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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes me happy, Makes me cold
I found this album so confusing as a teenager - what the hell were piano lament Changes, boinging nonsense FX and cod-Flamenco Laguna Sunrise doing on it? How come I'd never heard them play monster track Wheels of Confusion live? Why could I not warm to Under the Sun or St Vitus Dance?

Years later, I appreciate Volume 4 for what it is - an essential bridge...
Published on 1 Dec 2009 by Amazon Customer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black Sabbath Volume 4: Black Sabbath - Wheels of confusion start to show
This fourth release from Black Sabbath's classic line up, Osbourne, Iommi, Ward and Butler, is a bit of a mixed bag and a little bit of a disappointment after the mighty Master of reality'.

It is well documented that at this time the substance abuse was starting to become a real problem for the band, and it is just starting to show in the work here. It would...
Published on 13 May 2011 by Victor


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes me happy, Makes me cold, 1 Dec 2009
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
I found this album so confusing as a teenager - what the hell were piano lament Changes, boinging nonsense FX and cod-Flamenco Laguna Sunrise doing on it? How come I'd never heard them play monster track Wheels of Confusion live? Why could I not warm to Under the Sun or St Vitus Dance?

Years later, I appreciate Volume 4 for what it is - an essential bridge between the the dark Satanic thrills of the first three albums and the more ambitious and accomplished Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Wheels of Confusion is a relentless medley of different riffs, each strong enough to support a separate song. Supernaut is a hugely underrated and joyful explosion of energy, complete with a Santana-esque voodoo carnival interlude. Tomorrows Dream and Snowblind are the album's poppier moments - catchy and chugging mid-tempo songs, propelled by Tony's inventive riffs and Bill Ward's distinctive tight-skinned drumming. The increased experimentation on the album - slow songs, sound effects, acoustic tracks, double-tracking and synthesizers all helped to lay the foundations for Sabbath's musical purple patch with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

The 2009 remaster appears to add some bottom-end punch whilst reducing some of the separation and treble - and thereby clarity - from previous releases. This works well on Snowblind and Supernaut, which sound more relentless and pounding than ever, however Cornucopia and Under the Sun just feel gloomier and muddier and Wheels of Confusion has lost some dynamic sparkle. The stereo mix has been swapped round from the 2004 Sanctuary releases, so lead guitars in Cornucopia and Laguna Sunrise now emerge from the right hand speaker - although I've no idea where they sat on the original LP.

A landmark album then, but not perhaps the definitive remastering I was expecting. My iPod will keep a copy of the 2004 Sanctuary release for a while longer.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Predecessor to a masterpiece., 17 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Black Sabbath Vol 4 (Audio CD)
It's fair to say that the first six Sabbath albums were defining classics of the heavy rock genre. With Vol 4 (or should I say Snowblind, its working , drug orientated original title) Sabbath began to put a bit of finesse into their music. From the epic eight minute "Wheels of Confusion", a true Sabs fan can see that whilst the band had not lost any of its pummelling brutallity, the band had actually began to write some rock classics, the best of which would probably be "Snowblind" and "Supernaut". However if your like me and pure heavy Iommi riffs and Banshee screams, check the downtuned "Cornucopia" and "Under the Sun" to see just where the Soundgardens andf Metallicas of this world came from. Add to these the beautifully subtle, Morriconesque "Laguna Sunrise" and I suppose you have the perfect album and a wonderful predecessor to "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still 100% Sabbath..., 31 Jan 2007
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This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
To say that Vol 4 was the beginning of the end for Sabbath, the start of the long downward spiral into break ups and infighting, as some have commented is a bit of an overstatement.

The year was 1972. The band had only been going as a professional unit, with albums under it belt for 2 years ! If anything, Vol 4 consolidated everything that the band had put into previous efforts, tweaked the problems and brought the good stuff to the fore.

If you want to hear it start to go wrong, or at least go awry, buy `Sabotage'.

Vol 4 is in my opinion a monster of a record. From the opening distraught guitars of Wheels of Confusion, to the last notes of Under the Sun, this album shows Sabbath doing what they do best, experimenting with sound and pulling it off.

Sure the inclusion of tracks like `FX' and `Changes', are all a bit unnecessary, the former track being regarded by Tommy Iommi now as a complete waste of time.

