The band's most iconic album is a little master piece with some of the band's biggest hits, such as "Iron Man", "War Pigs" and the title track. I wonder how the metal world would have looked like if this album was never released. Probably a little less awesome.
Almost all of the albums featuring Tony Martin Harford are underrated, but this one is ridiculously so. Great musicianship from the first to last second, and together with some of the most powerful songs in the band's career, "Tyr" is a power package worthy of the asgardians.
1. Heaven And Hell
The entrance of Ronnie James Dio was the best thing that could happen to Sabbath. The Impact and performance he did on "Heaven And Hell" is tremendous, and it gave the band a perfect, fresh start after a couple of turbulent years with massive drug use and the original line-up splitting up. "Heaven And Hell" is a versatile, powerful album that is an instant classic.
Never Say Die!
The irony, and music, is killing me here. This album saw the end of the original line-up, which is so reflective in the music. The band is lost, falling in darkness and just keeps making the wrong decisions in this plane crash. "Johnny Blade" and the title track saves some parts of the album, but the rest is just bad.
5. The Sabbath Stones
A very underrated song that tops of a very underrated album. Great, heavy power from Harford and fine riffing from Iommi makes this song both dark and epic. Nice, groovy finish.
This close to 10 minutes song holds well together thanks to interesting instrumentation and an excellent singing performance from Ozzy.
3. Children of The Grave
This is probably the grooviest song that has ever been created. The simple, but effective guitar playing and the interesting bass line blends well together, creating a sound that is irresistible. The solo at the end is one of my favourites by Iommi.
From the bass intro and Ozzy's apocalyptic vocals to the spot on guitar licks, this amazing song from the self titled debut is one of the finest moments in the career of Black Sabbath. An infectious track that brought out the best out of all of the members.
1. Heaven And Hell
Oh god, how I love this song. The slow, intriguing first part that makes the hair rise only builds up for a fast, catchy ending where the band just goes full speed, taking you on a hell of a joy ride. A song that blends all of the Dio influences with the classic Sabbath sound perfectly.
Best album cover
Heaven And Hell
This cover is truly an artwork that should be displayed at some of the biggest art galleries in the world. The cover is just as beautiful as the music in the album is amazing.
Total discography verdict
The uneven performance drags down the rating here, but when the band hits all the right notes, they are phenomenal. Impressive that they got 7 albums with a rating of 8,5 or higher, a little less impressive that they got 3 albums with a rating under 5.
The band has never been afraid of changing their sound, which I really commend. Some of those changes are for the worse, but most of them work, making Black Sabbath a very versatile band.
Band Chemistry: 4/10
Black Sabbath is not well known for their stable band chemistry, something the amount of member changes witness. A total of 26 musicians have been a part of the band in one point or another, most of them only lasting for a short while.
Tony Iommi's guitar style is one of the most recognizable in metal and the band have always had some strong singers backing up the music, but Bill Ward and Geezer Butler's replacements in the bass and drum positions have not reached the same heights as the original members.
The dark lyrics are what separated the band from the rest in the 70's, and as the year went by, the band has learned to broaden their lyrical abilities. It is always interesting to see what meaning a Sabbath song has, since it can be about almost anything.
Album rating summary:
Master of Reality: 8/10
Black Sabbath Vol. 4: 6,5/10
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath: 8,5/10
Technical Ecstasy: 5,5/10
Never Say Die!: 3/10
Heaven And Hell: 9,5/10
Mob Rules: 8/10
Born Again: 4,5/10
Seventh Star: 3,5/10
The Eternal Idol: 7,5/10
Headless Cross: 8,5/10
Cross Purposes: 7/10
Average rating: 7,1578947368421052631578947368421/10