Sound — 10
The band that started heavy metal... there was nothing like this before. This album is the epitome of heavy metal, this and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The sound is slow and dreary, Tony Iommi and Geezer's musical chemistry is evident as their guitars meld together and push each other away during various riffs. Bill Ward's drumming isn't a big feature, but it was never part of the plan, they're more a guitar band then a mix of guitar and drums. War Pigs, Iron Man and Fairies Wear Boot are excellent heavy metal songs. The title track, Paranoid, still gets played around the world today, it's simplistic, good old headbanging feel is universal while Ozzy moans about the dark side of the human mind. The whole album has a dark, gloomy, gothic feel to it. Pretty much all metal is built around the foundations of Black Sabbath, and this album is testament to that. Any music fans who like good solid metal should pick this up.
Lyrics — 10
Ozzy's wailing voice is suited to no other band, there is a formula that these four guys have that few bands can match. Ozzy's voice touches the soul like not many other voices can, his unique sound perfectly suits the gothic styling to the albums, the dark and dreary heavy metal match with Ozzy's haunting voice produces a sound like no other. Geezer's excellent writing, inspired by a fascination of Satanism and the Occult, mixed with warnings about the use of drugs and war, make for some memorable lyrics. The lyrics reflect real things, real feeling and real emotions, so people can relate to it, I know I did. Not many people know that Ozzy didn't write the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
Paranoid is probably the greatest overall metal album of all time. So many artists credit Black Sabbath for their inspiration, and their reason for taking up music. Older bands like Metallica and Megadeth and Anthrax to new acts like Disturbed and Opeth all draw from what the original Black Sabbath line up layed down 30 years ago. I love this album for it's heavy blues roots, and the fact that the lyrics mean something to me because it's real, not like some metal acts who sing about things that really don't make sense. If I ever lost it, I think I'd break down and cry, it was definitely a big inspiration for me to take up guitar, and I'm 16, so the music definately breaches boundaries. There are no real individual standout songs, because all the songs are so damn good that I can't pick the best. Probably War Pigs, Fairies Wear Boots and Iron Man are the standouts. The whole album is just solid metal, it's all very good. It's definitely worth buying for any metal fan, to find out the roots of just about all metal out there for no other reason. It's just a damn good album all round. Breathtaking...