Sabotage Review

artist: black sabbath date: 01/20/2011 category: compact discs
black sabbath: Sabotage
Released: Aug 1975
Genre: Rock
Styles: Album Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Number Of Tracks: 9
Sabotage attempted to continue the evolution begun with 1973's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but somewhat lacked its focus.
 Sound: 8.7
 Lyrics: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.8 
 Users rating:
 9.1 
 Votes:
 42 
reviews (6) 18 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Sabotage Reviewed by: Xinlitik, on february 19, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sabotage is quite possibly the best Sabbath album produced. It contains Iommi's trademark heavy sound, but introduces a lot more fast playing than in some of the previous albums. It really shows the band's progression into its true calling. If you actually pay attention to the songs, you'll find that each one tells a very intricate and interesting story. For instance, The Writ is about the band's managers who completely ripped them off. I'll leave the rest for you to figure out. // 10

Lyrics: I can sum up the singing in two words: Ozzy Osbourne. Of course, this wouldn't be much of a review if I did. Anyway, Geezer did a beautiful job with the lyrics, as usual. The song Thr Thrill of It All still gives me a rush every time I listen to it. Lyrical genius, I say. I can't see any possible way for the lyrics to fit the music any more. Simply perfection. // 10

Overall Impression: Keep in mind that this is Black Sabbath that we're dealing with the single greatest metal band of all time. This is, in my opinion, their crowning achievement. A simply amazing list of songs. There is even some strange (but still quite interesting) music on the album, namely the song Supertzar, an instrumental. I've heard that this was Iommi experimenting with his style. The album ranges from the sweetly heavy Symptoms of the Universe, which completely turns around with a jazzy ending, to the epic Megalomania and the strange (that's the best word) Am I Going Insane. I highly suggest purchasing this album if you have not already. The magic of Black Sabbath will flow out of your speakers! // 10

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overall: 6
Sabotage Reviewed by: smb, on march 09, 2005
1 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: The album opens with one of Sabbath's heaviest tracks - Hole In The Sky. This one will stick in the heads of anyone accustomed to metal. It ends abruptly, but listening to the ends of songs on Paranoid it's evident that genius he may be, Iommi can't come up with a good song ending. Next is the accoustic interlude Don't Start (Too Late) which is short and sweet, leading into Symptom of the Universe, in my opinion Sabbath's best song. From there on, however, the album can't recover its earlier pace. Megalomania and Thrill of it All make no impact, and Am I Going Insane is simply terrible. It suffers from too many effects, synth overkill and just plain irritating. The Writ is not bad, but is far removed from anything from the first few records. So, 5/5 for the forst three tracks, 2/5 for the next few, 1/5 for Insane and 3/5 for the last song. // 6

Lyrics: It's Ozzy. I'd rather hear less efects on his voice, but it's typical Ozzy vocals. He hasn't got the most variation, or the best range but that somehow doesn't stop Hole in the Sky sounding simply amazing. You already know if you'll like or hate the vocals. Geezer Butler wrote most of the lyrics. It isn't exactly Homer, but they're grat to sing along to, memorable and suit the mood of the music. // 8

Overall Impression: This record simply does not compare to Sabbath at their best. Hole in the Sky and Symptom of the Universe rule, so download them or get a copy of the Best Of. Buy any of their earlier albums instead of this one, (or better still some Kyuss) because they are in a different league. There's no classic singles like Paranoid, no epic jams like Warning and no chill-out tracks like Planet Caravan. // 4

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overall: 10
Sabotage Reviewed by: Drewfedorka, on march 04, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I've heard a person say that Black Sabbath's last good record was Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Well I gotta tell you that Sabotage is probably my second favorite Sabbath record (behind Masters Of Reality which is just unbeatable). First of all Tony Iommi's riffs are as good as ever. They are just as heavy if not heavier than some of his previous work. "Hole In The Sky" is one of Sabbath's strongest songs with one of Tony's catchiest riffs. "Symptom Of The Universe" is completely amazing and in a league of its own. The riff is one of the heaviest riffs I've ever heard and considering that the song is over 30 years old, for it to still sound heavy compared to todays music. Tony must have been doing something right. Then theres the solo of "Symptom" which is without a doubt Tony's best solo work, it's so fast sounding compared to his older more bluesy and "sludgy" sounding solos. "Megalomania" follows "Symptom" and is truely an epic. It is just astounding how that song unfolds as it goes along, gets my attention every time I hear it. Then a few songs later comes "Superstar" which is definelty something else. It's pretty much instrumental except for a choir like chant in the background. Its a really cool song. The there is "Am I Going Insane" which doesn't have any trademark Tony riffs and is alittle to pop for my taste but it still is a really catchy song. The last song of the album is "The Writ" which is also an epic, it's really a great album ender and unfolds as it goes along similar to "Megalomania." I don't know why so many people dislike this album, it has some amazing songs, and finds Sabbath trying new things. // 10

