Sound — 9
This is some different stuff. When I heard the opening riff to "Wheels Of Confusion" I was instantly relaxed all of the sudden, it was kind of scary in a way. That opening riff sets the mood for the album. Vo. 4 still has heavy songs like "Supernaut" and "Snowblind" but also has some experimental stuff like "Laguna Sunrise". Like I said about the opening riff, the album is heavy very chilled out, but it's still heavy, kind of like how "Sweat Leaf" was on "Master Of Reality". This album features more diverse riffs from guitarist Tony Iommi and exceptional drumming by Bill Ward. The only thing that is missing is that the insane bass, wich is done by Geezer Butler, seems to be either mixed too low on some songs or not their at all. I really like the addition of strings and piano on this album, although some people found that Blac Sabbath experimenting with their music has a path down the wrond road I really enjoyed and thought it was just a step above (experimentally) it's predecessor.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are once again penned by Geezer Butler who writes about topics such as drug addiction "Snowblind" and losing a loved one "Changes". On this album Ozzy's vocals still have a creepy tone about them, but he sings much more melodically on some songs. The vocals on "Changes" sounds awesome and is part of what makes the songs so great. The lyrics are also a lot more diverse on this album then any other before it, wich is a nice change.
Overall Impression — 9
Right away, when I heard "Wheels Of Confussion" I knew I was in store for something different and I couldnt be happier to hear abit of change. There's lots of different things on this album including strings and pianoes but also the heavy catchy riffs that are found on other Sabbath albums. The best songs have to be "Wheels Of Confusion", "Supernaut", "Snowblind" and "Changes". My favourite thing about this album is probably the developpment of Ozzy's vocals and the chill atmosphere. It may be abit to hard to get into for fans of th older stuff but it's still definitly one of Sabbath's greats.