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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album Of All Time
I first heard this is in 1971 and must have played it 50,000 times since. The best Sabbath album and the best album ever made in my opinion.
The production is totally in tune with what Sabbath was trying to achieve on the album. It is heavy, haunting and doomy. Ozzy's vocals are at its best and the bass playing is unbelievable.
My favourite track is Into the...
Published on 11 Oct 2003 by Raven

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars master of deception
I am in the minority here as far as reviews for this album go but my ears do not deceive me, i have now had a chance to listen to this version and compere it with castles 1996-7 remaster and that version wipes the floor with this one, its much crisper and has a punchier delivery. What is slightly depressing is that it claims to be mastered from the original quarter inch...
Published on 30 Mar 2010 by Mark Jones


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album Of All Time, 11 Oct 2003
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This review is from: Master Of Reality (Audio CD)
I first heard this is in 1971 and must have played it 50,000 times since. The best Sabbath album and the best album ever made in my opinion.
The production is totally in tune with what Sabbath was trying to achieve on the album. It is heavy, haunting and doomy. Ozzy's vocals are at its best and the bass playing is unbelievable.
My favourite track is Into the Void but to be honest all the tracks are first class.
This is definatley the heaviest of all Sabbath albums. I never get tired of listing to the tracks and never will.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter Sabbath, 9 Mar 2011
By 
ratmonkey (Hardy Country) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
The first 2 albums may be seminal but quality-wise, Master of Reality is the band's first true classic. Whereas Black Sabbath was a heavy blues album and Paranoid was a psychedelic blues album, Master of Reality is the first real statement from the band that earned their coined 'heavy metal' tag. From the very onset, it's all chugging, down-tuned, fuzzy, big sounding riffs that are synonymous with what heavy metal is today. It is also really their only true heavy metal album, strangely as blues and rock and roll pervades most of their Ozzy catalogue. Later on Dehumanizer came close but not with the same bravado and simple genius that was found on this gem. Hearing it 25 years ago, in the midst of Metallica'a Black Album and the end of Iron Maiden's first triumphant reign, it did not seem out of place. In fact it towered over some of the greats that they influenced. In short, it is Metallica's Master of Puppets, Maiden's Number of the Beast and Slayer's Reign in Blood years before they had been written. That's how astounding it is.

'Sweet Leaf' explodes into life after the 'coughing' and displays one of the killerest riffs ever. From the very first note it is infectious. It's almost sexy it's that good. And the best part is that, as with the rest of the album, they do not mess with the formula. On later albums and even on the 2 preceding this tangents were gone off to and songs became lots of songs, which ruined the perfect innocence of just a simple, catchy riff. There are 2 riffs and that's it. And that's all you need. Classic. 'After Forever' is faster and not as perfect but is still an excellent, rumbling song that is 5 plus mins long but doesn't feel like it. A near perfect 2nd track. 'Embryo' lasts merely 20 seconds and is acoustic. It is slight but needed. Then 'Children of the Grave' does a 'Sweet Leaf'. It's a heavy metal, chug-festeroony, has a great title and is simple but better because of it.

'Orchid' is a nice minute and a half of acoustic niceties before 'Lord of this World' is unleashed. It is probably my least favourite of the bunch but it is still a presence to be reckoned with. It is slightly more tangential but is still true to the ethos of the album and chugs like a monster. 'Solitude' is a great song that, again, sticks to a melody and continues it. It's a ballad of sorts, has no crushing guitars, but it is sufficiently dark to be included. Not perfect but still great. 'Into the Void' is as classic as 'Sweet Leaf'. It's a storming way to end.

Possibly the best Sabbath album ever. Certainly my pick. It still sounds great today and would even hold its own against some of the metalcore that's so popular. Sabbath did it first. They veered off on a different course album by album, but their influence is felt in many of the now classic metal and heavy rock bands today; and this album is the reason.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and Best, 4 Dec 2006
By 
J. Halstead "BlackMetal41" (Solihull, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
After the debut LP and the success they had with Paranoid, Sabbath were probably under pressure to come up with something new. Wouldn't surprise me if their record company wanted a more commercial approach and another hit single. Iommi and Butler had mastered the Heavy Metal Leviathan that they had single handedly created. They took the best moments from their previous releases, and came up with the most amazing riff filled album ever. Sweatleaf, After Forever, Children Of The Grave, Lord Of This World and Into The Void - 5 of the finest Heavy Metal songs ever written. Sure, they had to fill it out with some instrumental interludes and a (decent) ballad but if you want a place to start with Black Sabbath because you've heard the stories and you're not convinced with Paranoid, Master of Reality is for you. Osbourne's vocals are a marked improvement, the lyrics are great - it's just perfect. The band went on to make the excellent Vol 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage and the under rated Technical Ecstacy - All worth 5 stars. Keep coming back to Master of Reality - Children Of The Grave was one of the first Heavy Metal songs I ever heard and it changed my life. The Middle 8 section of Into The Void gives me goosebumps 30 years later! I review a lot of new stuff, I should be doing more of this!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Sabbath At Their Career Peak, 10 Sep 2007
By 
Tom Chase (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
"Master of Reality" is the epitome of Black Sabbath's monolithic riff-fuelled rock. If you want music with heavy, bluesy and infectious riffs, melodic vocals and breath-taking guitar solos, then look no further than "Master of Reality".

