4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dark, powerful, raw and gutsy - especially for its time,
By A Customer
This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
Yes, their first, self-titled album introduced the world to Sabbath's dark themes. And yes, "Paranoid" gave them even more depth by diplaying more of a political voice. But "Master of Reality" was somewhat of a synopsis of them both. Lyrics will never again be as vivid, nor animated. Doom, destruction, isolation, pollution... an album that screams about the common fears in the early 70s. And like any great horror movie, Sabbath wraps those themes in music that is telltale of the albums contents. Every band member shows great strength throughout the album. Geezer Butler is a clinic with trademark basslines in every song, particulary worth noting during Iommi's solo in "Sweet Leaf". Iommi demonstrates what a classic metal guitar riff should be from start to finish. And Ozzy has never sounded more sinister. Metal was meant to be about the themes found in "Master of Reality". It's a shame that so many Sabbath influenced bands in the 80s didn't have such a background to grow into. Only Iron Maiden would come close, and only for a short, short spell. But if one wants to know how metal's evolved and wants to learn the most successful recipe in the genre's history, then "Master of Reality" is a must. Laced with so many crunching, powerful guitar riffs, ala "After Forever" (my favorite Sabbath tune), "Into the Void", and "Children of the Grave" and headturning lyrics (especially for their time) like "would you like to see the Pope on the end of a rope, do you think he's a fool?" from "After Forever" and Sweet Leaf's "you introduced me to my mind, and left me wanting you and your kind" in reference to one man's experience with marijuana. One has to believe that Nixon had the feds following these fellas around when touring the USA. If he considered Mc Govern a threat to the country, what do you think the privacy invading Nixon felt about the likes of theses Brits? Master of Reality is what rock and roll was meant to be. Controversial, crude but with direction, and alarming to the adults at the time. I can still see the faces on many a parent when hearing the opening of "Sweet Leaf". A little knowledge about the early 70s might help one understand the album a little better, though it's not necessary to appreciate the richness of the this band's musical onslaught. But it took such an era to launch a band with the voice and anger of Black Sabbath. Future metal bands will show the Sabbath ifluence, with better production providing more polished sounds. But a lack of similar environment will be missing, depriving them of the most necessary ingredient to harbor such authentic pain.