Posts Tagged ‘Black Sabbath’

ozzy under the grave yardIt has been ten long years since the last time we had a single from the Prince Of Darkness, the Godfather of Metal himself Ozzy Osbourne. In 2010, he had released the album Scream with Guitarist Gus G and the album’s success was short lived. Fast forward ten years later and Ozzy has already recorded an album with Black Sabbath (13), did a farewell tour with them, and recorded a single with Rap artist Post Malone (Take What You Want). Ozzy has also had some downs to go with he ups as he had to cancel the rest of his farewell tour in 2018 due to some complications to pneumonia that sidelined the legend, but it was the recording with Post Malone that gave Ozzy hope again as he had a blast working with Post’s produce Andrew Watt. He had so much fun with Andrew Watt that he decided to record a solo album with him playing guitar and rounding out the band was Duff McKagan (GNR) on Bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums. There are reports that are saying that even Ozzy is calling this new album the best work he has ever done and when you listen to Under The Graveyard (This week’s rock single of the week) which is the latest single, you are hopeful for the rest of the album. Ozzy himself sounds absolutely amazing on the track that isn’t your prototypical ozzy song. There is a lot of alt-rock influence in it and you can hear the inspiration for Post Malone’s track in this one. My only problem with the song is the initial guitar solo which is way too fuzzy for my liking, but we’ll see how Zakk Wylde (who had nothing to do with the album) interprets it live. Check out the single below:

covenEvery year, I try to find new and exciting albums to cover while we do Eddie’s 31 Days of Halloween and I think I found one. I was looking on the world wide web when I came across the term Occult Rock and of course I was curious and so I clicked on it. Apparently there was a band that was Satanic before Black Sabbath could ever be considered that and this band was open about it on their music. The band that I am talking about is  Chicago’s Coven, a band that was made up of Jinx Dawson (Vocals), Jim Donlinger (Guitar), Jim Nyeholt, John Hobbs, and Rick Durrett (Organ, Piano, Keys), Alan Estes and Oz Osborne (Bass), and Steve Ross (Drums) would release their debut album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls in 1969. According to metal and rock historians and fans, they are recognized as the first band to put up the devil horns as was recognized by the album which was produced by Bill Traut. Jim Donlinger whose real name was James Vincent (He was in another band at the time and he was asked to write songs for this by Traut) talked about the album and the process and said, “Bill brought me a large box full of books about witchcraft and related subjects. He told me to read them and start writing some songs … Sometime before the sun came up, I had completely written all the material requested of me for the entire album … Coven also contributed four songs to the project.”

coven back1. Black Sabbath– Not to be confused with the Black Sabbath titular track, this track has more of as psychedelic light rock feel to it as Jinx struts her stuff vocally. a track aboutr witches who sacrifice to the dark prince. 4/5

2. White Witch Of Rosehall– a kind of upbeat tempo track that could be telling the story of a haunting that happened in Jamaica. The story is about the spirit of Annie Palmer who haunts Rose Hall. 4/5

3. Coven in Charing Cross– an interesting track that even features chanting done by the members of the band as they talk about a cult who practices the occult. 4/5

4. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge– is the what the F word means. The origin of the word f**k in Ireland meant that you were arrested “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”. I loved the use of the organs in this track, a fun track overall. 4.5/5

5. Pact with Lucifer– literally a track about a farmer who sold his soul to the devil so that he could get fortune and now the devil has come to collect. 4/5

coven vinyl.jpg6. Choke, Thirst, Die– This must be a track about seances or trying to resurrect the dead otherwise I have no idea. 4/5

7. Wicked Woman– a track about a woman who is devilish and she’ll be the death of you if you’re not careful. 4/5

8. Dignitaries of Hell– an interesting track about all of the demons that accompany Satan in hell as they are all Dignitaries of Hell. 4/5

9. Portrait– an interesting song about a portrait and the power that it has over people who come across it. 4/5

10. Satanic Mass– It is literally what it is, the album ends with a Satanic mass. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– The way the world worked in 1969, this was definitely one of the ballsiest releases of it’s time. You weren’t going to get mainstream fame and success with this albuym, but you definitely did somewhat get infamy with it. I am going to give the album 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

1000x1000In the heavy metal and rock world, the late and great Ronnie James Dio was quite the journeyman having first appeared with Elf before joining Rainbow for most of the mid to late 70’s before replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. It was this journey that brought Ronnie the recognition in the music business so when he was done with his first stint with Sabbath, it was time to unleash everything he had that would change the metal world forever. Along with Vinny Appice (Drums), Dio would create his solo band with former Rainbow bandmate Jimmy Bain (Bass), and with former NWOBHM Sweet Savage guitarist Vivian Campbell (Guitar). On May 25, 1983, the band would unleash what would be wildely considered Dio’s greatest album and what Loudwire.com ranked 17TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list in Dio’s debut solo album Holy Diver. This album was Ronnie fully unleashing what he had started in Black Sabbath lyrically with all of the fantasy themes and it worked because the people loved it. The album was certified platinum by 1989 selling over a million and it peaked at 56 on The Billboard Top 200 charts.

holy diver1. Stand Up And Shout– an all guns blazing track that kicks ass and is basically about standing up for what you believe in and make sure they hear it. 5/5

2. Holy Diver– The first single off the album and probably one of the most recognizable tracks Dio ever recorded is according to him about a Christ like figure on another planet that sacrifices himself in order to save his people, but when they find out they selfishly want him to stay. 5/5

3. Gypsy– a track that to me is about a gypsy that has the ability to fool anyone and you have to believe that considering he used a lot of fantasy-esque stories for lyrics. 4/5

4. Caught In The Middle-a rock track that is Dio telling yourself that you need to believe in yourself and free yourself from the dull zombie like life that you’re living. 4/5

5. Don’t Talk To Strangers– I always loved the clean channel guitars in the beginning of this track before it launches itself into heavy metal overdrive. The track seems to be him telling you to truly find what brings true meaning into your life and not instant gratification. 5/5

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA6. Straight Through The Heart-Big Sabbath like riffs kick off this track into style as he talks about how sometimes people sugar coat what life is all about until you get kicked in the mouth figuratively by reality. 4.5/5

7. Invisible-a reality check of a track whose lyrics deal with people who felt invisible to the world because of the problems they had and the situation they were in. A very 70’s like sound to the track with it’s Nazareth Love Bites like guitar riff and weird effect on Dio’s vocals before the track goes into Sabbath like heavy metal mode. 4.5/5

8. Rainbow In The Dark-The second most popular Dio solo track ever and the second single off the album complete with keyboard parts. I think it’s a track that is all about being stuck in a place where you feel nothing is going right and so you search for that Rainbow In The Dark or ray of hope. 5/5

9. Shame On The Night-The last track on the album and certainly an interesting one which I think is about how devious the night can be and I think you know what I mean. I love the bass riff during the verses and how it’s the main instrument. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-This is probably one of the greatest Dio albums and I think a lot of it has to be with the fact that you can hear a lot of Heaven & Hell by Black Sabbath in this album. I definitely find that it’s certainly the strong point of the album besides the lyrics and his vocals. I wasn’t a huge fan of Gypsy and Caught In The Middle if I am being honest and Shame On The Night was out of nowhere for me as far as how really awesome the track was. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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: