Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Review

artist: Black Sabbath date: 08/25/2014 category: compact discs
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Released: Dec 1, 1973
Genre: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
Label: Vertigo
Number Of Tracks: 8
With "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" Black Sabbath made a concerted effort to raise their creative stakes and dispensed unprecedented attention to the album's production, arrangements, and even the cover artwork.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 8 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Reviewed by: SethMegadefan, on march 07, 2005
6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's no doubt that Black Sabbath is the most important band in all of metal. It would just be silly to argue that. No other band even comes close when you're looking at important bands of the metal genre. And it's also no doubt metal is what Sabbath does, and they do it pretty damn good. "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is an album simply to fall in love with. Every single track has its moments, and each track is as crucial to the album as the next. One of the very few albums where every single song can be so damn good. As always, this album serves up the classic Sabbath heavy sound. Grungy, heavy, and awesome are the only words I know to describe it. Most (if not all) of the album is in super down-tuning (correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it's either C# or Cb). Probably the lowest tuning I've ever heard ever; especially throughout the course of a whole album. But it doesn't by any means make the album any worse. In many ways (and I know most of you will agree with me on this one), Sabbath just would't be Sabbath without Tony having to always tune down. Down-tuning tends to create a much heavier, darker sound, and heavy and dark are what Sabbath are best at. // 10

Lyrics: I've never really known Sabbath to make brilliant, jaw-dropping lyrics, but then again they're never all that bad, either. I really can't rip them for writing bad lyrics, because in truth there's nothing to complain about. After all, metal music (or even rock music in general) doesn't necessarily have a lyric-friendly reputation. I'll just say that Sabbath's lyrics are a hell of a lot better (not to mention more thought out) than a lot of bands at that time or even of the present day. // 8

Overall Impression: Personally, this is my favorite Sabbath album. I don't care how great everybody thinks "Paranoid" was, because any one of the tracks on here blow "Iron Man" right out of the water. It's as simple as that. I can't really pick a favorite song from the album. The whole album basically has something for everyone. From the acoustic instrumental track, "Fluff," to possibly the heaviest song ever written, "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," to the wonderful depiction of the futuristic environment in "Spiral Architect," there's something here for metalheads of all kinds (and for you nu-metal geeks; you may learn a thing or two from listening to these guys). So, even though most metal music gets a bad rap because so many bands have abused its reputation, Black Sabbath is still the real deal and this is as close to a perfect metal album as you're ever going to get. // 10

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overall: 8
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Reviewed by: krymson, on december 04, 2006
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album differs from Black Sabbath's other albums. After volume 4, the band wished to try something abit different. You will still find classic style sabbath songs like the title track and "A National Acrobat". You will also find sme very different style songs like "Sabbra Cadabra" which is an up-tempo rock song featuring some of the catchiest riffs Iommi has ever made, although the instrumental "Fluff" is a bit boring. The production on the album is a bit of a let down though, the recording quality sounds really poor. Like previous album it features Geezer Butler's awesome bass lines and Bill Ward'ds monstrous drum fills. Also, Ozzy's voice is not the creepiest as it used to be but he is still at the top of his game. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics and this album are slightly more diverse then on other sabbath album's. "Sabbra Cadabra" is a happy go-lucky love song with some pretty great lyrics that are very different from other sabbath songs. "A National Acrobat" is about life after death, and the title track is about frustraion and the feeling of betrayal. The lyrics fit the songs very well, if t's a dark depresson song, Iommi delivers the right riffs to suit the situation. Ozzy's vocals are very clear on this album, and he manages to hit some very high notes on "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Killing Yourself To Live". // 9

Overall Impression: Out of the first 5 Sabbath album's, this is the first to strive away from Sabbath's ussual sound while still delevering the goods to older fans, it is much more diverse then any of the albums before it. The album starts off great with "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "A National Acrobat" but the instrument "Fluff" is abit boring, although very chill. "Killing Yourself To Live" definitly has it's moments but the album goes downhill from there. The only thing I really hate about this album is how it's starts off great and then just goes downhill. the songs near the end of the album aren't bad, they're just very different from the normal Sabbath style and takes awhile for them to grow on you. I would recommend this to someone who is lookinf for something that is diferent from you would normally expect from Black Sabbath. // 7

