Sunday, August 10, 2014

Black Sabbath - Vol. 4

Album cover: This particular cover is quite iconic in its representation.  The Black Sabbath name along with the album title are kept large so you notice it even from a distance. More so, the image set against the black background, is a monochrome photograph of lead singer Ozzy Osbourne with his hands raised in two peace signs. There are two color versions of this image available, which feature it set in either yellow (like here) or orange.  

Overall album: For me Vol. 4 is the quintessential Black Sabbath album, as it features all the musical elements that the band are known for. More so, it has an enormous mix of musical diversity that stretches from ultra heavy to beautifully light! 

Songs: 

Wheels Of Confusion/ The Straightener:  A dark mournful song that plods along and has some interesting musical shifts in it.  The song transforms towards the latter part for The Straightener section and blasts you with this terrific wall of sound that has an interesting uplifting feel to it. 

Tomorrow's Dream: A classic Sabbath tune and a pretty straightforward rocker.  Very interesting lyrics to be found here. 

Changes: Arguably the best ballad Sabbath has ever produced. The piano and orchestra mixed with Ozzy's wailing voice, make this song haunting but yet so beautiful. It's packed in with so much feeling! 

FX: A rather strange instrumental of sorts.  It reminds of something that Pink Floyd would do.  It sounds like the echoing of different percussion instruments that come and go. 

Supernaut: The high packed energy track on this album that really gets everyone and jumping around.  It is unbelievably catchy yet has some interesting transitions within it.  A great percussion section by Bill Ward. 

Snowblind: The track that was originally meant to be the album's title but wasn't made so, due to political pressure on the band.  This song is one of Sabbath's most recognized and adored numbers.  Tony shines with his guitar playing here. 

Cornucopia: This track features a really neat raw and heavy riff that chugs along and would seem like the blue print for future metal bands to follow. 

Laguna Sunrise: The genius that is Tony Iommi is seen here in this beautiful instrumental.  It is so uplifting and reminds one of the early dawn breaking across a sacred forest river somewhere beyond the poisons of society. 

St. Vitus' Dance: I just love Geezer Butler's playing here and of how this song does make you want to get up and dance around.  Very tight and very catchy. 

Under The Sun/ Everyday Comes and Goes: Features the heaviest riff on this entire album. I would even say it's darker than the opening track and reminds the listener of why Black Sabbath are labelled as the Godfathers of Heavy Metal.  The middle part goes into a very light happy tune before returning the darkness once more.  Tony's solo at the end is so memorable!

Ultimate Album Song: Supernaut 


The Band: Geezer Butler (Bass), Tony Iommi (Guitars), Bill Ward (Drum), Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals) 

Image source: images8.alphacoders.com

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