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Review of the Album Black Sabbath Vol. 4 by British Heavy Metal Band Black Sabbath

Updated on September 7, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Number 4 Symbolizing the Title of Black Sabbath's 4th Studio Album

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We are in November 2019 and this writer decided to listen to another album by the legendary British heavy and doom metal band Black Sabbath. Their 1972 studio album is called Black Sabbath Vol. 4.

Special Comment About Black Sabbath Vol. 4

Note: do not confuse any part of this album’s title with Lullacry’s 2005 studio album Vol. 4. The early heavy metal and doom metal sound that we heard on the albums Paranoid and Master of Reality is still present on this album.

Black Sabbath Vol 4. How Does It Begin?

The album begins with the blues and rock influenced song called Wheels of Confusion. Your question may be how does this album compare to Paranoid and Master of Reality? While Black Sabbath Vol. 4 has a solid beginning with its blues rock style, it still may not be better than the band’s previous two studio albums. In life we spend so much time searching for that elusive happiness as life passes us by. Life is seen as just a game in which there are no winners because the world still goes on after we have died. How can we really “win” at life is the question that I wonder as I am writing this album review. Is there really a way to win in life?

Black Sabbath Vol. 4 the Rest of the Songs

Tomorrow’s Dream is a song about leaving the sorrow and heartache of daily life and pursuing a different reality. “Changes” is a song about losing the woman that we love. With loss, all of us undergo changes in our lives and losing the one that we love brings sadness, heartbreak, and much grief. The song is a soft ballad which I have never heard Black Sabbath perform before quite like this. The album really flows nicely musically and even the drums have that feel that make it sound like this is how the drums should be played. I didn’t really get into Black Sabbath’s music until around 1993 or 1994 but this album as old as it is still one of those classic heavy metal albums. Snowblind isn’t a song that talks about being blinded by snow literally but there is a reference to cocaine. We have the second instrumental song on this album called Laguna Sunrise and it is certainly better than the weird and noisy first instrumental song called FX. This second one at least has some kind of structure to go along with its atmospheric feel. St. Vitus Dance is a song about being totally confused and misinformed about what the woman wants in terms of romance. The man thinks that she wants money but she actually wants to be with him instead. Other than the noisy and weird song FX Black Sabbath Vol. 4 is another outstanding release by a band that’s considered to be the first original heavy metal band.

Black Sabbath Vol. 4 Shows the Greatness of Black Sabbath

This 4th studio album shows once again that Black Sabbath was destined for heavy metal greatness and even if Ozzy Osbourne was never an elite, high range vocalist, the songs more than made up for his lack of vocal skills. There are some that might say that this album was “lucky #4” for Black Sabbath but they were really an elite band all the way from the years 1970 through at least 1981.

"Changes" Is a Powerful Song Lyrically Because

“Changes” has that really sad mood about losing the one that you love and if you cry after hearing it, never blame yourself because the power and passion is very much in this song. The song lyrically tells us that he could still hear her last goodbyes. We wish we could go back and change what happened before but we cannot since life does not stand still but instead passes by as we get older and eventually die.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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