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overall: 9.3
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Reviewed by: PaulieIommi, on december 23, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is an interesting album. It has quite a mix of songs, traditional Sabbath-style (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath), more uptempo rock songs (Sabbra Cadabra), and more experimental tracks (Who Are You? ). It also features a traditional Sabbath instrumental in the form of Fluff, which in later years became their intro tape at live gigs. Iommi, Geezer and Ward are all on absolute form, the riffs range from menacing and crushing to occasionally up-lifting and beautiful. Geezer, as always throughout his career is consistent, providing a very familiar sounding, powerful foundation to the tracks. Bill Wards drumming is as Geezers playing is, powerful, and laying a strong foundation to the songs. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are simply fantastic. In the Black Box book, Geezer Butler explains the lyrics to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath: "The lyrics to 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' were about the the Sabbath experience, the ups and downs, the good times and bad times, the rip-offs, the business side of it all. 'Bog blast all of you' was directed at the critics, the record business in general, the lawyers, the accountants, management and everyone who was trying to cash in on us. It was a backs-to-the-wall rant at everyone." Lyrics range from feel-good proclaimations of love (Sabbra Cadabra), enjoying life in a world gone mad (Spiral Architect), and questions of a God (Who Are You? ). The lyrics on this record seem to represent a change in lyrical style for Sabbath, to sometimes more up-lifting, positive subject matter. Ozzy's singing is wonderful on this album, particularly on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Killing Yourself To Live, and A National Acrobat. // 10

Overall Impression: This album compares very well to their other albums. While I do not find this album as consistent as Master Of Reality or Paranoid, it most definitely spawned some of their greatest songs. My favourite songs are firstly of course, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, A National Acrobat, Killing Yourself To Live, and Sabbra Cadabra. I am not a fan of the experimental Who Are You? but I admire their forward thinking state of mind with the music, that would come full circle on the last of the Ozzy era Sabbath albums. If it were stolen I would seek out the bastard who stole it and first degree murder him, but if I found myself unable to murder him, I would absolutely purchase it again. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Reviewed by: SteveArmourae, on august 25, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: There a particular reasons why "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" has it's distinctive sound. The band had just come back America following their most successful tour. Whist touring with "Volume 4" they are indulged in huge amounts of cocaine as can be seen noted on the back of the "Volume 4" album and the song "Snowblind." So they're back in England, in the studio, the biggest metal band in the world (Zep & Purple are more hard rock!) and they can't think of anything! They spend weeks in the studio and still can't think of anything. 

So Iommi takes them off to some caves, Chislehurst Caves I think, and as they are standing around he downtunes his guitar from dropped D by another full tone and strikes the riff to "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." The sound bounces off the rocks and reverberates against the hard surfaces. They had found the sound they were looking for. 

The deep downtuned metallic sound of the eponymous song dominates the album. To those new to this album will be surprised by the diversity of music styles, only on "Sabbra Cadabra" is there a similar heaviness and guitar sound. 

Tony Iommi had always wanted to pursue more complex melodies and harmonies from "Master of Reality" onwards. Ozzy complained in a guitar magazine interview he did in the 1990's with Zakk Wylde that Tony "would get a good headbanger going and then make things complex."

On the title song you can get a real good headbang and then chill to the acoustic jazz interlude before launching into even more intense headbanging if that's your thing. The song consists of two distinct styles: one of the greatest ever heavy metal riffs accompanied by drumming that is evocative of a pile driver smashing into tons of red hot metal which Tony and Bill had experienced working in heavy metal industrial factories. Bill's drumming is one of the most powerful sounds in any modern music.

