Posts Tagged ‘Black Sabbath’

100755We continue on our road of discovery as we check out albums that were ranked on Loudwire.com’s 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list and we are checking out another album from the almighty Black Sabbath. The album we are checking out this week is the fourth Black Sabbath record to be featured on the list (Paranoid, Black Sabbath, and Heaven And Hell are the other three) and Loudwire ranked Master Of Reality, the band’s third album overall tenth on their list. The album once again featured Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals), Tony Iommi (Guitar), Geezer Butler (Bass), and Bill Ward (Drums) with Rodger Bain returning for the third album in a row as the band’s producer. The album was released on July 21, 1971 and is the album that is widely considered the album that helped start the genre’s of Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, and Sludge Metal. The album for a long time was a huge success for the band as it went double platinum and was the only Sabbath record to crack the top 10 in the US as it peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Top 200. It was the only album for 42 years until 13 came out in 2013 which peaked at number one on the Billboard top 200.

black-sabbath-master-of-reality-17-cd1. Sweet Leaf-The track that begins with the coughing and the big riffs is one of the all time classics from Sabbath. That coughing loop is actually Tony Iommi coughing from a joint he was smoking with Ozzy which is what the track is about. 5/5

2. After Forever-A pretty cool track that was written by Iommi featuring lyrics written by self proclaimed catholic Geezer Butler which the lyrics center on various Christian themes like belief in Christ and the Pope. 5/5

3. Embryo-a :28 second instrumental which helps set up the very next track 5/5

4. Children Of The Grave– This bass heavy super charged track is my all time favorite Black Sabbath with it’s prominent drum beats to match. The track is another anti-war track from the band that is along the same lines as War Pigs and Electric Funeral. 5/5

d6dd99c4-0b8c-11e5-90ff-a60d138ab2b75. Orchid-another instrumental track on the album that is a nice segway into the next track. 5/5

6. Lord Of This World-a great track that looks at Satan and how he claims to be Lord of our world due to the fact that we do so much sinning that it allows him to be. 5/5

7. Solitude– a slow track in the same vein as Planet Caravan that is sung so beautifully by Ozzy that we can’t believe it’s him singing. The track is about losing someone that you were in love with and they left you with nothing. 5/5

8. Into The Void– a track that is widely loved by so many including Eddie Van Halen and James Hetfield due to how bad ass the main riff is. It truly is an awesome song that was written in C# Minor in a song that is all about how man is destroying the earth. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is one of the most bad ass Black Sabbath records ever made. It’s an album that you can truly listen from beginning to end and it flows together nicely. Again, my all time favorite track is Children Of The Grave, but I love all the songs on this one which is why I am giving it five stars out of five for a final grade.

rainbow-rising-1976-album-coverWhen you think of the genre of heavy metal, there are certain faces that are immediately associated with it and those people are Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, and the late and great Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie was one of those guys that just embodied the genre of heavy metal and he did it with Elf, Black Sabbath, his solo band Dio, and the legendary post Deep Purple band Rainbow. Richie Blackmore had left Deep Purple and he wanted to start a new band that was his vision and he did so with Ronnie on vocals. On May 17, 1976, Rainbow with only Dio and Blackmore remaining from the previous album would release their second album Rising which would now feature Tony Carey (Keyboards), Jimmy Bain (Bass), and Cozy Powell (Drums) while the album was produced by Martin Birch. The album was a huge success for the band as Kerrang Magazine stated in 1981 that it was the greatest Heavy Metal album ever recorded while Rolling Stone ranked it 48TH on their 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time list while Loudwire ranked it 20TH on their Best 50 Metal Albums Of All Time list. The album peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts while going gold in the UK in 1979.

rainbow-823-6552-cd1. Tarot Woman– The track starts off with a cool spacey keyboard playing by Carey before the band eventually comes in led by Dio’s powerful vocals. I believe the track is about someone who is afraid of what the fortune teller has told them. The tarck features a cool solo by Blackmore. 5/5

2. Run With The Wolf– A track that kind of has a funky rock swagger to it as Dio leads the charge in this track that is all about werewolves I believe. I definitely am a fan of how the keys mix in very nicely with the guitars, they make a great pair in this track. 4.5/5

3. Starstruck– A cool rock track that is all about every rockers favorite types of fans in groupies, but this is apparently about one that took it a little too far and found out where he lived. 4.5/5

4. Do You Close Your Eyes-This is a cool rock track that seems to be about a girl that he knows that he can’t seem to figure out what her deal is, but all that he hopes is that she is into him like he is into her. 4.5/5