Vol 4 has after all some of Sabbath's greatest live songs on it. Supernaught, not only a distinctly "Sabbath track" but one of rocks all time best tunes. Snowblind, again, shows off Sabbath's knack of going from pretty mid paced, melancholic ramblings, to all out vehement aggressive rock. And that's what makes them great.

Iommi's crushing guitar riffs, Butler's bass punching the music out of the speakers, bill Wards drumming, strangely furious in places, in others almost stoned. And of course Ozzy's strangled, some times sorrowful, sometimes violent vocals.

The riffs on tracks like Supernaught and St Vitus Dance just reaffirm why Sabbath are the true granddaddies of modern metal. With songs like the ones mentioned above, and Tommorows Dream as another great example, its very hard not to want to tap your foot or nod your head to the infectious "groove" and thick slab riffs.

Not Sabbath's heaviest album featuring Ozzy, that accolade goes to `Master of Reality', and maybe not their most dynamic or spontaneous effort, (Their debut and Paranoid both pip it) but certainly an amazing collection of songs, certainly 100% Sabbath.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters of Metal, 7 Sep 2010
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
This album alone represents some of the most pivotal sounds that have spawned so many to follow. Black Sabbath are the true masters of metal. Having the original vinyl album I found that I could not be without this album on CD. From it's opening track Wheels Of Confusion to such great tunes as Cornucopia and St. Vitus Dance this album is a must for all Metal fans. For those who have only just found rock and metal as a music form then this album should be one of the first to invest in.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Classic Heavy Rock!, 10 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Black Sabbath Vol 4 (Audio CD)
Black Sabbath's Volume 4 is an outstanding collection of mature songwriting and superb musicianship.The album doesn't have one weak track and stands beside Led Zeppelin's fourth album Deep Purple's Made in Japan and AC/Dc's Back in Black as an essential to any rock collection.Wheels of Confusion has an addictive infectious groove with a superb Ozzy vocal that leaves you singing "Long ago I wandered through my mind" long after the cd has finished.Supernaut with awesome Bill Ward drumming (check out the bass drum patterns) and Snowblind are killer tracks and Under the Sun and Cornucopia are noisy walks through the graveyard.Of course Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler are also on form too.It's a pure classic and you must have it.In my opinion it's Sabbath's finest moment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark, 26 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Black Sabbath Vol 4 (Audio CD)
An album of cataclysmic proportions. Its hard to escape the claustrophobic sense of doom and gloom which emminates from this recording. The opener 'Wheels of Confussion' is a Sabbath tour-de-force with slow, dark riffs follwed up by an quick/slow middle interlude, and concludes with one of the best endings to any song written. 'Tomorrows dream' is a loud 'Paranoid-esque' song with loud and melodic riffs and sum superb vocals from Ozzy. Short and sweet. 'Changes' represents a change in Black Sabbath in the form of a piano balled, which just goes to show that sabbath are not about huge riffs and devils. 'FX' is a bit of an oddity, its just feedback from Iommi's guitar for bout 2 mins! This is follwed by the awesome rifferama of 'Supernaut' with some excellent drumming rom Bill Ward. 'Cornicopia' is a dark brooding piecewith a double time speed burst reminisent of 'Into the Void' from the 'Master of Reality' album. 'Laguna Sunrise' is a break from the bleak in the form of a gentle acoustic instrumental. 'St Vitus Dance' sounds like exactly wot it is, a relentless groove of heavy melodic riffing and rock n rol style grooves. The album concludes with the dark and oppressive 'Under the Sun' which is one of Sabbaths heaviest moments. Ozzy's wails are as pained as ever, Iommi shows just why he known as the riffmaster, Geezer as usual never puts a foot wrong on the bass and Bill Wards drumming is a sure blend of his jazz/blues days and pure thumping. Overall this album is genuine class, a classic amongs heavy rock and metal.
SlipKnot, Linkin Park, Murder Dolls etc take note.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Sabbath Album, 7 May 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
This fourth Black Sabbath album titled Vol 4 sees a transition in the sound of Sabbath from the dark metal material of Sabbaths first three albums as Vol 4 sees Sabbath expand into a slightly softer side with the excellent yet underrated Changes that showcases a wonderfully delivered ballad by Ozzy.

