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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 24 March 2017
Excellent
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The fifth studio release from the masters of the heavy rock universe is, for me, a return to form after a disappointing Volume 4. The band was still going through problems, mainly liked to substance abuse, but whereas on Vol.4 this led to a rather patchy affair on this release they managed to harness it and put it to good creative use.

As well as the usual doom laden lyrics, many dealing with the band's problems, there is some excellent musicianship and vocals on display here. The band tried to expand their musical palette on 4, but it was a hit and miss affair. Now they have got the hang of it, and a much more cohesive record results, in the form of heavy rock with distinctive prog leanings.

Tommy Iommi is on fine form with his trademark down tuned guitar sound, and Ozzy seems possessed with his singing. Ward and Butler are also giving it their all, and a classic heavy rock album results. Along with their self titled debut and `Paranoid' I rate this as the best from the classic Sabbath line-up. It's the greatest album cover of all time as well.
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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 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 30 August 2016
BEWARE OF THE 2016 LIMITED EDITION COLORED VINYL OF ALL SABBATH ALBUMS. Very poor pressings. "Black Sabbath" skips and clunks throughout track two (possibly pressing residue). "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" has severe crackling on lead out track side two. All album cover reproductions are pretty terrible ("Master Of Reality" isn't even embossed). My "Sabotage" album arrived with the cover severely scratched even in the factory sealed cardboard box. My sealed box for "Master Of Reality" actually contained "Paranoid". I think they dropped the ball on these ones. All albums seem to have a fair bit of dust and surface noise on first play. Musically, apart from the faults they sound good to fantastic but it's a gamble I will not take again.

I received my replacement "Sabotage" vinyl today. LABEL GLUE RESIDUE ALL OVER BOTH SIDES OF THE LP AND THE OFFENDING LABEL RIPPLED BEYOND BELIEF!! EXTREMELY NOISY TRACK RUN-OUT ON SIDE ONE. I GIVE UP !! AVOID THESE ATROCITIES LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!!!!!!
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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 21 August 2014
I've just listened all the way through the gargantuan slab of molten hot metal that is Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and felt impelled to highlight it.

The first 4 Sabs LPs + Sabotage + the first 2 with Dio tend to get the most critical acclaim, and rightly so. But Sabbath Bloody Sabbath needs to be rapidly hoisted up there too - it's a colossal beast!!!

Most of these tracks boast a series of killer riffs welded together. Each is utterly compelling in its own right. Iommi is like a fire breathing dragon with each riff emerging, again and again, out of the previous one, burning its way through your brain.

Certainly Tony Iommi is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the heavy metal guitar riff - he's rarely ever failed throughout his career IMO. Every riff here could battle its way easily to the top of the all time best lists. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath itself, has a sound that immediately shocks you to attention - Iommi's 2nd best one after Symptom IMO.

One day the critics will recognise the work of Iommi and Sabbath, not only as definitive heavy metal, but also as a bona fide artform. The way Tony churns out riff after riff so eloquently describes the factory production lines of industrial Birmingham. Perhaps he is the LS Lowry of Heavy Metal!?

Ozzy gives a typically incredible display of vocal theatre in the songs - portraying so many states of madness, fear, alienation, sorrow and twisted humour. Check out SBS, National Acrobat, Sabbra Caddabra, Killing Yourself to Live (uh, and all the vocal tracks actually).

And, as ever, Iommi, Geezer and Bill knit together as a phenomenal unit. Bill is undervalued. He has a unique drumming signature - very focused on Ozzy's singing. He can not really be replaced.

I find the sound here more crushing than the first 4 LPs and the imaginative invention is astounding - Clearwater Castle clearly got itself lodged in the band's brains.

Who Are You and Fluff are tasty changes of direction and the guitar in Spiral Architect cuts right through me.

I love Priest, Saxon, Diamond Head, Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, etc., but, for me, Sabbath are by far the greatest Heavy Metal band of them all.

My suggestion is go and find yourself a dark room with no disturbances and light a solitary candle. Wait until everything is quiet and then blast this LP out. Then tell me it's not an all time classic!
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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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on 19 February 2003
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
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