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Black Sabbath Volume 4: Black Sabbath - Wheels of confusion start to show,
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This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
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 become more prominent in later releases.
Not as coherent or consistent as `Master of Reality', with attempts to expand the classic Black Sabbath sound with keyboards and orchestrations, this is a bit of a departure that sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. The pace is a bit different as well, with slower piano led tracks like `Changes' interspersing the classic Heavy Rock sound. There is some good songwriting on show here (Snowblind, classic...), but again it is inconsistent. And musically the band were coming apart a bit, the playing just isn't as tight or accurate as it was on earlier releases.
This is still a good album though, and certainly a lot better than some of their later recordings. Definitely worth three stars.