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4.6 out of 5 stars93
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2011
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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on 11 October 2003
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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on 17 February 2014
Bought this for my husband as he has it on vinyl and I thought he could use it in the car . He is very happy with the quality of sound and I think it was money well spent as it's one of his favourites .
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on 29 March 2013
I grew up with Black Sabbath, so its a must have for the collection.
If you like progressive rock then you should love this.
Iomi, Osbourne, Butler & Ward, what can i say "Excellent."
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on 16 July 2009
All other reviewers have said it all this album is a hum dinger and my favourite Sabbath album.This review is just to let would be buyers know that the remastering is superb and the label here Sanctuary is a first class label,the Castle label is also part of this group.I own many CDs on both of these labels and can really say the sound quality and remastering is of highest quality,please note this album is also available in double De Luxe Cd on Sanctuary label with disc 2 containing outtakes and varied versions of the tracks on disc 1.
I will stick with my original version for the time being as Im happy with it.Amazon are selling the same version as ive got for under £4.oo its a great buy and I highly recommend it as a truly fantastic Sabbath album,mind you ive got all there albums but this is still my favourite and most played album from the band.
Hope review is of some help.
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on 4 December 2006
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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The third album from rulers of the heavy Rock universe was their most consistent release so far. With typically mystically influenced lyrics tackling subjects from Drug Use (sweet leaf) to the band's views on Catholicism (After Forever), the sound is typically dark and heavy. Compared to the previous two releases there is a little less out and out heavy rock, more slower, dark numbers with an oppressive mood pervading. Ozzy's vocals are still on fine form varying from ethereally dancing over the backing to a full on heavy rock howl as required. Tommy Iommi has the low tuned guitar sound perfected and the rhythm section of Bill Ward and Geezer Butler lay down some suitable bass and drum lines. A classic, dark album from the best in the business.
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on 21 October 2011
If ever there was an album that defined a complete musical revolution then this is it. Not only does it musically redefine the hip sound of the time to create a new and exciting style it smashes old ideals and brings a new atmosphere to modern performance. What I am saying is really very simple, this album is not the reproduction it is the prototype. Black Sabbath only ever did this once but in doing do they spawned a new religion, that of leather clad, distorted youth. The sound production is amazing for the time. Iommi's guitar sound is truly the farther of all metal bands to come, they all owe something to this album in some way or another.
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Having set out their stall with 2 raw metal/rock discs in 1970(Black Sabbath/Paranoid) the brummie boys consolidated their place as heaviest of them all with this superb album.

From the opening flem enhanced 'Sweet Leaf' to the gargantuan riffs of closing track 'Into The Void' this is a monster of an album and clearly inspired a whole generation of doom metal/stoner bands.

highlights? every track, not a weak moment here,drug influenced Sweet Leaf',the religion questioning 'After Forever'(my mothers face when she heard the ...pope on a rope.. lyric).the hammer house of horror satanic pretence of 'Children of the Grave/Lord of this World' to the light and shade 'Solitude' and the riff tastic 'Into The Void' Tony Iommi the riffmaster.In hindsight was it neccesary for 2 short instrumentals 'Embryo/Orchid? possibly a sign of ego's creeping in but at the time it matter not to the listener,as your ears rang from Sabbaths heaviest ever album.The remaster is excellent and copes with the original production pretty well. 5 stars well earned.
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on 22 August 2012
meatl is a varied style of music , but this one with it's pounding style of riffs created a type of metal that would later inspire many harder styles. Some fans only consider this type of metal to be valid which is not a good thing. However this cd is a good thing , with every song being a classic number. "sweet leaf' is perhaps the most popular song on here and it's about weed of course. The band rejected supporting harder drugs and should be applauded for that. ozzy was mainly a drinker by the way. anyways this is a masterpiece and is considered to be just that by rock critics. WIthout this one there wouldn't have been many later bands like venom, or metallica.
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