Master Of Reality Review

artist: black sabbath date: 02/13/2012 category: compact discs
black sabbath: Master Of Reality
Released: Aug 1971
Genre: Rock
Tones: Angry, Bleak, Bitter, Aggressive, Nihilistic, Wintry, Gloomy, Menacing
Styles: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Number Of Tracks: 8
 Sound: 9.8
 Lyrics: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 58 
reviews (9) 15 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: CinderellaFan14, on february 13, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Black Sabbath makes what some may call their true debut album release with one of the greatest hard rock/heavy metal albums of all time: "Master Of Reality". This album shows the band finding that darker, heavier sounding music that would make Black Sabbath stand out from all of the rest, as well as give the band unlimited fame and fortune. The album kicks off a musical revolution immediately with the mega-hit, "Sweet Leaf". The genious that is Tony Iommi really begins to come out in this song. The seemingly simple guitar riffs are turned into musical weapons for the mind when the guitar is in Tony's hands. Ozzy Osbourne's signature vocals only make the sound of this album even more enjoyable and unique. His singing techinques and just overall sound blends perfectly together with all of the other music surrounding him. "After Forever" is another excellent Black Sabbath song, and not only does the track sound excellent, but Tony Iommi delivers an invisible kick to the nuts to the Anti-Black Sabbath activists of that time. This song was written with catholic themes purposely, due to the fact that the members of the band were accused of being Satanists. Black Sabbath didn't need to write a song that said, "They say I worship the devil. They must be stupid or blind!", but instead they wrote a song with a message that said it all, which was an act of brilliance. "Embryo" is an instrumental piece, which gives a transition to the infamous Sabbath hit: "Children Of The Grave". Tony Iommi hits the intellectual goldmine when it comes to this amazing classic: the sinister sounding C# tuning, the flawless rhythm and tempo changes, the perfect percussion performance, and Ozzy's signature sound all just come together in what is Tony Iommi's brainchild for the album. The album takes a switch in sound with the next song, "Orchid". It is a beautiful acoustic guitar piece that continues to show off Tony Iommi's guitar talent and songwriting abilities. I believe it is one of the few Black Sabbath songs I can say is "peaceful". The peacefulness ends with another instant classic, "Lord Of This World". That great, sinister sound off "Children Of The Grave" returns in this track, and we begin to hear those great guitar solos that would completely dominate the band's fourth album, as well as the perfectly executed tempo changes. "Solitude" is a song most like "Orchid", with a slow tempo and lack of heavily distorted guitar. This song showcases Tony's ability to play other instruments, such as the flute and the piano. But the band cannot allow you to end the album on a peaceful note! "Into The Void" is just another great hard rock hit, and shows that Tony cannot fail when it comes to writing music. The sound of "Children Of The Grave" and "Lord Of This World" ends this amazing album, giving you one last amazing impression about the band. "Master Of Reality" most notably has Black Sabbath's search for an amazing, signature sound complete with the amazing tempo changes, tuned down guitar, mesmerizing guitar riffs, flawless percussion, and as always, Ozzy Osbourne's unique vocals. The constantly changing puzzle that is Black Sabbath comes together perfectly with this album, and has Black Sabbath's true sound finally found. // 10

Lyrics: The vocals on this album are unquestionably and undeniably amazing. Ozzy Osbourne simply delivers on each track that he sings. It is Osbourne's sound that helps make this entire album unique sounding and that much more enjoyable to listen to. The lyrics for this album are just spectacular. They are poems of hard rock in themselves, but Ozzy Osbourne takes the words off the paper and makes them come alive. Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi do an amazing job when it comes to writing vocals for this album. The entire band comes together perfectly on this album, creating an instant masterpiece. // 10

Overall Impression: Black Sabbath continues to dominate the world of hard rock and heavy metal music with their third studio album, "Master Of Reality". The entire album is completely enjoyable to listen to from beginning to end, as well as jam out with! The entire band comes together perfectly, and when you have the four minds of Sabbath working together, the possibilities are endless. I enjoy every song off this album, but the most impressive songs off this album have to be: 1. Children Of The Grave 2. Solitude 3. Into The Void 4. Lord Of This World 5. Embryo I cannot bring myself to hate anything that has Tony Iommi, Gezzer Butler, Bill Ward, and Ozzy Osbourne's names on it. If this album were stolen, I would let the thief be punished by the Lord Of This World and be dragged down to hell by the Children Of The Grave until he passes Into The Void and lives the rest of eternity in Solitude! That, or I'd just buy a new album. Black Sabbath once again performs and delivers another masterpiece that changed the way the world listened to music forever. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on january 14, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I implore you to go to your local music retailer right now. Look up plenty of stoner metal bands of the present day: Electric Wizard, Sleep, Earth, Bongzilla and stuff like that. It's excellent stuff, isn't it? They owe the bane of their existence, as musicians, to Black Sabbath's 3rd offering, "Master Of Reality." People tend to use the term "stoner rock" carelessly, but this album is probably the first incarnation of what we now know as stoner rock, largely indicative by the iconic introduction of this album: Tony Iommi choking on a hit from a bong or joint and Master Of Reality's biggest hit, Sweet Leaf. The sound of this album is a quantum leap from its predecessors, "Black Sabbath" and "Paranoid", for it marked extreme changes in songwriting, notably the band's first use of alternate tunings. Tony Iommi's handicapped hands experienced significant difficulty in playing their old songs in standard tuning. On "Master Of Reality", he tuned his guitar down three whole steps to make the strings easier to handle. Naturally, bassist Geezer Butler did the same to accentuate Sabbath's guitar driven proclivities. Doing so, and almost accidentally, the band created their heaviest record to date. It's supersonic and powerful, thick, almost leaden riffs display a terrific raw energy. The riffs. Let me talk about some of the timeless riffs on this album. Riffs that over the years have become massively influential and classic in every sense of the word. It is through no chance or overreaction that people nowadays refer to some guitar riffs and leads as "Sabbath-esque" or "Sabbathy". The grand onslaught of these riffs starts with the simplistic and contagious lead to "Sweet Leaf", one of my favourite riffs ever conceived. The glory to this riff, and with the majority of Tony Iommi's genius craft, is the simplicity - sacrificing complex timings, extra ghost notes and fancy finger work for simple motifs. The emphasis is put firmly on execution and groove. Take for example the riff changeups in the fine closer "Into The Void", going from the fine rolling and laid-back intro riff to some ferocious muted riffing, all complemented perfectly by Ozzy's high and melodic vocals. All of this combines to make one of the album's finest moments. Then there's "Children Of The Grave" which stretches the simplicity to a basic rolling note, repeated in a galloping time signature, augmented by the occasional menacing chord progression. This song was really ahead of its time, paving the way for the galloping marches of the finest Iron Maiden. What makes these riffs even better is the structure of the songs, which are intelligent and keep the various riffs fresh. For example, the changeups in "After Forever" evolve around a repetitive lead riff which gives way to various themes and new riffs, but always returns to retain the original flow and groove. Call them stoners, but this is intelligent song writing, and something ensued throughout the album. // 10

Lyrics: This is where things get tricky. As sludgy and droney as the album is, you'd probably expect: "Hell yeah, Satan!" lyrics, right? No. Not in the least is that what Ozzy did here. Lyrically, it's probably Sabbath's most positive album, despite the darkened sounds from the amplifiers. The lyrics take the shape of Christian bias and have generally happy undertones, like "After Forever", which warns of the dangers of turning away from God. Overall, a solid lyrical output, though it's by no means evil. // 9

Overall Impression: Black Sabbath was one of the most influential heavy metal pioneers and here is the proof. Thick, down-tuned, low-toned riffs, rhythmic bass and drums and a new standard for metal singers was what the band set in motion. Dubbed their most influential album, this definitely has something to offer. I recommend this album to the Sabbath fans and metal fans in general. Anybody who says they are into metal but doesn't like Sabbath is only fooling him or herself. // 10

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overall: 8
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: Hevoc, on january 27, 2004
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ozzy sounds more... off than ever! Well I still like Ozzy's demonlike voice. // 8

Lyrics: 1. Sweet Leaf: Hard rocker with a slight melodic touch, one of the essential sabbath classics. 2. After Forever: Mid-tempo hard rocker with the theme of life after death, this is an excellent track overall. 3. Embryo: A very brief instrumental sequence featuring violin playing, this is a good track but hurt severely by its brevity. 4. Children of the Grave: Hard track with an excellent variety of sounds, it's only natural this became a Sabbath classic. 5. Orchid: Another brief instrumental, this one features some acoustic guitar playing. Short but still pleasing. 6. Lord of This World: Another hard rocker, here we get both heavy and melodic stuff. 7. Solitude: Extremely slow, soft, and melodic. Yep, even Sabbath has a soft side. 8. Into the Void: Hard rocker with an extended instrumental opening. Ozzy's vocals here are killer. // 8

