of the critical decisions a politician must make holds extreme importance as the United States will inaugurate its next president Jan. 20. This is likely my favorite Black Sabbath song, because its bass line and lyrics still resonate 46 years later.
“Black Sabbath” concludes with “A Bit of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning,” a dynamic song that takes the album in a different direction. This track defines heavy blues rock.
Black Sabbath is often credited with being the originators of heavy metal music, quite often put in comparison with Led Zeppelin. This debut album is what earned the English rock group a permanent place in heavy metal history.
The album art features Mapledurham Watermill in Oxfordshire, England, with a woman in black. In the photo shoot for this record, I donned all black to channel the woman on the cover.
There are many rumors and urban legends about who she is, but I like a little mystery.
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