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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 2 September 2016
I think this was the last Ozzy Sabbath album I heard. Something of a neglected gem. Didn't know any of the tracks, they weren't (still arent) included in the "best of" collections. But no mistake this album is really the best of all.

If you were to ever wonder what all the fuss was about, listen to this. Yes the first 3 albums had those classic riffs that have gone down in folklore. But the sound, production and attention to detail here trumps all that - with some equally fabulous music of course.

The opening blast of Hole In The Sky, quiet unnerving of Don't Start Too Late, then the sledgehammer of Symptom Of The Universe, ending in metaphysical bliss as your soul transcends the astral, taking Ozzy's hand as you go riding... this is PERFECTION.

You will truly enjoy the remaining tracks, even the pop of Am I Going Insane - not a weird, black metal assault, but a pure pop song. Think of the Beatles with more muscle.

Thank you gentlemen for creating this album. This work of art.
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on 29 June 2017
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on 2 October 2016
Alongside Sabbath Bloody Sabbath their best album. Full stop.
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on 30 March 2017
I have original NEMS copy of this LP I bought in 1975 aged 14. Having listened to the 70's 'muddy sound' for years (yes that was the way back then when there wasn't the sound tech of today) and having bought the first Castle Re-masters on CD which did the album no justice at all I decided to try the 2009 re-master on vinyl (you also get a free CD copy I have not played yet).
Firstly, despite the nay slayers of the modern age who think this is not great Sabbath album - IT IS. The first six albums are still classics and this is where it all started to unravelled.
First of all I'd say I have bought better second albums than this when I got it out of its sleeve. Like other people have said - covered in greasy finger marks and just a general mess. Being a collector I know how to look after vinyl so have spent sometime cleaning it get the marks off and the sound without crackles (almost). Not good really for a new item.
So the sound? Well Geezer's bass and Bill's drums sound better at the expense of Iommi's guitar which at some points in the album can't almost be heard (before you ask, yes I have decent stereo and I'm using a Audio Technica deck through a Yamaha amp with Mission speakers).
My advice is track down a second hand 1975 copy if you want it on vinyl - will probably be better looked after than a new one!
I'll try the CD later.
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on 16 February 2011
The 'difficult' 6th album. Iommi's remit seemed to be one of change or die, which was glimpsed in their previous release, where as sustainable and consistent may have worked better. In fact that was the way it seemed from the beginning of the album as the first 3 tracks are stunning material. However the quality dips when the experimental epics are brought out.

'Hole in the Sky' is a classic throwback to Paranoid and is a great rock tune in anyone's book. It revolves around a great, rusty riff that rumbles on and on and will probably get stuck in your brain forever. 'Don't Start' is a 40 second acoustic finger-picking segway that is unobtrusive and quite lovely. And then the monster that is 'Symptom of the Universe' erupts with a dirty, foreboding, evil riff that spawned a million thrash tracks. It chugs along with wicked aplomb for 3 or 4 minutes and then turns into an almost calypso-esque track with a nice little bit of acoustic strumming. A winner and probably the best thing they wrote until Never Say Die. 'Megalomania' is 8 plus minutes long and feels like it. It is basically 2 tracks segued together and works pretty well but it is not something you'll want to revisit as, even after many listens, it remains a good track at best. It is quite slow and , dare I say, dirgey.

'The Thrill of it All' is another oddity. It's not bad as such, just not very interesting and, again, quite slow and lumpen but not in the good, old Sabbath way. 'Supertzar' however is a storming track. It's completely instrumental and has a driving riff and rhythm accompanied by a phenomenal choir. It's almost as astonishing as good classical music and stands as one of my favourite tracks, albeit in a very different way from 'Symptoms...' 'Am I Going Insane' is ok. It sounds like a single and has a nice little chorus. It's a precursor to a lot of the tracks from Never Say Die as it's quite upbeat and catchy, but not perfect (although Never Say Die is a far better album in its entirety than Sabotage). 'The Writ' tries the long, progressive thing a la 'Megolamania' and pulls it off slightly better. The tune is more recognisable and there is a natural progression between the ostensible 2 tracks that exist here. It is good. Just not great.

