Sound — 10
The Black Box is an essential purchase for anyone who is a big fan of the Ozzy era Black Sabbath. This set contains all 8 of Black Sabbaths studio albums (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Masters of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ectasy, Never Say Die), a 77 page book, and a DVD. The CDs have all been remastered, and sound better than ever. The earlier albums that suffered from poor sound quality (in my opinion), all sound excellent. Tonys guitar sounds, quite simply, amazing. It was this man who invented heavy metal with his brutal and deadly riffs, and this remastered collection really does him justice. The rest of the band sound excellent too. Geezers bass sounds incredible, as does Bills druming. In case you can't tell, I really like the sound.
Lyrics — 10
Despite most peoples beliefs, Gezzer wrote the majority of the songs. And he definatley wrote some of the best lyrics around. Songs about sex, drugs, and rock n roll, doom, gloom and death, this is what heavy metal is all about. Ozzy haunting screem fits in so well with the music, it has to be heard to realise the beauty of it. Ozzy was the original heavy metal singer, and after so many years, remains the best.
Overall Impression — 10
01. Black Sabbath - the band's first album, and one of the best. This album set the foundations for metal. 10/10. Best songs - Black Sabbath, Wasp, Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Bassically, NIB. 02. Paranoid - bar none, this is the greatest metal album ever. After nearly 35 years since it's release, nothing has came close. Any rock/metal fans should have this in their collection, no excuses. It also has my favourite Sabbath song, War Pigs. 10/10. Best songs - War Pigs, Paranoid. 03. Master Of Reality - my second favourite album from Sabbath. Tony is on fire on this album, and lyrically, this is probablly their best. 10/10. Best songs - After Forever, Children Of The Grave. 04. Vol. 4 - not as good as the previous 3 albums, but still miles better than most other bands. This album contains the only song by Ozzy era Sabbath I don't like, FX, which is bassically just Tony goofing around with some effects. 8/10. Best songs - Snowblind, Changes. 05. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - a more powerful album than Vol. 4, this has what many fans believe to be the finest Sabbath song, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The album is generally more experimental than any previous albums, seeing as it is the first to contain keyboards. 9/10. Best songs - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Spiral Architect. 06. Sabotage - another brilliant album from the boys. Although tensions were begining to build between the band, the music did not suffer. 8/10. Best songs - Hole In The Sky, Symptom Of The Universe. 07. Technical Ectasy - this is were things began to go wrong. This is easily the worst from the band. Although good, it is not as good as the rest of the bands albums. 7/10. Best Songs - Rock N' Roll Doctor, Dirty Women. 08. Never Say Die - better than Technical Ectasy. Still not as good as the first 6, but still a very good CD. 8/10. Best Songs - Never Say Die, A Hard Road. DVD - this is the low point of the set. 4 videos (Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Iron Man, and a cover, Blue Suede Shoes, although I'm not sure who originally wrote it) which are used by MTV as music videos. That's it. But this DVD isn't the selling point of the set anyway, so it doesn't matter too much. It wouldn't have hurt to have put some interviews with the band or something like that on it though. 4/10. The Book - very good. The band talk about each album, an deverything in between. Well worth reading. 9/10. The box itself looks really good, although it's a little hard to read the writing on it. Basically, if your a big fan of Sabbath, you need this. If your someone who wants to see where heavy metal started, you'd be better off buying the greatest hits, just in case you don't like them. Which won't happen. Black Sabbath not only started heavy metal, but are the best band in the genre. Trully amazing.