RAINBOW_RAINBOW+RISING-233360b5. Stargazer– An epic track on the album that starts off with a drum solo by Powell before Blackmore and company bring the thunder in a track that also features the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, a Vako Orchestron, and a turkish string instrument. The song is apparently a moral song that was written in the perspective of an slave in Egyptian times  that is forced to build something because a wizard becomes obsessed with flying to the stars. 5/5

6. A Light in the Black– The last track on the album that is another 8 minute epic track that is the sequel to the previous track that still follows this slave who attempts to try and fly home now that the wizard has fallen. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The weird thing about this album is that side two is so drastically different than the first side. The first side is a little more Purple rock side while the second side is more of that Dio awesomeness that we all love. Stargazer is definitely my favorite track on the album, but A Light In The Black is great and Tarot Woman is great too. I am going to give the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

heaven and hellIf you were to ask me what were the most legendary Black Sabbath records to not feature Ozzy Osbourne on Vocals, I would literally say Heaven And Hell and Born Again without thinking twice. Born Again was an album that featured former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan while Heaven And Hell, the band’s ninth studio album was the first to feature former Rainbow frontman Ronnie James Dio on vocals. It was the band’s first album without original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and the first album to not feature a long of songwriting from Geezer Butler who had written a lot of the previous material. The band still featured Tony Iommi (Guitar), Butler (Bass), and Bill Ward (Drums) as well as Geoff Nichols making his first appearance on keyboards. While the album is controversial to a lot of Sabbath faithfuls, it was a very successful record as it peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and was certified platinum in the US alone. Iommi commented on the difference between Ozzy and Dio saying, “Ozzy would sing with the riff. Just listen to ‘Iron Man’ and you’ll catch my drift: his vocal melody line copies the melody of the music. There was nothing wrong with that, but Ronnie liked singing across the riff instead of with it, come up with a melody that was different from that of the music, which musically opens a lot more doors. I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking Ozzy, but Ronnie’s approach opened up a new way for me to think …”

heaven and hell back cover1. Neon Knights– The hard charging in your face opening track kicks the album off into overdrive was subsequently the last track written for the record as a filler for the first side. 5/5

2. Children Of The Sea– A very melodic track that was originally written when Ozzy was still the singer of the band. Iommi played the riff for the track and Dio instantly wrote lyrics for the track and Children Of The Sea was born. I think the track has something to do with mankind sort of ruining the earth. 5/5

3. Lady Evil– I love the opening bass riff that goes with the raunchy rock riff that Iommi provides and honestly I think it’s about ladies of the night. I could be wrong, but women can mystifying. 4.5/5

4. Heaven And Hell– The title track is one of the greatest Dio led Sabbath songs ever written and it ranks right up there with the rest of Sabbath’s catalog. Dio has said that the song is about choosing the right path that leads you to be the better you. 5/5

black-sabbath-heaven-and-hell-deluxe-edition-4-cd5. Wishing Well– an awesome track that is just rocks from beginning to end about how you can’t buy happiness no matter how much you try. You have to learn to love to be happy. 4.5/5

6. Die Young-a very cool into by Geoff Nichols helps kick off the track as Iommi comes in with a cool riff in stereo as Dio sings that you have to live to the fullest everyday because here today gone tomorrow. 4.5/5

7. Walk Away– A riff that sort of reminds me of something AC/DC would write just in the beginning though because as soon as it kicks off, it’s pretty cool in this track about staying away from women that are troubled. 4.5/5

8. Lonely Is The Word– The last track on the album has a bad ass riff that drives the song throughout which showcases the amazing teamwork of Iommi and Butler in this track about how being at the very top can be lonely especially if you crash. A very underrated track by the band with a very cool instrumental section. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was a completely different Black Sabbath then what we were used to with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals. Loudwire ranked it 23RD on their Best 50 Metal Albums Of All Time. While I agree with Zakk Wylde on one point that Black Sabbath is Ozzy Osbourne, Tony and Ronnie did make one hell of a record. My favorite tracks on the album are Lady Evil, the title track, Lonely Is The World, and Children Of The Sea. I would love to hear the Ozzy version of Children Of The Sea especially if Tony still has it. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

