Sound — 9
"Technical Ecstasy" is the 7th album by Black Sabbath. I Think it's too underrated. It sold less copies than the previous albums, but I found it another great album of the Ozzy's era! It must be said that the band had many problems at the time, due to alcohol and drugs abuse, so there was less interest for the music. The sound of the album is far from the classic sabbath sound. There is an high use of synth and progressive and complicated arrangements, maybe the most worked album of the Ozzy era. The album starts with "Back Street Kids," pure hard rock, with a synth solo in the middle of the song which leads again in the main riff, making this track supreme. Then comes "You Won't Change Me," a masterpiece. Perfect riffs, solos and lyrics, all arranged so well. The next song is "It's Alright" written and sung by drummer Bill Ward, a soft acoustic song to make the listener calm down. "Gypsy" is another great song, with many changes of riff and tempo, a catching chorus. I think it's a masterpiece. "All Moving Parts" is a good hard song, with a good structure and arrangement. "Rock n Roll Doctor" is surely good, but maybe too far from any thing you would expect from Sabbath. "She's Gone" is another good soft track, and the last one "Dirty Women" got supreme riffs and solos, a very good track. Another positive note goes to the excellent production.
Lyrics — 7
Maybe in this album Ozzy was not in the peak of his vocal capacities, his way of singing seems so forced sometimes. This probably doesn't matter for the heavier songs, but when the distortion goes down, it does. This can be noticed even in the next album "Never Say Die!" But the lyrics are very good, especially in "You Won't Change Me" and "Gypsy," perfectly suitable for the music. Maybe less good and studied than the previous albums, but I think that the lyrics are not the strength point of Black Sabbath (I think that it actually is the sound, riffs and arrangements).
Overall Impression — 9
"Technical Ecstasy" can be considered as a masterpiece, despite of all negative notes that someone said and continue saying. It got perfect arrangements, powerful riffs, blistering solos, all enriched by synths parts and fills. Every Sabbath fan should love this album as I did, and remember that if it didn't sell as the previous albums, it's because the 1976 was the year of the punk rock explosion, which overwhelmed hard 'n' heavy bands (until the New wave of British heavy metal). So, I tell you to listen to it, and hope you like this side of Sabbath's sound.