Sound — 9
It was a refreshing experience upon my first listen to this album to hear the classic sound of the original line-up once again. It was a very nice return indeed. The band sound fresh and invigorated, apart from a few vocal slip ups by Ozzy, their sound is truly magnificent. It was a good move on Iommi's part to tune to E flat to compliment Ozzy's voice. This album is chock full of all the greats you expect to hear; Iron Man, Paranoid, War Pigs, Sweet Leaf and even N.I.B including Geezers Bassically solo. While the brummie lads relied heavily on the greats, they produced deeper cuts such as Spiral Architect, Dirty Women and Behind The Wall Of Sleep. This album ends with two brand new studio tracks, Psycho Man and Selling My Soul. Both songs are classic in terms of sound, featuring vintage Tony riffing and Ozzy wailing, but on the flipside arguably suffer from questionable lyrics. None the less, the band overall sound like the fire has been recaptured.
Lyrics — 8
Ozzy's singing is great on this album. As I mentioned earlier, Tony tuned to E flat, to accomodate Ozzy's voice. While he could not hit the high notes like he used to, Ozzy still played out his role very well. There are some audible screw ups, but in this situation the good certainly outweighs the bad, it is nothing to cry about. On the new tracks, his voice is once again great. While his voice is great, the lyrics on them are not so much. They are pretty average on these two. On the plus side though the lyrics definitely suit the sonic backdrops. Ozzy's voice is most impressive I think on Snowblind.
Overall Impression — 9
In comparison to Past Lives, this album holds up very well, partially due to it's far better recording. While I would have prefered other songs from their catalogue to be on this album, it was wise to stick with the tried and tested greats. My favourite songs are War Pigs, N.I.B and Snowblind. These performances are most certainly comparable to their performances in their 70's prime. It is worthy to note that Iron Man from Reunion won a grammy, at the time 30 years or so after it's initial release.