Worth buying for the 4 excellent tracks. But it marked the beginning of the backlash and rightly so as, while experimentation is commendable, of late bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and to some extent Magnum, have all proved that if it aint broke don't fix it by producing some of their best material to date (debatably, granted). It took Sabbath up until now to come to the same conclusion with the excellent Heaven and Hell collaboration. Now it'd just be nice for them to get their proper name back from Ozzy, find a singer and get back to it. (edit 2011 - looks like they not only got their name back from Ozzy but Ozzy as well! Roll on 2012 and album 19).
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on 12 March 2017
No point rating this as it's been out for a few years now!!!!!!
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on 24 September 2009
Firstly, there is little point in discussing this music per se: any self-respecting Sabbath fan, nay, rock fan, ought to already count this classic album amongst the highlights of their collection. Musically speaking, this is certainly a 5-star album. The question I aim to address here is rather: is it worth shelling out for this apparently newly remastered 2009 reissue if you already own the 1996 (blimey was it as long ago as that!) remastered version? Well, you'd like to think that over those 13 years the world of music reproduction technology would have moved on to the extent that a new version would eke even more sonic quality out of the sounds Sabbath laid down on analogue tape back in 1975. After all, this album was a long time in production, reflected in the complex arrangements and huge sound achieved by the band and their recording team. Indeed, I defy anyone not to feel `WOW, that was an experience!' with every ounce of their musical appreciation as the last strains of the awesome `Megalomania' waft into the distance. Maybe I just played it a little on the loud side. But I digress: the short answer is, after playing on a pretty decent hifi various songs from the two versions back to back, I couldn't be sure that I could discern any difference between them.

So what else might tempt the prospective purchaser? There is no `bonus' material. In my book that is great - I detest the pristine purity of a hallowed classic album being diluted with second-rate scrapings from the bottom of the barrel (for example, the `studio run-throughs' that sullied the Rhino reissue of `Close to the Edge' by Yes). With regard to packaging, this reissue comes in a digipack. For some people that may add value, but to be honest I prefer a jewel case that can be replaced if it gets knackered. In 2009 there is a 16 page booklet, whereas the earlier version had a mere 12 pages. The new version booklet has better photos and a short `essay' that helps set the music in historical context, although my straining eyes complain that occasional lapses into red text on a black background was a rather poor design choice. Also on the downside, the 2009 booklet unfortunately omits the song lyrics, which you do get in the old version. So all in all, I am forced to conclude that, for this particular album in the latest batch of Sabbath reissues, it is only die-hard completists or newcomers to Black Sabbath (does that really happen in 2009?) that would really benefit from acquiring this edition.
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How do you follow the class that was Sabbath Bloody Sabbath? easy you do it all again on Sabotage! These are the greatest Ozzy/Sabbath Albums,i love em all but these are the 2 i keep comin back to.

Sabotage is the perfect heavy rock album,the performances by each member a career high,has Ozzy ever given a better vocal? i dont think so.Iommi lets rip with stunning solos and earth shattering riffs underpinned by Butler and Ward who's rythmn section just rocks.

Opening with the thundering 'Hole in The Sky' the band set down a marker,no prisoners,after the false sense of security of 'Dont Start','Symptom of the Universe' rips thru yer speakers,has Iommi ever produced a more visceral riff?,simply superb following closely is 'meglomania' with is proggy intro before succumbing to another mindblowing riff,can this be bettered ? well 'Thrill of it All' trys damn hard with another classic solo from mr Iommi.

This is possibly the finest 20/25 minutes of Sabbath ever,i dont say that lightly,the pace drops,slightly, with the Gothic instrumental with chanting before the manic 'Am I Going Insane?,even after all these years the laughter at the end still makes me smile,although reading some of the bad reviews this album gets,sometimes i think i just might be insane.The album closes with a career high with the self explantory 'The Writ'.

The accusation hurled without foundation at this record is that the band were jaded,uninspired,fatigued etc etc etc,nonsense this is possibly the most varied,experimental and progressive album they ever done,try it you will not be disappointed,10 stars if i could
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on 6 June 2012
This album has many great musical accomplishments.
Lets start with Tony Iommi's guitar sound. The introduction of John Birch Pickups, give tracks like Symptom Of The Universe a guitar sound that resembles a Heavy Metal Chain Saw. In fact Tony has never duplicated that guitar sound since.
The Writ & Megalomania are more iconic statements made by the entire band, achieving technically advanced Heavy Metal Music.

I wish Bill Wards great drumming was enhanced by the double bass production processes of today, as they are very low in the mix. Many do not realize Tony Iommi used an MXR Phase 90 & a pig nose amp on tracks on this album he told me while they were recording their next album in the studio.
Geezer played his new John Birch 8 string bass on this album.
You can hear it in the last 2 minutes of the writ, also Geezers bass playing for the last 3 minutes of Megalomania is just Sterling.
Ozzy's double & tripled tracked voice throughout slices through this entire album. A state of the art production for a Heavy Metal band of this time period.
If you notice Tony Iommi gets a different guitar sound for every album Ozzy sang on. His guitar style, solos & tone today have changed dramatically compared to this Iconic album.
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on 12 March 2009
The absolutely best album ever recorded. This is the music that gave rise to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, etc. This, My Friend, is the album you should own. No words can describe the treat you are in for. Of all the Sabbath albums I own And love, this is the pride of my collection. The music is raw, relevent, suprisingly modern. The vocals reveal Ozzy at his best. Iommi, Ward and Butler are obviously having a musical orgasm. This album is the definitive Sabbath album. If you only buy one Sabs album in your life, make sure its this one. You won't regret it.
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