Monday, April 21, 2014

Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy (1976)

Two robots screwing around on a escalator, that is the description that Ozzy Osbourne has about the cover art to Black Sabbath's 7th album "Technical Ecstasy". My description however, is that it is a cover that looks like it is coming from the 80's and that it would be more fitting in a Pet Shop Boys album. Seriously, how many of you would say that this is a fitting cover for the grand fathers of metal? But then again, the band continued their experiments with synthesizers and keyboards on this album, taking it further away from Sabbath's earlier albums, so the cover art could be closer to the music than what you would expect.

I wouldn't say that "Technical Ecstasy" is not a rock album, but it definitely feels weird to call it a Black Sabbath record. There is almost no darkness in this album, the one thing that really made the band stand out in that time. The only darkness I can find is the opening riff in "You Won't Change Me", but that is it. The rest of the music is either just typical rock or something Beatles inspired.

But I would not say that the music is bad, it is just mostly disappointing. The opener "Back Street Kids" has a good opening beat that then crosses over to Rush inspired keyboards, which feels kinda awkward, "Gypsy" is probably the most progressive track of the album, but it lacks the punch to really stick in my mind, and "All Moving Parts (Stand Still)" is a very laid back track that just chugs along in its own tempo. Together with the aggressive "Dirty Women", these are the tracks that makes "Technical Ecstasy" what it is. A album that will probably never be seen as one of the band's strongest moments, only a stable record that is not boring, but neither interesting.

The most interesting track however must be "It's Alright". Not because it sounds like something out of a Elton John album, but because of the fact that Bill Ward is the singer. That's right, the drummer takes the stage in this piano ballad, and I gotta say that his voice is pretty decent. It is not as special as Ozzy's vocals, but it fits well with the song. The song itself is not horrible, but it does not fit Black Sabbath very well.

For a Black Sabbath album, "Technical Ecstasy" is a weird one, but even if the darkness is completely gone, it is still an okay album. It just does not shine. The 8 tracks that is in the album are average, and they do not feel like they would fit in nicely with any other Black Sabbath record. I can recommend you all to give this album a try, just try to forget the predecessors before going into this album and you will not get disappointed.

Songs worthy of recognition: All Moving Parts (Stand Still), Gypsy, Dirty Women

Rating: 5,5/10 Back Street Kids

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