Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality
"Children of the Grave" is, for me, the highlight of the album, with a superb rolling riff bringing with it the images of the clickety-clackety of machinery stamping out small components from sheets of steel. "Sweet Leaf" is another great riff which accompanies some pleasant messages about the pleasures of inhaling various types of vegetation. Not sure about the coughing to start the track off though.
Perhaps the strangest track on the album is "After Forever". This too has a good riff and is one of the better songs on the album, but there is considerable controversy surrounding it. It was written and included apparently at the insistence of the record company who wanted to dispel the growing idea, particularly in America, that Sabbath were Satanists. Though it has its moments, the rather forced lyrics tend to undermine it somewhat -
"Would you like to see the Pope/On the end of a rope?/Do you think he's a fool?"
Somehow this line just conjures up the wrong sort of imagery. Sabbath were neither Satanists nor Christians - they basically couldn't give a damn unless it came bearing another line of coke.
Unfortunately there were also a couple of less successful numbers, of which "Lord of this World" is probably the most obvious example which stumbles into an all-too-common Black Sabbath problem - the laboured and forced sounding track. Then there is the obligatory short instrumental piece. As with other albums, the less said about this the better.
As with previous Black Sabbath offerings, however, the album suffers from really shoddy production quality, though there was an improvement on their first two albums but not enough to overcome the basic deficiencies of the technique of these early heavy metal albums. As with all Sabbath offerings I have, listening to it too long becomes a bit of a chore and a bit of a bore.
Indeed, this proved to be the last of the truly great Sabbath albums. That statement may seem outrageous, but once they moved away from the original phase of heavy riffs and into a slightly more melodic sound, they seemed to me to lose that quintessential feature which made them 'Sabbath'. They began to lose their way with the next one as they did not evolve or develop their style and the sound became stale. By the time they overcame this problem with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the band might have saved their career, but they had become a different sort of musical outfit altogether.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.