Yikes! I waited all that time for new Sabbath. And this is w
Ben Ochoa | CHICAGOLAND, IL | 05/19/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this album out of Sabbath brand name loyalty. I listened desperately for songs to prove to my friends that Sabbath was still alive and well, and kicking out jams that would last like their classics. It did nothing of the sort. This album was a frisbee before all was said and done. I won't argue that the strong points on this CD were "Dirty Women, Backstreet Kid," etc. But that ain't saying much. This album was so un-Sabbath, right down to the "Head East" keyboard impersonations. There's no direction, feeling, attitude nor poise whatsoever from the first song. Rather, there's a sound of "let's try to sell some records" in various ways, by trying to reach a more contemporary, albeit still metal audience. I think their sales of this record speaks for itself. It's only a smidge above "Never Say Die" for paper thin quality music, themes that are so un-Sabbath that Dennis DeYoung could have written them. And absolutely NO power behind this entire album, where with their earliest recordings, even their ballads were loaded with energy and inspiration. This dreck of a CD has neither. The end of Dirty Women may well have a good jam at its end. But you have to wait a long time before reaching that 1 point in the whole album for anything to cheer about. And even that's ad-hoc, not by inspiration. Listen to the themes and scenarios in "Master of Reality" or "Paranoid," and it's an embarrassment to even point out "T.E." as part of Sabbath's catalog. When "H.& Hell" came out, and "Neon Nights" was their first to get radio play, my fist was pumping in the air-"Sabbath's back!" But I was completely wrong. That was all that CD had to cheer about for substance. So "T. Ecstasy" to me was the beginning of the end. After that, Sabbath has no identity of its own. In post Dio years, it became a revolving door of everything shy of Iommi as far as band members and should have been denied being called Black Sabbath. Was there good music put out in those versions? Sure. Was there anything truly memorable that ranks with their greatest material. Absolutely not. To even say "T.E." or "Never Say Die" is better than "Paranoid" proves 1 of 2 things. You either don't understand the era their earliest works came out in and the power and anger behind that music. Or you simply like crap. Though I like "Sabatoge" and to a lesser extent "S.B.Sabbath," even those were steps down from Sabbath's first 4. Sabatoge was the last CD I embraced, or gave more than a mere listen to. But I don't throw it on for beginning to end listens like their historical, groundbreaking, table setting, wall shaking first 4, which are rock/metal landmarks. Trust me. If you like classic Sabbath, don't waste your money! You'll be like me, looking desperately for something to cling to. But you won't find anything to grasp onto. Though I never fully embraced Ozzie's solo stuff (especially after R. Rhoades died), his first 2 solos w/ Rhoades are more Sabbath than this horse dung can lay claim to."