Then there's the jazz acoustic guitar interludes which link the riffs, as wonderful melody in a major key and in a standard tuning which contrasts with the relentless minor key of the riffs. On the second verse where the riff returns listen for a second guitar in the background playing at higher pitch. It sounds similar to a violin having its notes forcibly wrung out. Unusual and very effective it's accompanied with Geezer's ascending bass scale. 

"A National Acrobat" is mid-slow tempo song with a very heavy sound emanating from the drums. Sounds like the sticks are being dropped onto the skins, a heavy sound with a very short reverb. The guitar riff is similar to Tudor music. Sabbath doing a madrigal. The second half of the song appears to be an improvisation indicating the problems the band had in coming up with ideas for this album. 

"Fluff" is an instrumental dedicated to the radio broadcaster Alan "Fluff" Freeman who was one of presenters who was a fan of their music. It's a gentle acoustic number starting with an alternation between D major and an open 4 strings it then continues with a soft piano accompaniment and electric guitar stabs lower in the mix.

"Sabbra Cadabra" is the heaviest song along with the title song. It has a thundering riff with drum fills which few bands can match. Hardly ever heard anything as heavy. I know bands like Cannibal Corpse will be called heavy but they just play fast and try to heavy. During "Sabbra Cadabra" a 1970's synthesizer is brought in. Very distinctive sound and one of the best uses of the synthesizer, it's played by Yes' Rick Wakeman. Tony introduces a jazz influenced melody. Many don't realise that Tony and Bill are jazz fans.

"Killing Yourself to Live" has a jazz influence by its of accidentals on the guitar and its time signature. Has an amazing riff played by the band as a voice over says "smokers... get high" this figure drives audiences wild in 1970s concerts.

"Who Are You?" is another of Tony Iommi's interests in making the music melodically more complex. A minor key synthesizer figure starts the song. This unlike the synthesizer on "Sabbra Cadabra" will be improved by replacing it a superior instrument, it really sounds dated and typical of an early 1970s synthesizer: synthetic and bland. In the middle section Rick Wakeman plays a piano bridge, very pretty and accompanied by a far better use of probably the same synthesizer.

"Looking for Today" is in a shuffle triplet feel tempo. It's the most uptempo song on the album, lovely song with Tony playing his flute.

"Spiral Architect" closes the album with a very popular acoustic guitar melody followed by a fast guitar riff and a series of two notes cadences. Lovely soft metal melodies accompanied by strings and ending with a surprise. Listen to find out. // 10

Lyrics: Danny Baker, the radio presenter and prog rock, '70s metal and punk fan, said recently on a programme that Sabbath are unusual in that don't sing about women being hot, easy or desperate for the band.

The song "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" was inspired by a USA newspaper headline attacking the band before they played in a Southern State. During the "Volume 4" tour they often received death threats from religious conservative areas. The album is a mixture of some the heaviest and lightest of Sabbath's '70s songs. The lyrics reflect this moving between heavy and angry to optimistic and happy: "Spiral Architect," "Looking for Today." // 9

Overall Impression: Henry Rollins, the singer of Black Flag, in his stand up routine on depression says, "when I am depressed, when I have the first 6 Black Sabbath albums playing in my head simultaneously... Love your depression, standing on a milk crate, sweating and playing sh-t at 11."

This is one of those exhilarating albums. Other bands may be flashier or want to play like Eddie Van Halen, Tony can't because of his finger injuries or they sing gore filled lyrics supposedly showing how evil they are. But to obtain a sound of this intensity and heaviness outdoes almost any other heavy metal band due to its integrity. These 4 come from rough areas of Aston in Birmingham. They worked in heavy metal industries and slaughter houses. They grew up in a town that was heavy metal because everyone was working in those industries. 

That helps to give them a genuineness that so many others lack. It can't be imitated or learned. It has to be lived, it's a sound that comes with experience.

Album cover: When I was doing my art exams I was partly inspired by Drew Suzan's art work, he went on to do some "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" posters. Drew was inspired on the front by German artist Grunewald's "Temptation of St. Anthony" and on the reverse by Salvador Dali's "The Last Supper." // 10

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