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Release Date: Sep 1972
Label: Warner Bros.
Genres: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal, Album Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 is just a cut below its two indisputably classic predecessors, as it begins to run out of steam and memorable riffs toward the end.
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4
unregistered, on january 09, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is the hard rock pioneer, Black Sabbath's, appropriatly named fourth album. As you would expect, Its a whole lot of head banging music and shouty vocals, however there's a whole other side of Black Sabbath expressed in this album never seen before in the previous releases. More Specifically, "Changes" and "Laguna Sunrise" are a complete 360 compared to other stuff you might have heard by them. This album also contains its fair share of hard rock of course, it's just those tracks get the most attention. As far as the more routine songs go there's even some changes made in style there too. Generally up to this album, there was a large blues/jazzy swing on songs. Now there's some deviance into more straightforward rock music.
The album opens with "Wheels Of Confusion/The Straightener" which is about as basic as it gets, one note through the verse. Ozzy, on the other hand has a very neat part here, but the guitar is louder and drowns out his voice and frankly gets rather annoying after a few minutes, but the song makes a serious comeback after the second verse where they add all sorts of elements including a Jazz style jam and then onto a section resembling the intro and exits into the song's remarkable solo. Next we have "Tommarow's Dream" which is a little more reasonable length-wise at 3:00 Iommi is taken down a tad in volume and has a cool riff here, Ozzy shines again with a great vocal line. good main riff and a very easy song to get into, naturally it was the single. The solo is actually fairly basic. Now there's the first experimental track, "Changes". This one starts with a piano. Ozzy really tried in this one, and he did a good job, adding minor vibrato in parts. The recording helped Ozzy out here by making his voice in the chorus sound distant. The whole song flows very nicely and is one of this albums masterpieces.
Next there's "FX" which really isn't a song at all. It sounds like Iommi was just messing around and wanted to share something cool he made, which is nice but I'm not going to rate this one on account of it not being a song. Now we're to one of my all-time favorite songs, "Supernaut". This one has a genius main riff, with emphasis on vocals in the right spots and guitar in the others, the Cymbal crashes and ultimatly, perfectly timed drum work actually bring Ward into the complements I'm dousing this masterpiece with. Ozzy's vocals rule as usual, the song seems made for him. "Snowblind," the album's intended title song. This song has a great, memorable guitar line, but Bill's drums are rather loud and put too much emphasis on the powerchords during the chorus, which makes them sound more punctuated then they actually are. Aside from that minor flaw, Iommi illustrates his guitar virtuosso with one of the greatest solos I've ever heard. Ozzy has some of his best work on here, and Geezer's lyrics are some of his best.
"Cornucopia," a more traditional Sabbath song. It has a doomy feel to it. Everybodies instruments seem at the proper volume here cept' Geezer who appears to have been left out of this album. He makes up for it with great lyrics as usual. On to the albums instrumental, "Laguna Sunrise." The song has a neat acoustic guitar line, and a very neat theme to it. One of the album's highlights, it's a great addition to Sabbath's repratoire and shows that they can do more than powerchords and cymbal crashes. I think it starts too sudden though, usually Sabbath songs like that tend to have an intro or something to start it off properly. "St. Vitus Dance" has more volume troubles. The guitar here is louder than everybody else's stuff. The guitar line, however, is alot better than the One-note thing on "Wheels Of Confusion" so its more bearable. As the title states, it has a dancy feel to it, but includes no soloing which is a bit of a let-down, but it takes a few listens to even notice that its missing. "Under The Sun/Everyday Comes And Goes" starts with those giant down-tuned powerchords, gives me goosebumps. Ozzy and Iommi rule through here as usual, and the trademark doom sound rings clear. usually songs with a lyrical basis like this one are a huge let down to me, its boring and over-used and whether or not it was in the '70s is irrelevant to me, but Geezer does a good job here. Bill Ward does a fine job here as well, well worth mentioning. The next part is reminiscant of the classic Sabbath song "NIB." The solo over this part is just amazing, anything you hear about Iommi being a guitar legend is probably 100% true, he really is amazing at what he does. // 8
Lyrics: Geezer wrote 'em and Ozzy sang them, need I say more? // 10
Overall Impression: This marks Sabbath's first full-length compositions that include more than doomy hard rock (not that that's bad though). The best songs would have to be "Supernaut," "Changes" and "Laguna Sunrise," though I think that "Under The Sun" should get an honorable mention as well. I like this album because it was my first Sabbath album that I actually bought (I downloaded a best of previous to buying it). Also compared to the Ozzy-era Sabbath stuff I've heard, there's a great balance on here. The downsides however, would be the apparent volume troubles heard at parts in the songs. I didn't like "Snowblind" for a while because the drumming would give me headaches, also Geezers Bass seems to have disappeared during this album, and a second guitar was used a lot more. All in all its a great album and one of the finest in my collection, If stolen or lost I would probably pout for a while (unless I knew who took it) and definatly buy a new one. // 9
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4
krymson, on december 27, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 9
Overall Impression: 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. // 9
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4
black-sabbath, on june 02, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Once again, another heavy album from the creators of Metal. This one's from 1973. Tony has come up with some great riffs on this, like Tomorrow's Dream, Under The Sun, Snowblind and Wheels of Confusion. Most of the songs have the same cool guitar tone, and I really like it. Ozzy's singing is great, as always and same goes for Geezer and Bill. A few songs on this album have cool melodic parts (like in Snowblind). I don't know why, but these parts feel really emotional to me. // 9
Lyrics: I've always liked how the lyrics and music fit together in Sabbath songs. This album is no exception. The lyrics and music fit eachother's mood and fit very well. Ozzy can do the "sad" songs very well and you feel the emotion. Another successful album lyrically by Geezer Butler. // 8
Overall Impression: This is another great Sabbath album. My favourite songs on this are Under the Sun and Snowblind, but most of the rest are really good too. FX is clearly the weakest song on this album, and it's a mistake, just a filler, really. Even though most people probably won't like Laguna Sunrise (it's an acoustic instrumental), I respect it. It's a calming song and shows the playing skill of the band. There's a very wide range of songs on this, from Changes to Under The Sun, something for everyone! // 8