UK vinyl LP pressing. Digitally remastered edition of this 1973 album from the veteran Heavy Metal maniacs. From the grinding riff of the opening title track, the album showed that despite the band pushing back musical boundaries, they'd lost none of their aggression. 'A National Acrobat' and 'Sabbra Cadabra' (the latter, which featured Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman) were equally heavy, imposing tracks, whilst 'Killing Yourself To Live' and the sci-fi themed 'Spiral Architect' rate as some of the band's best tracks. And even if the excellent title track was curiously rarely featured in the band's live set at the time, the gentle acoustic guitar work of 'Fluff' can still be heard as fans file out of Black Sabbath gigs the world over. Little wonder some claim Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the greatest album that the 'classic' line-up recorded. This is an album that oozes class from start to finish. Sanctuary. 2009.
With 1973's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, heavy metal godfathers Black Sabbath made a concerted effort to prove their remaining critics wrong by raising their creative stakes and dispensing unprecedented attention to the album's production standards, arrangements, and even the cover artwork. As a result, bold new efforts like the timeless title track, "A National Acrobat," and "Killing Yourself to Live" positively glistened with a newfound level of finesse and maturity, while remaining largely faithful, aesthetically speaking, to the band's signature compositional style. In fact, their sheer songwriting excellence may even have helped to ease the transition for suspicious older fans left yearning for the rough-hewn, brute strength that had made recent triumphs like Master of Reality and Vol. 4 (really, all their previous albums) such undeniable forces of nature. But thanks to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath's nearly flawless execution, even a more adventurous experiment like the string-laden "Spiral Architect," with its tasteful background orchestration, managed to sound surprisingly natural, and in the dreamy instrumental "Fluff," Tony Iommi scored his first truly memorable solo piece. If anything, only the group's at times heavy-handed adoption of synthesizers met with inconsistent consequences, with erstwhile Yes keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman bringing only good things to the memorable "Sabbra Cadabra" (who know he was such a great boogie-woogie pianist?), while the robotically dull "Who Are You" definitely suffered from synthesizer novelty overkill. All things considered, though, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was arguably Black Sabbath's fifth masterpiece in four years, and remains an essential item in any heavy metal collection. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi