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Review: Black Sabbath Master of Reality
How good of an album is Master of Reality?
Black Sabbath took themselves up to superstar status with their 1970 album Paranoid. Their 1971 album called Master of Reality is not as good but it is still a solid work and deserves recognition even over 46 years later. The classic song on this album and the one that stands out the most to me is the groove filled Children of the Grave. I was first introduced to Black Sabbath back in 1993 and you could say that it was a sort of surreal experience, being exposed to other kinds of heavy metal. If it wasn’t for Black Sabbath, bands like Metallica or Megadeth might not have existed. Regardless of that, what follows is a review of one of the most influential heavy metal albums in the history of the genre.
The front album cover for Master of Reality
The songs before Children of the Grave
The first song called Sweet Leaf starts with a coughing kind of noise followed by passionate shouts by Ozzy Osbourne as he says “alright now! Won’t you listen?” The song is a love song though it is a doom rock kind of song. The song called After Forever tries to bring attention to really trusting GOD and having faith in HIM for HE is the only one who can really save us when we are having our hard times. As Ozzy says “that God is the only way to love.” Humans seem to think that they can and should figure out everything by themselves but human knowledge is actually very limited. GOD is the only one that has all the answers.
Embryo is a very short instrumental song that leads into the groovy Children of the Grave.
Why is Children of the Grave such a significant and important song?
This song is about children starting to march against hate and injustice. We need to show that there is still love in this world. The song is trying to say that if we want to live in a better world we need to spread the word (the Gospel). If we do not take action to rise up against hatred, bigotry, and injustice, we will not be able to change the world for the better. The song is a powerful message that shows that we can make a difference if we take action steps.
Tony Iommi should be given enough credit to be considered one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time
The song Children of the Grave has blues style leads by Tony Iommi who should be put on a list of the 100 guitarists of all time if he isn’t there already. The end of the song has a doom metal feeling to it as there is a slow whisper of the words "children of the grave."
The song called Orchid has influenced bands such as Fates Warning
Orchid is another instrumental song in this album that consists of the type of tapping and guitar play that the band Fates Warning would use in 1984 for the song called S.E.K. Even Fates Warning was influenced by Black Sabbath and they should be grateful for having learned something from this great English band.
How is the rest of the album Master of Reality?
Lord of This World is a song about choosing the way of love in the world that was made for the human race. Some people choose to go through a path of evil instead of good. Solitude is a slow, doom metal type of song about someone that feels that he is lonely in this world. He wonders where he can go to because the person that he loves is now gone from his life. He saw his lover just laugh when he begged her to stay. His plan is to go home and cry because of this loss. Even though Master of Reality is one of the band’s slower albums, the songs are excellent and you can clearly hear the bass work which fits in with the guitar. The song called Into the Void speeds up a bit eventually and it is about leaving the Earth and discovering a different world where there is more love, peace, and happiness. Master of Reality is a very good album from one of the legends of British heavy metal but it is not as good as Heaven and Hell in 1980.
The songs Embryo and Children of the Grave
© 2017 Ara Vahanian