Lyrics: Its Ozzy Osbourne, how can you not like it? The most recognizable voice in rock and roll history. His singing is definelty stronger than some of their earlier albums, you can definelty hear him really giving it his all. On "Symptom Of The Universe" Ozzy singing is so strong that you actually believe every word he says. Naturally Geezer's lyrics are as good as ever, and include some really thought provking topics. I still wonder to this day how he comes up with some of the stuff that he does. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said before this is one of Sabbath's best albums. They are anything but past their prime on this record and they show new colors that nobody knew they had. Of course there are a few short instrumentals like on many of the Sabbath records which is really an interesting change from the heavy stuff. I can't say I hate anything on the album, "Am I Going Insane" is probably the weakest song on the album just because they tried to make a song that would be popluar to the mainstream public, in that song there is no cool riffs and no specific solo. They tried too hard to get a song on the radio. The only other thing that misses the mark slightly is the album cover, its just so weird looking. Other than that though it is a great cd. If this cd was stolen I would go out and buy a new one first chance I got. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Sabotage Reviewed by: PaulieIommi, on january 12, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sabotage continues Black Sabbath's ventures beyond their traditional doom n' gloom sound. It showcases a band in their prime, the riffs are hard and heavy, the grooves are powerful and Ozzy's voice is at it's best. This album is a mix of hard rock, metal, and more experimental tracks such as Am I Going Insane (Radio). Hole In The Sky opens the album, a stomping hard rock number with a top-notch riff, perfect selection to open the album. The sudden halt to Hole In The Sky gives weigh to the acoustic instrumental Don't Start (Too Late), a mellow little number. the next song is probably the main reason why the album is notable. Symptom Of the Universe is the next track. A very metal song, very dark and harkens back to the early years. The main riff in this song is credited to being the first ever thrash metal riff, this song is certainly a monster. The end of the track is certainly a contrast, as the song segues into a gentle acoustic section, with lyrics about love. The next track is most definitely my favourite song off this album, and one of my all time favourite Sabbath songs. Megalomania is a very very dark song. The opening few notes to the song set the very haunting tone. Coupled with the vocal effects used by Ozz, the mood is definitely set to ''evil''. As the song progresses, there is a change of course. Tony, with the sound of cowbell in the background, rips into one of his all time meanest riffs. Certainly one of their most impressive songs. The Thrill Of It All is next, a song that continues the hard rock sound. A good song, but far from fantastic. It features some nice riffing and vocals. The next song is the instrumental Supertzar. This song features a choir, and some sweet riffing by Tony. Tony's riffing is easily the most consistent aspect of this album, he has something great to offer on every single track, especialy the main riff in Supertzar. The next song is the experimental Am I Going Insane (Radio). While I am not a fan of this song at all really, their willingness to tinker with their sound must be applauded. This helped them to stay fresh and not stagnate. The next song is The Writ, another one of my favourite songs. There is a lot going om in ths song. The song begins with a very cool and psychadelic bass line from Geezer, and suddenly the drums, guitar and vocals kick in. Very nice intro. The song as a whole is slow to mid-tempo, as usual for the brummie lads. Similarly to Megalomania, this song features a gentle acoustic piece that seemingly spawns from nowhere. It is very soft and gentle. A great choice on which to end the album. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics in this album are consistently brilliant, even on the lesser songs, their lyrics are a major highlight of this record, from Hole In The Sky straight through to The Writ. Need I say more? I consider this album to be Ozzy's all time classic vocal album. His vocals are simply amazing on this album. The tone of his voice conveys a lot, you feel the emotion very clearly. His voice is best on Megalomania, closely followed by Symptom Of The Universe. Ozz hits some very high notes on this album, very impressive altogether. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is very unique in the Sabbath catalogue, it has it's own voice and completely own sound. It compares well to the earlier records but it suffers from some level of inconsistency. Still, a very powerful sounding collecton here. I love Megalomania, The Writ, Symptom Of The Universe and Hole In The Sky the most, and I dislike Am I Going Insane the most. This album holds a special place in my music collection and would definitely purchase I again if it were misplaced. Buy it! // 9

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overall: 9.3
Sabotage Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 02, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: By the mid '70s we all know that Black Sabbath was only a shell of their selves, at least in comparison to the original three albums, but this does not mean that Sabbath did not kick ass. They may sound distant a really, really depressed (at least more than usual), this again does not diminish their talent. It's very distant and abstract with no real focus, once the first few tracks are over, it begins to sound the same and turns more into ambiance than the heavy metal we're all used to. // 9

Lyrics: Ozzy, at this point, still had moderate use of his vocal range and Geezer is still pumping out very intelligent and witty lyrics but, Tony Iommi's more progressive influence, the begins of which are heard on Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath, truly come to a head and overshadow all else; it's still Sabbath but something seems to be missing. // 9

Overall Impression: Despite being what some people refer to as the last true Black Sabbath album, it still shines compared to their contemporaries works at the time; i.e. Presence - Led Zeppelin and Come Taste The Band - Deep Purple. Iommi, Geezer, and Bill Ward's virtuosity is very evident and at its high point in this album. I rather disliked their attempt at a dance hit; which did pretty well, but thats about all I didn't like. If this album were stolen (alright, I'll conform) I'd probably go and get a new copy, use a large caliber assault rifle to hunt the theif down and well, you know. // 10

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overall: 8
Sabotage Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on january 20, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's obvious that every band isn't perfect. I am usually the first to say: "Yes there is. Listen to Black Sabbath." However, upon listening to their 6th studio album, Sabotage, I can see actually one blemish in Sabbath's brilliant and overwhelming career. I am not saying that this album is bad, per se, but it certainly was the weakest album of the Ozzy era. The band's guitarist, Tony Iommi, was wholly disappointed at this stage in the band's development. Albeit successful, Sabbath's previous album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, marked a change in the band's sound; something that Iommi did not want to pursue. Furthermore, he made it known to the rest of the band that he wanted to approach a straight rock album, and that's what the band did.The album opens with Hole In The Sky, a bombastic shocker of an opener, a seemingly philosophical song and one of my favourite songs on the album and I feel it's one the best things the band ever did. It's also a song that Ozzy wouldn't sing often after the album's tour as its too high for him. Then Don't Start (Too Late) follows, an acoustic instrumental that we are used to get from the band by this point in their history. It's not bad but I think that the other instrumental song, Supertzar is so epic here that it makes this one forgettable. Symptom Of The Universe is next, highly memorable for being one of the first true heavy metal riff, the song is just amazing as it gets to an acoustic part and then gets back to the heavy riff topped with Ozzy's screaming vocals. Megalomania is not cited often when Sabbath is talked about, it's the band's shorter songs that take the credit, but this is something else. It's a masterpiece that is hard to describe, it's great and then it gets even better as it switches to another tempo and an evil voice sings with Ozzy, then there's the solo and then it gets even faster until the conclusion, you're just left sitting there realising you've heard something amazing. Thrill Of It All is a slow rocker, it's not one the high points of the album but it's still pretty good. Supertzar is an epic instrumental talked about earlier, it's just so mysterious with the choir at the beginning and you just have the riff and some percussion at some places and that's it. You just have this intriguing title and that's it. Am I Going Insane (Radio) is Ozzy's showcase, it's him alright as he sings "tell me people, am I going Insane?" it's a great song you get a feeling here of what he would be doing in his solo career. Some may be intrigued by the (Radio) mention, it's actually british slang. // 8

Lyrics: Interesting read. Ozzy could not be any more peaceful and spiritual in his writings. It's really a shame that he's perceived as the anti-christ, when his lyrics are actually speaking of being on terms with God and personal, reflective journeys. Speaking literally, Black Sabbath were one of the more prominent 'know thyself' bands of the 1970s. Read along to the songs sometime. You really might be surprised to learn what these guys are all about. // 8

Overall Impression: By most accounts, Black Sabbath's stride began to waver a bit with the release of Sabotage. In strictly relative terms that may be true. Any band is bound to peak sooner or later, and Sabotage is clearly the day after. No new ground is broken and the performances occasionally lack Sabbath's typically tight delivery. Nonetheless, Sabotage stands quite nicely on its own merits and offers enough to keep any fan happy. On no other album will you find Bill Ward working as hard as he does pounding out Symptom of the Universe. Megalomania is an unheralded classic, displaying great production and quintessential Sabbath song construction. The rest of the album includes similar efforts except Supertzar which is just weird and ends, thankfully, before it ever really begins. For the most part Black Sabbath is guilty only of resting on their laurels, but, given their credentials at this point, zero growth isn't necessarily a bad thing. // 8

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