Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

Misty morning, clouds in the sky

What is this that stands before me?
Figure in black which points at me
Turn ‘round quick and start to run
Find out I’m the chosen one. 
Oh, no!

Big black shape with eyes of fire 
Telling people their desire
Satan’s sitting there, he’s smiling
Watches those flames get higher and higher 
Oh, no, no, please, God, help me!

Is this the end, my friend?
Satan’s coming ‘round the bend
People running ‘cause they’re scared
The people better go and beware
No, no, please, no!

Was Robert Jordan, the author of the massive fantasy epos “The Wheel of Time”, a Black Sabbath fan? Incredibly, the whole 15 books saga is described more or less in those three verses above. Jordan used a few more words though.

As a debut album this is really impressive, and the song “Black sabbath” is a beast. Sabbath set the tone right away with the first tunes of the first track. It is dark, ominous and exciting. Ozzy’s voice is hypnotic, the soundscape scary and I love it. The first side of the album is great!

For me Sabbath is defined by Ozzy’s voice combined with the tonality of the music. There are a few bands and artists which you can enjoy mostly for their voices, like Sabbath, Bowie and some more. Other bands can have the best guitarist or something else that stands out. The original cast of Black Sabbath are by no means blacking in skill, but it is still Ozzy that makes the cake. Sure, I do enjoy Iommi’s guitar now and then.

The first song, self titled “Black sabbath” is a masterpiece, starting out slow, then the second part with the orgasmic chaos. It is followed by “The Wizard” a sneaky good track. Fooling us to beleive it is only a harmonica driven blues rock song, but transforming into something a little more evil as soon as Ozzy’s voice enters the stage. 

“N.I.B.” oh yeah! Yet another iconic Sabbath-song. Love the singing, again. What is the acronym for? “Nativity in black” or “Name in blood”? Let me know what you think in the comment field. I don’t know and I don’t care what it is really, but it may be a fun little trivia. I like the tone in the song, somewhat melancholic like most of the music I like.

The sound on this first album is influenced of classic blues-rock, but it has an edge and it may be called the first heavy metal album. The second side contains two covers, one the ten minutes “Warning” with hyper-extended guitar solos. Sure I can enjoy a guitar boogie here and there but this track draws down the overall feeling of the second side of the LP unfortunately. That long track is oozing of the sixties whilst Sabbath’s own music is timeless.

“Evil woman” is a cover of the Crow song. It is a melodious blues-rock song suitable for a rowdy pub: strangely Ozzy seems almost to be uninterested, and he gives a very laid back effort. “Sleeping village” is the only Sabbath-song on the second side. Interestingly it is like they are trying out cool guitar riffs and a repeated riff could be the uncle to the iconic guitar-intro to “Paranoid”. It is called evolution.

Back to “The Wheel of Time”, some lines of lyrics from “N.I.B.”… as they were written by Moiraine Sedai herself:

Follow me now and you will not regret
Leaving the life you led before we met
You are the first to have this love of mine
Forever with me ‘til the end of time

Your love for me has just got to be real
Before you know the way I’m going to feel

Now, I have you with me, under my power
Our love grows stronger, now, with every hour
Look into my eyes, you’ll see who I am
My name is…

My rating: 7/10

Side A:

  1. Black sabbath
  2. The Wizard
  3. Behind the wall of sleep
  4. N.I.B

Side B:

  1. Evil woman
  2. Sleeping village
  3. Warning

Best songs: “Black sabbath”, “The Wizard” and “N.I.B.”

Released on February 13, 1970

Media: Reissued gatefold, 2015, 180 gram vinyl

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