deadlandAre supergroups still a thing in music? Don’t tell Matt Sorum (ex-Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol/Ex-Vince Neil), Franky Perez (Apocalyptica), and Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) that as this dynamic and fearsome foursome introduced us to their new project Deadland Ritual which was named by Sorum himself. How did this project come together you ask? The project was started by Sorum who was looking to work with some cats, “Steve and Franky were the first guys I called. We knew we wanted to create a heavier rock sound, but when I contacted Geezer and he agreed to play, I knew this could be a great band.” Steve Stevens talked about the first time he got to work with Butler saying, “There’s a lot of times in the studio as a guitar player, you get a guitar sound and you’re trying to make it work, tweaking it. There was none of that bullshit. It just fit against his bass sound and it was really exciting to me. I get to hear my guitar against a bass guitarist that I’ve idolized forever.” The band to get fans excited released a music video for the track Down In Flames which is this week’s Rock Video Of The Week and it’s a pretty cool performance based video of the guys in the studio. The band plans on playing some gigs in 2019 as they have two festival gigs lined up and they also plan on releasing an LP as well in the future. Check out the video below:

stp case closedI have done many of these when Metal bands fight posts and usually there has never been any resolved circumstances except for maybe one. One instance that definitely closes out a case is none other than death because one side can not obviously fight back in their case. I am going to take the time now to close out some of our cases that have been left out there in When Metal Bands Fight: Case Closed. The first one that was closed was the case of Scott Weiland vs the members of Stone Temple Pilots. I first reported on the case back in April of 2015. Unfortunately on December 3, 2015, Scott Weiland passed away without ever resolving any of the issues. The band has since moved on with a new vocalist in Jeff Gutt and a brand new album as well. The next case that was closed was the only one to actually be resolved and that is the case of Axl Rose vs Slash which saw the duo reunite along with Duff McKagan for the Not in This Lifetime Tour that was a record breaker in 2016. The band has since gone strong since then, but I feel people are thinking that it’s about time for Axl to finally stop messing around and reunite the two remaining members of the band (Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler).

pantera case closedSome cases are just cases of people opening their mouths and nothing ever comes of it ever again until something else happens between the two. For instance, N.W.A. has already been inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and there is nothing that Gene Simmons can do about it. The Mayhem Fest is officially dead and all Kerry King may have done is just predicted the ending of it especially now that he doesn’t have to deal with Kevin Lyman anymore. The one case that was never going to be resolved regardless of who lived is the case of Vinnie Paul vs Phil Anselmo which is really a sad case that breaks a lot of hearts. Vinnie Paul recently passed away which is what prompts me to say case closed. I was supposed to come out with a second part to it, but I just didn’t have the time. In an interview that Ultimate Classic Rock posted, Vinnie comments on what could be considered the reason it would never be resolved saying, “He’s done a lot of things that tarnish the image of what Pantera was back then, and what it stood for and what it was all about. And it’s sad. But I carry on with what I do, which is Hellyeah – which I’m very, very proud of. And, you know, I can’t control anything that goes on with that dude. I mean, honestly, I haven’t spoken to him since 2000. We tried to make amends of things when we were doing Damageplan, and he didn’t want anything to do with it. And then the horrible thing that happened to my brother happened. And, to me, that was the nail in the coffin. Period”

sabb_ozzy-1_2jpg copyIf I was a betting man I would say that was evidence enough that it would have never happened anyways. One case that could potentially become a case closed is one that involves the case of Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler) vs Bill Ward. Apparently, Birmingham, England is going to be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games and according to Loudwire there are parties that could be interested in reuniting for a one off gig. Ozzy Osbourne told ITV that he loved the idea and that he would perform, “with Black Sabbath or on my own.” Tony Iommi apparently loved the idea and told the Birmingham Mail, “I think that it would be a great thing to do to help represent Birmingham. I’m up for it! Let’s see what happens!” The only question that really remains is whether Bill ward will join the gang for the one off gig for a proper send off the original Godfathers of Metal. It remains to be seen and if there is any news of it then we will deliver it to you.

ghost vs nameless ghoulsOne of the things we have learned over the years is that being in a band is a very difficult thing to do. We have learned that being in a band is like being in a committed relationship with your bandmates and we have learned from bands like Kiss, Motley Crue, Skid Row, White Zombie, Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath, and so many other countless bands that sometimes divorces happen and those can get pretty ugly pretty damn often. A little more than year ago, a nasty break up was definitely the case when came to Swedish rock/metal act Ghost after four Nameless Ghouls came out and revealed some information to the world. The Nameless Ghouls came out and revealed their names and claimed that the frontman of Ghost Papa Emeritus a.k.a. Tobias Forge had screwed them out of money. Simon Söderberg (Alpha, Guitars), Mauro Rubino (Air, Keyboards), Henrik Palm (Ether, Guitars), and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth, Drums) all filed a lawsuit for compensation that basically totals $22,000. If you look below, you will see a full statement that Söderberg posted on Facebook airing out all of his grievances.

