Monday, April 09, 2007

Nativity in Black

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne's voice is deeper and rougher than on later records; it sounds partially developed in the manner of cartoon characters before the actors voicing them have settled into a groove. The analogy is appropriate because in 1970 Ozzy was yet to become the heavy-drinking, bat-biting, ant-snorting character of popular lore. The band's persona, however, is fully formed. Track one - "Black Sabbath" itself - begins with rain, a tolling bell, thunder, and a particularly satanic riff before Ozzy begins to drone:
What is this that stands before me/Figure in black which points at me/Turn 'round quick and start to run/Find out I'm the chosen one/Oh no!
"N.I.B." aside, the remainder of the album is not as explicitly gothic as the title track, although "The Wizard" does have a Tolkien-esque flavour. There's plenty of good and/or cheesy moments, but nothing here that matches the band's best material. Black Sabbath is more an exercise in mood, a Hammer horror film transliterated into a hard rock album.
Big black shape with eyes of fire/Telling people their desire/Satan sitting there he's smiling/Watches those flames get higher and higher
Dennis Wheatley certainly has a lot to answer for.


Ben.H said...

Whoo! Sterne's back blogging for real. Whoo!

P.S. Black Sabbath is teh suXX0r.

divinetrash said...

Erm, Tim? Is this a permanent return? Are you going to become one of those guys who refuses to be a "boyfriend", but will still sleep with you every once in a while?

Tim said...

Nah, this is for keeps.

Black Sabbath is teh suXX0r

For sure, but in a "good" way.

genevieve said...

Oh, hooray for you. Nice post at Sars, too.