What the hell can you say about this classic that hasn't been said already?
Not much, so I'll simply say, if you haven't heard this album, and you call yourself a metalhead - you're not you know.
Black Sabbath's second album is a masterpiece, pushing aside much of the blues of their first album, and if anything, becoming even darker in tone, as the topics of war, drug abuse and erm... fairies in boots fuelled the imagination of Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne, while Iommi's riffs were forged of purest metal.
War Pigs, Iron Man, Electric Funeral, the jazz toned Planet Caravan, Bill Ward's moment of glory on Rat Salad, the bleak Hand of Doom.... these alone justify getting the album.
Paranoid itself has become a classic track - and one of the signature tunes of Black Sabbath - but I liken it to the first albatross around Sabbath's neck - fortunately they finally stopped playing it when Heaven and Hell was formed - I'm not going to deny it's legacy in Sabbath's hallowed career, but the only way this song works for me is Sabbath and Ozzy performing it, and it isn't overly Sabbath in sound - sounds more like a quick Zeppelin jam musically (but considering it was the last song recorded for the album as a "filler track", it's not surprising given it was very melodic by Sabbath's standards at the time, that it became a single, and placed Sabbath into superstar status).
The deluxe edition of this album released recently is brilliant - the quadrophonic mix is amazing - true Sabbath fans who haven't heard this yet - go and get it, it's well worth it.
This album is immortal - and rightfully one of the albums by which all metal is judged against.