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4.7 out of 5 stars73
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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I first got SBS in 1993, absolutley loved it, and still do! It's certainly my favourite Sabbath album, it works as a whole though its not a concept album. Each song offers something different, really showcasing the ability they have. Everyone is on great form, i really think this features Iommis best guitar playing, from the archetypal metal riff of the title track to the electronic wash of who are you, he is powerful but never overbearing the others. the pairing of looking for today with spiral architect is the albums highlight for me. Two really great songs, which i never tire of listening to, they finish the album on a uplifting mood. when you hear the applause at the end you just feel stunned at how good the album has been and wonder how 40 minutes can fly by so fast!
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on 17 September 2015
I remember a friend lending me this album along with 'Led Zeppelin 2' as a heavy rock primer back in the mid 70's. 'Led Zeppelin 2' was good, but 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' blew me away. It abandons the draggy grandeur of the first three abums for an almost prog rock approach. Highlights are the brutally riffing title track, the synth-driven 'Who Are You?' and the apocalyptic 'A National Acrobat'.
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