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4.8 out of 5 stars64
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£14.95+ £1.26 shipping
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2011
A great, almost experimental, album at a time when the winds of change were starting to blow. This showed Sabbath coming to the end of their down-tuned, doom-riffery and exploring the realms of modern and (now) classic rock; even easy listening and jazz on later albums. The darkness still remained however and it is that which added shade to the difference of some of the more upbeat tracks.

The title track is rightfully considered a classic, but to any new listeners it may be bewildering as to why? It needs a couple of spins before the lumpen riffs and tunes kick in. Great opening. 'A National Acrobat' is possibly the only filler track here. On its own it is ok but compared to the rest it's an also-ran. 'Fluff' blew me away completely. Not musically, as a feather could split it in 2!, but because of its placid, entirely serene notes. It is a 4 minute acoustic equivalent of laying in a grassy field by a river and a wood, maybe some hills, on a sunny day just after you've retired at the age of 30 with millions of pounds to do nothing with for the rest of your life - and it's sunny every day. As you can probably tell from my covert ironic-ese, it's a waft of a song. But it is beautiful. Will later appear on an album containing tracks that don't sound anything like they've been written by who they've been written by. On the down-side, it kind of sounds like the musical accompaniment to the viewers' gallery on the old Tony Hart children's art TV programme. But, actually, that isn't a bad thing. 'Sabbra Cadabbra' is more of an upbeat, traditional rock and roll tune. It's very good and is considered by many (including Metallica, who covered it very boringly) to be a classic. It's fun and breezy and tuneful and very good indeed, but it doesn't reach the heights of the title track or indeed other later tracks of other albums like 'Symptoms of the Universe'.

'Killing Yourself to Live' is great. Again, no classic but a very worthy and catchy track. It has a great opening riff. 'Who Are You' is also very good but is one of the more experimental additions. It revolves around a synthesised keyboard riff and is actually all the better for it. Much better than 'Am I Going Insane' from Sabotage, which was similar in execution. 'Looking for Today' is as 'Killing...' is. It is a great track, albeit slightly throwaway. 'Spiral Architect' is a great closer. Close to a classic it has a very infectious tune, is understated and quite sophisticated.

It may be a classic because of its stature in the Sabbath canon but musically it is only really a 4 star effort. This is not a criticism however as it is definitely a favourite of mine. But, in all honesty, later albums that many deride, like Tyr, The Eternal Idol and even Dehumanizer, are of equal, if not better quality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Some say this is the pinnacle of Sabbaths(with Ozzy) career,it would be hard to argue ,personally i think its a tie with 'Sabotage',whats not in question is how fantastic this album is eight perfect moments from a band on form who had taken everything learned from the 4 previous albums and honed it to perfection,the light and shade on this magnificent disc is almost too hard to describe,but i'll try.

As 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' thunders out of the speakers your immediately struck with how clean a sound the band has here,the gritty distorted sound of the early days ahd been replaced with a finesse,a polish,an upgrade which makes the track sound majestic and none of the power has been lost,an awesome opening track,similarly tracks like the stunning 'Killing Yourself To Live & Sabbra Cadabra' benefit from this aural upgrade making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as they caress your ears.

At the same time the development of the band can be noted in the lyrics of thrillers such as 'A National Acrobat & 'Spiral Architect' as Butlers word-play creates havoc with your mind,what is he talkin about?,its not all gloom and doom though as the melodic interlude that is 'Fluff' and an almost upbeat 'Lookin For Today' lighten the mood while ,that leaves only one other track to mention the sinister big brother overtures of 'Who Are You?' a fantastic atmospheric piece with keyboards to the fore,a sign of things to come.

A stunning 5 star album, possibly the best british rock album of 1973, and i forgot to mention the bagpipes ha ha...........
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2001
music from the past this good really needs to be heard by the nu-metal/rock influenced youth of today, it beats stuffings out of most of the stuff they listen to. On this cd there are many memorable moments with songs like (sabbath bloody sabbath)when it goes in to a heavy powerful riff half-way through and the relaxing charm of (fluff). Songs like (killing yourself to live) and (looking to today) really put the cherry on top of this meaty rock cake of delight....BUY this album you will be presently surprised no matter what your musical leaning is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
The sleeve notes say that at the beginning of recording their fifth album, the boys were bereft of ideas, even the metronimic Tony Iommi was blank as to riffs, but after moving into a castle to record it ideas came flooding, and boy, the result is excellent.

I would have to say that I view this as a better album than Volume 4, it seems more complete somehow. When Iommi comes up with a riff he delivers big time, and the opening (title) track is no exception, an absolute killer riff and as a complete song, probably a little fuller than previous Sabbath recordings.

