Black Sabbath were really doing well by this point, having delivered a series of critically successful albums and building up a dedicated fan base to their music. They were on a roll, and this album is yet another successful release by the group. Let’s see how it holds up today.
We begin with the title track Sabbath Bloody Sabbath which has some nice guitar riffs at the start, before going into a good piece of music. Ozzy’s voice mixes in with some beautiful acoustic and loud electric guitars and the whole piece sounds enormous and wonderful. The midsection here is really terrific, and the guitar solo matches this song nicely. It is an incredible and monumental piece of music. After some time, the alternating musical sections make this song come alive. A really great song, and a simple piece of loud heavy rock/metal. The ending sounds insane, and the last guitar solo here sounds different. It fades out majestically.
Next is A National Acrobat which has some catchy riffs and a great groove to match. Ozzy sings about universal exploits, which is interesting. The whole thing is really excellent, as per usual from Black Sabbath. This is about the existence of life itself, and Ozzy takes centre stage here. There are some great wah-wah riffs in the middle here, and the whole thing sounds really awesome. Musically, this is superb. The sound effects here are really great too. A piece that, although is over six minutes long, is really welcome here. Top music. Tony Iommi’s playing towards the end, and the tempo change, is really excellent to hear.
Fluff begins with a beautiful ascending/descending acoustic guitar riff, with some extra acoustic melodies played on top. This is a beautiful piece of music, eventually having piano and some electric guitar join in. The whole thing is a very sweet sounding instrumental. It is well played and performed. The whole group here, not just singer Ozzy Osbourne, deserve credit for pieces of wonderful music like this. Harpsichord enters next, and we have a very good piece of music here. A nice instrumental.
Sabbra Cadabra comes next, and sounds really awesome. It has dual tracked guitar riffs that are awesome, and when Ozzy Osbourne begins singing, it becomes irresistible listening. The whole thing is really great Heavy Rock/Metal for one to hear. Before long, it kicks into a brilliant midsection with some cool keyboard sounds. Ozzy wails away whilst we are in a heaven of sorts. This is an extraordinarily good piece of music, and sounds really top. The combination of instrumentation and piano in the second half of this song are really good. It goes into an uptempo loud jam towards the end. Brilliant. The drum led outro is cool, too.
Following is Killing Yourself To Live which is drop-tuned glory. It has another monumental guitar riff that sounds very woman tone-ish. Ozzy then gets singing, in amongst the musical glory and chaos. Singing about apocalyptic times, Ozzy does well here, as does the rest of the group. Some awesome guitar solos then ensue, and we are hearing a great piece of music here. “Smoke it…get high!” is spoken here is next, showing that these guys liked their drugs. Still, it is an excellent piece of music that sounds as relevant today as it did in 1973. Ozzy then screams about disintegrating mental health, and we have a brilliant rock jam to finish with. This is really great music, without a doubt. The outro is very good.
Next is Who Are You? which is a keyboard-led piece that sounds a little odd, and is not your typical Black Sabbath piece. Ozzy sings over the top of it all, and this is weird and wacky for a four-minute piece. It sounds like a Progressive Rock piece rather than a Heavy Metal piece, which was no doubt influenced by the music of the times. Before long, a repeated keyboard riff and marching drums return back to the main section of the song. The outro is super spacey and rather psychedelic.
Looking For Today has another excellent guitar riff, to begin with. It is an awesome listen and has some wonderful and beautiful music to offer. It quickly kicks into a midsection with flute and acoustic guitar, before going back into the main part of the song. Bill Ward’s drumming here keeps this song going along nicely, and the alternating between the two primary sections of Sabbath glory here is wonderful. A very wonderful listening experience. The outro is awesome, with pounding drums and guitarist Tony Iommi playing like no tomorrow. Brilliant.
Spiral Architect is the last song here, with some acoustic finger-picking which is really quite beautiful before electric guitar riffs enter and launch into another wonderful Black Sabbath song. After Ozzy begins singing, a beautiful string section comes in at certain points to greet one. This is a great effort to finish off the album with, and the guitar solo with the string section here is different and excellent. This is likely about an Orwellian sort of future, which ironically, seems to have come into reality today. Great song, all the same. The outro is odd.
This is an underrated and very good quality Black Sabbath release. The four of them: Ozzy Osbourne; Tony Iommi; Geezer Butler and Bill Ward deserve credit for such a great listen. This is not even the best Black Sabbath album, yet it is of fantastic quality. Definitely worth hearing if you liked other Black Sabbath material.
Dark and menacing.