Friday, 11 March 2011

Review of Black Sabbath - Master of Reality. The working class Heavy Metal band

As any educated person will know (someone familiar with Rock and Traditional Heavy Metal Music) it is a predominantly working class form of music, not that middle and upper class people can't be a part. If you look at Traditional Heavy Metal - Black Sabbath is a prime example, it is working class. This genre of music, influenced by Rock 'N' Roll and The Blues came from working class areas - a lot of them from areas such as Birmingham and the Midlands in general. We know music can be a release, but is also a good way of getting our feelings and points across and make some money on the side. But one thing that is clear with traditional Metal bands like Black Sabbath is, you WORK hard to become successful, you are not born into wealth or you don't know or own a record company so, you had to work on getting a recording contract - hard work is key to success, something the working class have always done - you have to ignore the propaganda that comes from capitalist media and politicians. The benefit if this ideology means, you can be proud of where you have come from but at the same time, you know you have worked hard to get to where you have, and you have not cheated like those that are born into wealth.

It is in this context that Keiron Hopkins has reviewed the Black Sabbath album 'Master of Reality' reproduced below.


When you think of Black Sabbath, you usually think of Paranoid. As great an album as is Paranoid, you also have to consider other albums. Everyone has their own opinion. Firstly, I must add that, my favourite Ozzy era album is Black Sabbath's first album - Black Sabbath. But for this particular review, I will be reviewing Master of Reality. I will also review each track too.
Master of Realiy  continues with a winning formula for the original incarnation of Sabbath. The Cover s pretty simple compared to the previous two records.
The overall sound of Master of Reality continues with the Heavy/Blues formula but, explores slightly different territoy with songs like embryo.

First off, Sweet Leaf an odd yet typical title of early 70's Rock songs. The Song itself starts out with a cough and then the typical Sabbath heavy riff kicks in, and you can see why a lot of Doom/Black Metal bands are influenced by Sabbath's sound and lyrics. After Forever kicks in with a different intro than usual, but the sound though still with the heavier formula has a more upbeat (Beatles-like) tone to it.Embryo has a more classical sound to it, something that sounds liek Dio would do, but really does suit the album, at 00.28 seconds it is short of a Black Sabbath song but, fits nicely when going into Children of the Grave, which has a really great, but kind of creepy sounding intro to it. It should also be noted this, was also featured on the Brutal Legend game, sutis the whole aura of what the game was about but really fits into the album - also, fits into the entire Black Sabbath repetoire as being one of their best songs.

Next up is Orchid, mostly acoustic but then kicks into a soft, again, (Beatles-like) sound, classical influence and although may not fit into Sabbath's overall sound, it does fit nicely into this album and would be a great song to have on after a hard days work - especially if it was longer than 1:31. Lord of this World continues with the winning Black Sabbath formula, it has a catchy beat to it and heavy bass line something that will go down well with any new and perspective Metal or Rock fan. Into the Void, another cracking song on this album, an album that I am sure that if you picked it up, bought it to see what Sabbath are all about then, you would know, and be a fan for life. The initial riff starts out the usual slow paced Hard Rocked-ness, then kicks in with a fantastic Bass line from Geezer, and Ozzy's piercing vocals. It is also a great song to close the album, an album that works well for Rock and Metal fans on all levels.

Overall, I really like this album, I know that a lot of people are more familiar with Paranoid, and that's fine, but if you want to get into Black Sabbath, all albums upto Sabotage are a good place to go of course, if you want to hear Sabbath's rebirth and a slightly different direction, then start with Heaven & Hell featuring Ronnie James Dio on Vocals and Vinny Appice on drums then, like Master of Reality, you have a good base to work from.

Line Up; Ozzy Osbourne: Vocals, Tony Iommi: Guitar, Geezer Butler: Bass, Bill Ward: Drums.

Personal Note; It would be a great Idea for the original line-up to reunite at some point. I, like many are not sure whether a new record would be any good, musically it would be great but, whether Ozzy's vocals are really up to it is another thing.

By Keiron Hopkins

1 comment:

  1. That's all very well, but what about the lyrical content, and how that relates both to the changes in sound, and the changes in society going on at the time?

    To me, there is an interesting contradiction between the cannabis worship of 'Sweet Leaf', the grasping for religious belief of 'After Forever', and the apparent call for revolution in 'Children Of The Grave' (which my band, Torture Garden, has covered).

    To mean, it's the sound of a band searching for meaning after they have achieved fame - and therefore some degree of independence from their working class roots - but at a time of sharp political battles (both on a class level and of course the Vietnam war).

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