"Fluff" is a beautiful little accoustic track, I swear if you played this to anyone who did not know Sabbath they would never guess who it was, it is so out of character (and I include "Embryo" and "Orchid" in that statement as interesting as they are, they are little more than curios, this is the real thing). This leads on to "Sabra Cadabra" one of my favourite tracks that amply demonstrates what a brilliant bass player Geezer Butler is and carries on through such tracks as "Killing Yourself To Live" to the excellent "Spiral Architect" which concludes the album.

A Sabbath classic that should not be missing from any collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2014
This is without doubt the bands masterpiece, if there was one sabbath album that was going to shut up the critics, this was it. Its no surprise it got great reviews from critics who had slammed their earlier work. This is sabbath maturing and creating a fantastic album, I'd go as far to say its probably their best overall. Its a great listen from start to finish and the musicianship is good, it proved that sabbath wernt just about heavy riffs all the time. In my eyes anyway they were more than that but this is a well executed album and one of my favourite albums of all time. The album cover is just the beginning of this dark and moody album, ozzy is probably at his best on here and the band are really tight. This is sabbath building on vol 4 is becoming slightly progressive, vol4 is the bridge to SBS and sabotage. I prefer those three albums to the first three. Great band,great album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2009
This was the album which introduced me to heavy metal; half a life ago. I listened to somebody else's copy expecting to hate it, but the first riffs of the title track sucked me in.

It is such a well structured album, the instrumental "Fluff" at just the right point and the perfect closer with the applause at the end of "Spiral Architect"

For me this is probably Sabbath's most complete album - with no weaker tracks. "Sabotage" is pretty fine too but this is what started a new musical direction for me.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2009
Overlooked by fans and the band alike, this album, coupled with Sabotage, marks Sabbath's finest hour. As accomplished, coherent, brilliantly produced, orchestrated, sung and played as anything put out that decade, Sabbath skimmed the surface of the prog rock movement without getting bogged down in pretension. Makes previous Sabbath albums seem workmanlike. Sister album Sabotage a bit more hit and miss, but should be played together with this - The Writ, Spiral Architect, A National Acrobat, Looking for Today, Hole in the Sky and Thrill of it All widdle on the likes of Iron Man, Faries Wear Boots and NIB from a very great height. Following up such genius proved impossible, and both Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die wilt by comparison.

The 2009 remasters really are worth shelling out for - even if, like me, it's your third or fourth copy. There is a noticeable improvement to the sound, which is more than my ears could detect on The Beatles or Stones remasters. With a great booklet of pictures, a 2 page lyric sheet, an article putting the album in context (with contributions from Bill Ward) and a nice mid-price, this for me is an essential purchase. And yes, I'll still probably buy the Deluxe Version if they ever get round to releasing one.
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on 12 March 2009
This is the album that should have followed the Sabs debut "Black Sabbath". Gloriously dark, yet with an attitude that aims to dispel the myth that heavy rock'metal is mere satan-worshipping, this album is akin to a rock opera a la Queen, but without the commercial flamboyancy of Mercury and May. The opening track "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is the essence of Black Sabbath's sound and intentions. "Killing yourself to Live" is a track especially relevent in today's world. "A National Acrobat", Fluff" and "Spiral Architect" are superb examples of the sheer genius of Iommi, Ward and Butler. With this album the Sabs have mixed the occultist atmosphere of "Black Sabbath" with the grinding guitar sound of "Master of Reality", thrown in the attitude of "Vol.4" and come up with an absolutely amazing assault on the senses. The sound of the music and the track listing gives one the impression that this is a concept album and one is free to assume so. However, it is, in my opinion a unique concept album, with the flow between songs being generated by the music only, rather than any lyrical or storyline content. This is work of pure genius produced at a time when Rock meant something and had something to say. In contrast to rock bands of the current era, the Sabs will be remembered. And this album proves it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2009
This is Black Sabbaths all time best album. I met my wife listening to this -love the little lady always on my mind. I have bought it several times on vinyl and cd. Its not just nostalgia. This is supreme since every track is superlative. My favorite is Who are you. Happy days brilliant music. Wow I think it is timeless music - the best always is. If you have never heard this then you are in for a great treat. Thanks guys for the music. Like someone says here BUY OR DIE!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2009
This album is excellent, my favorite three tracks are; "a national acrobat," "sabbra cadabra," and "killing yourself to live." This is one of three black sabbath studio albums that I own - the other two being "paranoid" and "black sabbath." I don't like this album as much as the other two, although it is a different style from the others, and of the three sabbath studio albums that I own, paranoid is my favorite. I think that this album is well worth getting.
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