This is one of those special albums where every track has become a classic over the years. It all starts with the fantastic "Sweet Leaf", which was initially my favourite song on the album. "Sweet Leaf" kicks the album off in style and lays down the foundations perfectly. The opening cough/splutter sample gives meaning to the title, and sets up one of the most prominent themes and influences for the band - marijuana. This was truly the start of stoner rock. Please don't think that this stupefies the music in any way - an accusation I have heard many a time when listing stoner rock as one of my favourite genres. Yes, this album is a great experience when ripped, as are the best of the modern day stoner albums, but don't be put off thinking a sober state will forge no rewards. Bong or no bong, this is one of the best rock albums ever made.

The riffs. Let me talk about some of the timeless riffs on this album. Riffs that over the years have become massively influential and classic in every sense of the word. It is through no chance or overreaction that people nowadays refer to some guitar riffs and leads as "Sabbath-esque" or "Sabbathy". The grand onslaught of these riffs starts with the simplistic and contagious lead to "Sweet Leaf", one of my favourite riffs ever conceived. The glory to this riff, and with the majority of Tony Iommi's genius craft, is the simplicity - sacrificing complex timings, extra ghost notes and fancy finger work for simple motifs. The emphasis is put firmly on execution and groove. Take for example the riff changeups in the fine closer "Into The Void", going from the fine rolling and laid-back intro riff to some ferocious muted riffing, all complemented perfectly by Ozzy's high and melodic vocals. All of this combines to make one of the album's finest moments. Then there's "Children of the Grave" which stretches the simplicity to a basic rolling note, repeated in a galloping time signature, augmented by the occasional menacing chord progression. This song was really ahead of its time, paving the way for the galloping marches of the finest Iron Maiden. What makes these riffs even better is the structure of the songs, which are intelligent and keep the various riffs fresh. For example, the changeups in "After Forever" evolve around a repetitive lead riff which gives way to various themes and new riffs, but always returns to retain the original flow and groove. Call them stoners, but this is intelligent song writing, and something ensued throughout the album.

So the song writing is clever. It keeps the riffs fresh and interesting and manages to hold the fantastic groove. However, it is the overall writing and structuring of the album as a whole that I find most impressive. The balance of "Master of Reality" is perfect and superior to any of their other albums. There are no overly long songs, as all are between 5 and 7 minutes. The effect of this gives the album a special kind of flow that is often lacking in their other releases. "Embryo" and "Orchid" are short little pieces that act as introductions rather than fillers, and again retain the sense of flow as they are not too long or boring.

Mention should of course go to Ozzy Osbourne. In my opinion Sabbath simply isn't Sabbath without Ozzy on the vocals. His voice has become one of the most distinctive and acclaimed in rock history, and rightly so. He has what all the best rock singers have - the ability to hit the right notes, often quite high ones, and an idiosyncratic style that is instantly recognisable. The Black Sabbath sound is rounded off perfectly by this master vocalist, best highlighted by his inspired deliveries on "Children of the Grave" and "Into The Void".

Any fan of rock music should enjoy this album. It has every ingredient that makes rock so enjoyable - powerful and inspired vocals, stunning guitar solos and riffs, solid bass playing and some stellar drumming. Black Sabbath at the pinnacle of their career.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired, prototype Grunge- A Genuine Masterpiece!, 23 Sep 2006
This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful album, better than Paranoid because it's harder, meaner, has better tunes and doesn't have the embarrasing bits of Paranoid or other of their classic albums.

You can hear what influenced Grunge bands such as Alice In Chains (who supported Ozzy at some point in the early nineties) and Soundgarden.

There are some truly sublime moments on this album (great riffs, drumming and vocals), and if you like some introspection and melody as well as their strangely upbeat, dirty chuggathons then you'll love this.