75071_0_wide_ver1527249826.jpg@642Of course, Tobias Forge didn’t stay quite for a very long time and he basically responded saying that Ghost was a solo project and that when the band was formed that, “none of the plaintiffs were present at the time.” He basically says that they were paid a price like hired guns that was fixed and that he is basically the mastermind of the band having created the image and music. If you want to read the full response to the lawsuit you can do so by clicking on article one and two. In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Gazette, Tobias told Scott Mervis, “There was a string of events that led up to that, of course. As any individual in some tandem with other individuals, there are times when you need to break up and times when you have to get divorced, and do a spring cleaning. That itself is not different than any other band or any other social circle. Of course, it’s never a joyous experience, but it was something that needed to be done. We’d come to a point where we’d exhausted …I’d done everything in my power to try to accommodate a few of my friends to enjoy this ride that I had taken them on, but the project and myself had just come to a point where I couldn’t make them happy, whichever way I chose to go. It was only met with resentment and complaints and general obtuseness, and at the end of the day you had to come to a point where, “Well, you guys don’t even need to be there. You’re free to go. I need to survive. I need to do my thing. This is my thing. None of you were here from the beginning and you have no responsibilities except to be on stage at 8 o’clock and you’re getting paid.” What you heard it just a culmination of years, years, of complaints and ungratefulness, let’s put it that way.”

papa-tobias-768x506One of the things that bothered me the most as a fan of the band was the fact that his identity was revealed. I thought it was a very cool mystique to have as people continually tried to figure out whether it was Tobias Forge behind the mask. Tobias doesn’t seem to be sour about it tell Blabbermouth, “I haven’t felt very anonymous for many years. I don’t feel very bummed by that. I can feel bummed about the reasons why it was revealed. [Laughs] But, it didn’t do much harm. I don’t feel, in any way, like a loser here and it didn’t seem to do a lot of harm. No, especially with a little bit of hindsight and couth. It’s fine. I feel good. It’s going well. I’m out here working. I made a record. [Laughs] You know, it’s always alarming, obviously, when you have people, and some of them used to be close to you, working diligently to destroy your life. That’s always a bummer. That sucks. Sometimes that happens in all parts of the world: at workplaces, in schools, in families, in relationships and friendships. There’s nothing new about it; it’s perfectly natural. It’s a sad avenue to ride down on, but it’s a part of life and it’s fine.” He also added to the convo about who he will choose in the future saying, “You should hire people because of their abilities and not proximity. You usually learn the hard way, unfortunately. I learned that. [Laughs] So, lesson learned! It’s all good. I’m never, ever going to do that again.”

GhostOf course, the band responded to the claims of Ghost being a solo act saying on Reddit, “Forge has certainly been the band’s main songwriter, has had the role of cinematic front figure ‘Papa Emeritus,’ has been a driving force in the band’s business, as well as in the handling of the band’s business affairs. However, the activities carried out with respect to Ghost were extensively handled jointly by the members – for example, by making decisions jointly regarding the band’s image, by participating in interviews, and by the fact that every member has, at certain times, contributed when recording albums and singles, and by touring together almost continuously since 2011.” They went on to add, “To the contrary, Tobias Forge always emphasized that it was a collaboration that everyone was involved in, and would share in the profit of, once the business became profitable. The first time Tobias Forge, through the band’s management, mentioned that he saw them as hired musicians rather than full-fledged members of Ghost was in the context of a contract proposal presented in April 2016.” One thing is for certain and that is I agree 100% with Tobias and this statement regarding the lawsuit, “I took it almost as an acknowledgment that I must be doing something right. If things were going down the fucking tubes, no one would care.” Think about it, if Ghost was on their way out, none of these guys would have cared as much about it. It remains to be seen what happens next, but stay tuned for more because Justice will be served!

Zakk Wylde may be one of the greatest guitarists in metal history and it may go down like that when it is all said and done. While touring with his Black Sabbath cover band Zakk Sabbath in 2017, the year has been a busy one for him. He has gotten back with the man that brought him into the business in Ozzy Osbourne and now he has a brand new album that he is bracing to release in 2018 entitled Grimmest Hits. he has decided to give us an early Christmas present when he unleashed the track All That Once Shined for all of us to listen to. When you check out the track, you can tell that Zakk is boasting his love for Black Sabbath and the doom metal genre that the legends started. The track is absolutely laced with it and it kicks ass. I also love the way Zakk is singing now a days because it sounds like a combo of Ozzy and Alice In Chains. You should definitely give this track a listen and prepare for the album as they get ready to release it on January 19, 2018. You can pre-order the album by going here or get the digital version here. Check it out below: