So, after releasing five great records, Black Sabbath in 1975 released their sixth record “Sabotage.” To me this record is very underrated by the music world. This record capitalizes on everything that “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was good for. This record contains a lot of Progressive Rock influences that was heard throughout the ” Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” record. It returns to the gritty sound that made “Masters of Reality” and “Vol. 4” musically great. It contains those upbeat tempos that was heard on “Paranoid.”
However, “Sabotage” is much heavier, faster in tempo, and angrier than the other Black Sabbath records. The song structures are based around the simple verse and chorus aspect, but changes when the music gets bogged down. Overall, the flow of the melody of the music is good. Just as “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, this record features some nice touches to the overall sound. It contains some of the acoustic guitar and keyboard arrangements along with some orchestra.
Tony Iommi is beginning to create more complex guitar lines. This record piles on the sound of the guitar. Catchy riffs that are now classics within the Heavy Metal world. Even though, “Am I Going Insane” lacks the guitar intensity. His leads are still wonderfully done. Even Geezer Butler’s bass sounds fantastic. He too is incorporating newer styles into his bass lines. Bill Ward’s drumming is still top notch. He is also experimenting with other styles with regards to his drumming.
The quality musicianship is still there. However, this record marks the beginning of the end of the Ozzy era. Because the next two records were basically poor with regards to musicianship and music. The first six Black Sabbath records are still among the best records of the Black Sabbath catalog, even though, we’re getting ready to see a change of line ups at the end of the 1970’s and those Ronnie James Dio years will be rated as the best if not as equal to those Ozzy years.
1. “Hole in the Sky” 4:00
2. “Don’t Start (Too Late)” (Instrumental) 0:49
3. “Symptom of the Universe” 6:29
4. “Megalomania” 9:46
5. “The Thrill of It All” 5:56
6. “Supertzar” (Instrumental with vocalizing choir) 3:44
7. “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” 4:17
8. “The Writ” 8:46