It's my favourite Black Sabbath album sofar after listening to Paranoid, Volume 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, because the sheer quality is sustained throughout from beginning to end. Brilliant!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best....?, 18 May 2004
This review is from: Master Of Reality (Audio CD)
Master of Reality kicks off with the amazing Sweet Leaf, a song about cannabinoid use with one of the greatest geetar riffs of all time. After Forever is somthing of a curiosity, a Christian song on a Black Sabbath album! I suppose the message here is that they are not a "Satanic" band a la Deicide et al, but merely sing about God, the Devil and such in a descriptive way. Black Sabbath to me are the musical equivalent of a Hammer Horror film, except they have aged better! Embryo is a nice 20 second piece (at least Black Sabbath kept their instrumental meanderings short and to the point!), and it's on to the colossal, thundering, "Children of the Grave" and a warning that is still as relevant to day as it was three decades ago (it's hard to believe this album is over 30 years old!) Orchid is another short & sweet insrumental at 1 and a half minutes, followed by the brilliant "Lord of this World", the haunting, "Planet Caravan"-like "Solitude" and "Into the Void", a great track, but not the best one on the album. Many cite this as Black Sabbath's best album, and I can't prove them wrong - most of their releases are of such good quality it's just so hard to pick one single best album. Master of Reality is certainly a contender.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Of Reality!!, 11 Aug 2009
This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
Deluxe editions aside,This really is one of the best albums that 'Black
Sabbath' produced.Are there any albums made in 1971 heavier than this?, the riffs are so good & heavy!!
Sanctuary have done a great job on these reissues,although they should have done the vinyl version with an embossed box with poster like the original.
This is the best of the reissues so far, mainly because the inclusion of
the unreleased 'Weevil Woman',but really! the reissue of 'Black Sabbath'
should have included 'The rebel' & 'Song for Jim' & 'Paranoid' should have
included the dvd of the Paris Concert, these are my only gripes with these
reissues.
The music on this album speaks for itself;'Into The Void' has to be one
of the best riffs ever!!even Soundgarden & kyuss covered it.Children Of
The Grave probably spawned Heavy Metal,the NWOBHM movement,& countless doom bands the world over.Bill Ward plays great drums on this track, the
percussive overdubs work so well.'Sweet Leaf' almost as good as Butthole
Surfers 'Sweet Loaf'!(only joking)After Forever & Lord of This World,riff
after amazing riff!! i even like the acoustic/segue tracks on this album

Buy it again!!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how you do it....new remaster equals beautiful sounding cd!, 12 July 2009
This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
Much like the remaster of black sabbath this is also a lesson in how to remaster music as this is just incredible.
Ive always enjoyed reality,its a very dark almost confused sounding album but with tracks like sweet leaf and children of the grave how can you go wrong,especially now when you have a cd that sounds this good!
Many people are dismissing these sabbath deluxe editions as most will think it's just the single cd bundled with a second disc of extra tracks with some fancy art work but this is simply not the case as this is one of the best versions of this i've ever heard.
Powerful rich smooth sounding you can really close your eyes and go back in time with ozzy and gang and nearly believe they are in the room with you,such is the quality of this release.
Cd two has some interesting tracks,the rather funky weevil woman and a rather strange sounding version of sweet leaf which has lyrics more suited to a love song...different indeed but very worthwhile to listen to.
And of course it has some instrumentals and different takes of songs as well which gives an insight into the recording sessions.
Is it worth getting if you have the cd already?.....you bet,this ranks right up there in the best sounding cd pile and believe me these days that pile isn't very big!
An absolute joy for any ozzy or sabbath fan or indeed heavy rock.
This is exactly how a remaster should be!!!!!!!!
Fantastic and one of the best sounding cds i own.
Unbelievable!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lord of this World, 12 Jun 2012
By 
David R. Walters (Huntingdon, Cambs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
I've been playing a lot of the first Sabbath cds lately, maybe coz of Iommi's illness. Listening in the near dark last night to this CD reminded me of when I first heard it as a child back in 1972, aged 12, borrowed from a friend. It is their heaviest album in a slow, deep way. I remember reading the lyrics, incredulous but so happy when I read Lord of this World. It has SUCH a strong message of Christian faith, making the argument SO well ie. why just follow the pack and say Christ etc is a load of old rubbish? Iommi's lyric makes anyone with a brain question what's going on, on this planet. As a young church-goer back then and still, I also loved - and love - heavy rock/hard rock and some metal, but not the idiot devil stuff.I doubt whether Iommi does have a Christian faith, but maybe that's unfair; maybe he regrets writing those words, and maybe because it may not appear 'cool' nor very 'metal' to talk about Christ in positive terms, but he could still have a faith without shouting about it. I suspect that now he, and indeed many other ageing rockers, grateful to still be alive, getting closer to the end, may indeed have more positive thoughts towards God. Especially Iommi with his cancer.

'Rant' over. Good, heavy album with many good lyrics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next best thing, 18 July 2011
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This review is from: Master of Reality (Audio CD)
Does another review of Master of Reality really need to written? If you do not have this in your collection, what is wrong with you, buy it immediately, and if you have it in your collection you will not be reading this review.

The only reason not to buy this particular remaster is that an enhanced version is now available with extras on, other than that, this CD makes good sense with insightful sleeve notes from Bill Ward, and the next best music after Paranoid.

From Bill Ward hacking his lungs up as the intro to Sweetleaf until the final thundering chord of Into the Void, this album is one of the best Sabbath did (and they did not do a bad album in the Oz years), the highlights being After Forever (you just have to love a song that has the lyrics "Do you want to see the Pope on the end of a rope, do you think he's a fool?") and Children of the Grave, not about zombies or vampires, but about the now generation of 1970 having no future, title really throws you on that one, and Lord of the World (a song actually about Satan). A couple of oddities in Embryo and Orchid, very small instrumentals that seem to act as punctuation in the overall script of the album, and Solitude following on from the brilliant Planet Caravan to show they could do slow and gentle (and personally I think this is where Ozzy does his best vocal work, proving he could actually sing) and which would obviousley lead to Changes on Volume 4.

An album I will always come back to, essential listenning for anyone who thinks heavy metal began in the 80's, no-one ever did it better than Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill.
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