Snowblind is my favourite track on this album which shows Sabbath at the heavy rocking best, Yet Tomorrows Dreams & Laguna Sunrise are two brilliant yet underrated Sabbath tracks which sees the band sound maturing as musical artists.

This album has now been Digitally Remastered sounding clearer & sharper than it has in year's.

Vol 4 is a album that shows Black Sabbath maturing in there songwriting delivering a slightly different album than the previous 3 albums proving the Brummie rocks are not resting on there laurels by experimenting yet still know how to deliver what the fan's want which is hard rock.

Timelord Rating.
10/10
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Genius, 24 Oct 2010
By 
Ken Raus "Ken Raus" (Lugdunum) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
For a certain English generation,This is dhe classic hard rock album that starts with the stunning doomladen Wheels of Confusion and ends side One with the stunninger classic Supernaut,One of the best songs ever written in any musical genre,In my unhumble opinion...Supernaut features a lovely and incongruous acoustic section in the middle before it blasts onward describing its tale of bitter egoism to the listener...Nothing really poppy enough for a single on this album,Perhaps,But there may have been one,Nonetheless.
Yes,there are one or two lame tracks,FX not least but there is a weighty clutch of great songs on this superb album and after all,Changes is still a good and memorable song...the original gatefold vinyl release anciently featured an inside booklet,So,can't comment on the CD versions,Only the musical quality,Which is fabulous and virtually indispensable to any 'classical' rock music fanatic...A landmark and standard set for a whole genre and fantastically influential and an inspiration to most of the subsequent big names in the hard rock arena from a time when Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin were very stiff competition for the attentive ears of long hair teens into heavy metal rather than pop or progressive,Whatever,although various tastes don't have to be mutually exclusive and thus the different stylistic streaks on this album just vary the bleak and grim mood enough for it not to become monotonous...Try it if you don't know it and do like the genre,It's unlikely to dissappoint and then try Masters of Reality.Master Of RealityParanoidBlack SabbathSabbath Bloody Sabbath
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Sabbath you cannot live without, 28 Jun 2009
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
Volume 4 was my first Black Sabbath album - its predecessors followed in hot pursuit. But even after hearing the wonders of their first release - and my initiation into the dark new world of heavy metal - Volume 4 remains the all time sound of Black Sabbath at their very very best.

The precision of Tony Iommi's guitar and unusual stability of the Osbourne vocals are admirably supported by a bass and drum sound of immense strength - unique to Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. This is an album that reaches out to Sabbath fans - its captivating perfection paving the way for the inevitable decline which kicked in after their next release, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

For the uninitiated, Volume 4 is a metal collector's must-have, and a hard act to follow - trust me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody, majestic, heavy, evocative - Sabbath at their peak., 14 Feb 2003
This review is from: Black Sabbath Vol 4 (Audio CD)
This is perhaps my favourite Sabbath album. The whole feeling and production of this moody album conjures up Autumn for me somehow - its solemn, thoughtful and mature, but still has a strange beauty to it. "Wheels of Confusion" is immediately memorable with dry, claustrophobic riffs augmented by poignant lyrics; the unexpected liberation into a sublime, gut-wrenching solo toward the end is riveting. "Tomorrow's Dream" is a typically monumental Sabbath statement, stern and regal. The ballad "Changes" is a beautiful, simple love-gone-wrong lament on the piano of all things. The band freak out on the experimental noise of "FX". "Supernaut" has a powerful catapault-style riff while "Snowblind" is glorious and evocative. Ozzy's singing on "Snowblind" is clear and rousing, while the main guitar riffs are sublime: heavy but delicately-constructed! Tender more obviously applies to the lovely instrumental piece "Laguna Sunrise" - a complete contrast to the dense, doomy "Cornucopia". St. Vitus' Dance" will grab you with its solemn but grooving guitar - this, strangely, sounds particularly autumnal to me and has mature lyrics about relationships. If you're looking for one of those eerie, mysterious "War Pigs" -style endings then check out "Under the Sun" which begins with a tight, menacing guitar figure then shifts mood. The lyrics to all these songs will surprise those who presume Sabbath are satanic, but the music will not disappoint those looking for a truly heavy guitar impact and majestic, wonderfully-constructed riffs. To me this and "Master of Reality" are their greatest - sublime, expressive metal. Play loud!
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Volume 4
Volume 4 by Black Sabbath (Audio CD - 2000)
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