Overall Impression: The Sabs third album is no doubt their sludgiest and heaviest. It's supersonic and powerful, thick, almost leaden riffs display a terrific raw energy. More complete than the band's second recording, Paranoid, which seems to have significant holes in composition; Master is a masterful collection of songs made only more incredibly by Tony Iommi's superb guitar and Ozzy's fantastic, almost demonlike voice. // 8

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overall: 9.3
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: powerage225, on august 09, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Defenitly a classic, probly the purest sabbath sound other than the first album. Very heavy, even though this CD isnt as loud as other CDs, I'd like to see a Sabbath remasters series other than the rediculously expensive black box, but remember, heavy isn't about the volume-its about the music. // 10

Lyrics: Ozzy nailed it on this one. Very good and serious lyrics (but the exact opposite on sweet leaf). He brings it out more on songs like "After Forever" and "Children Of The Grave", but the other four are just simple heavy music, just how I like it. // 8

Overall Impression: Very good album. Put it on the 'must have' albums up with the first and second albums. The only place your money is waisted on are the two instrumentals, short and simple, nothing to brag about, unlike others by Sabbath such as "Rat Salad" and "Laguna Sunrise". But still, one of their best albums, 3rd in my opinion (Get Paranoid and Black Sabbath first). Gems stand out such as "Sweet Leaf" and "Children Of The Grave" of course, but dont forget "After Forever", "Into The Void" and one of my personal favorites, "Lord Of This World." Again, a classic album, dont pass it. // 10

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overall: 10
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 17, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is good, a few flaws but nothing especially bad. Master Of Reality is heavier than Sabbaths self-titled album and Paranoid and guitarist Tony Iommi really shows the listener his skills with killer riffs and blistering solos. Just listen to Sweet Leaf and Children Of The Grave and you'll get my point. Drummer Bill Ward and bassist Geezer Butler also does a very good job here. There are also 2 instrumental tracks here, and Orchid really lets every bandmember show their skills. Amazing. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are great on this album (with the exception of Sweet Leaf, it's about how great drugs are). After Forever is written to get off the satanic image of the band, it's about religion and it's really a great track. Ozzy does an amazing work on this album, he sings with very powerful voice and even sings softly and beautifully on Solitude. // 10

Overall Impression: Master Of Reality is my favorite Sabbath album ever. Featureing classics such as Sweet Leaf, Children Of The Grave and Into The Void, but also the underrated masterpiece Solitude. The only bad thing is that there are only 8 song from which 2 are short instrumentals. But who cares anyway, when all 6 long tracks rule more than anything. This is definitley worth your money and if you like Sabbath you won't be dissapointed at all! // 10

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overall: 10
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: Drewfedorka, on july 14, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound, is a little outdated but it works perfectly with Black Sabbath, because when I think of Sabbath (with Ozzy) I think of the seventies recording sound and thats just what I'm used to. I wouldn't want it any other way. The riffs are awesome. Exactly what you konw Tony Iommi will deliver. The opening riffs are impossible to forget especially on "Sweet Leaf," "Children Of The Grave," "After Tommorow" and the best riff of them all, "Into The Void." The solos are very bluesy and smooth, always fitting the song perfectly. Ozzy's voice fits perfectly here. Bill Ward backs up Tony and Ozzy with excellent drumming that adds to the overall sound, and Geezer holds down the bottom end with awesome bass riffs that you can hear just as clearly as the guitar. There are interesting acoustic songs, "Embryo" and "Orchid" that are brief changes from the constant headbanging I find myself doing. // 10

Lyrics: Typical stuff you expect Black Sabbath to sing about, mostly talks about subjects from a bleak perspective. The lyrics in "Children Of The Grave" do send an important message people should be aware of, it talks about how if this generation doesn't stop the threat of atomic warfare (remember this was written in 1972 when the Atomic Bomb was still the most powerful weapon) we will end up children of the grave. "Sweet Leaf" is a dedication to smoking pot (hence the name). Ozzy's singing is typical Ozzy, very limited vocal range, but works perfectly with Black Sabbath and I wouldn't want to hear anybody else sing it. // 10

Overall Impression: This by far is my favorite Black Sabbath album, most people find Paranoid as the best album but I just find this one to have a wider range in the content. From start to finish this album is excellent. It only gets better every time I hear it. It is extremely hard to pick a favorite song off this album just because they are all so good! If it were stolen I would without a doubt buy this CD again. // 10

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overall: 10
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: ratbollocks, on march 25, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: It has been said by some people that 'Master Of Reality' is a poor follow to the legendary album 'Paranoid'. Although, I think it is one of the best albums in Black Sabbath's history. The album has eight tracks, two of which are instrumentals. The band started to become a bit more experimental using flute on 'Solitude' and soft percusion and soft singing. Also this is the first recording with Tony and Geezer tuning down one-and-a-half steps to give a deep, sludgy wall of sound on tracks like 'Children Of The Grave' and Into The Void'. The album shows good instrumental work from Bill, Geezer, and Tony. // 10

Lyrics: This album is some of Geezer's best lyric material. Especially 'Children Of The Grave' and 'Into The Void'. In 'Children Of The Grave', Ozzy sings about if todays generation don't make difference they will live in a world of hate, death, and doom. Tony Iommi also took part in the song writing, writing 'After Forever' talking about releigon. Ozzy's singing skills have improved on this album since 'Black Sabbath' with a bit more vocal range. Ozzy's mono-tone groan goes so well together with Iommi and Butler's guitars. // 10

Overall Impression: This is an awesome album and I think it competes closly with 'Paranoid' and upcoming 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' It's strongest songs are 'Children Of The Grave', 'Into The Void', and 'After Forever'. There really is not a bad track on the album. If it were stolen I would defiantly go and get a new copy. To sum it up, this is one of the best metral albums ever! // 10

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overall: 9.7
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: Johnny Blade, on june 19, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The bands sound on this album is legendary. Probably the real beginning of metal music. With Tony and Geezer tuning down their guitars 2 full steps making that real heavy distorted guitar sound. Sweet Leaf on of the best metal songs of all time, with alot of todays nu metal bands doing a version of it themselves. After Forever a song about religion written by Tony Iommi. Embryo an instrumental piece written by Tony Iommi. Children Of The Grave another one of metal musics timeless classics that will never die and possibly one of Tony's best ever riffs. Orchid an acoustic instrumental piece written by Tony Iommi. Lord Of This World another great riff by Tony Iommi and a song that seems to be written about Satan? Solitude, very similar to the Planet Caravan song on the Paranoid album, but probably better lyrics on this song. Into The Void, another one of Sabbath's best ever tunes and great riff. Kickass solo in it aswell. // 10

Lyrics: The lyric content in this album is slightly apart from any other Sabbath album. Sweet Leaf obviously being about drugs, After Forever being about religion, Embryo is instrumental, Children Of The Grave is about the children of the present and future, Orchid is another instrumental number. Lord Of This World is about Satan I believe, Solitude sounds like it is about love, Into The Void is about rockets and space travel. Ozzy sound marvellous on this album, some of his best ever work. // 9

Overall Impression: This would have to be my most favorite Black Sabbath album to date. The most impressive songs on this album for me are Into The Void, Sweet Leaf and Children Of The Grave. If it were lost or stolen I would buy it again straight away. I also reccomend this to any metal music fans as this is the beginning of metal in itself. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Master Of Reality Reviewed by: bobthebum16, on june 05, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok this is the album is said to be the heaviest Sabbath album. I bought and I think it is and its kind of a change from there last album. Although it may have heavier songs like "Into the Void," "Children of the Grave," and "Sweet Leaf" it also had two instrumentals "Embryo" and "Orchid." "Orchid" is the instrumental I really liked. It aslo had a slow song called "Solitude" that had the same effects on the voice as the slow song from Paranoid called "Planet Caravan" but the change in this is that they use a flute in "Solitude" I like "Solitude" more that "Planet Caravan." // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics were about different things. "Sweet Leaf" is about his love for weed. "Into the Void" I think is about global warming and things like that. And "Solitude" I think is a sad song about being alone. Ozzy, the lead singer, sounds the same as any other album. I personally don't think he is a good singer. But who needs a good voice for rock right? haha. But I'm giving this a nine because of ozzy's voice. I love his music but listen to his voice compared to Dio's // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this is a GREAT album. I love it and it's a classic for sure. Different styles of music are in this album. Some flute in "Solitude" and a classical instrumental "Orchid." My favorite songs on this album are "Sweet Leaf," "Lord of this World," "Solitude," "Orchid," and "Into the Void." This is an 8 track album and 5 of them are my favorites and the other 3 I still like. If someone like every song and most of them are favorites it's a great album! // 10

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