More BLACK SABBATH at mikeladano.com:
Other SABBATH reviews: 13 (new album) – Headless Cross – Forbidden – Bootleg CD: Forbidden Rough Mix – Concert review: Forbidden tour July 22 1995 Kitchener Ontario – HEAVEN & HELL: Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live in Europe – BILL WARD: Ward One: Along The Way – BILL WARD: “Straws” / “The Dark Half Hour” singles
Those familiar with Black Sabbath know that Tony and Geezer don’t necessarily make the best interviewees. Their answers are often monotone, bland, and only vaguely remembered. Maybe somebody gave them some coffee before this video. Geezer in particular seems more animated, but they both appear actually alive! Bill Ward is Bill Ward, of course. Ozzy can barely get his voice above a croaking whisper. None of that matters though, because this Blu-ray disc is not about the present, it’s about the distant past, 40+ years distant in fact: the landmark metal album of metal albums, Paranoid.
Everybody reading this knows Paranoid from front to back (I hope so, anyway) and has probably bought it more than once. If you don’t know Paranoid, get the album! Go! Listen to it, come back, and finish reading this review later.
Like all Classic Albums discs, this deconstructs classic tunes to the individual layers. You are invited to hear the basic tracks for songs such as “Iron Man”, “Fairies Wear Boots”, “Planet Caravan”, “Black Sabbath”, and more. Engineer Tom Allom (perhaps best known for his production work with Judas Priest) is your tour guide. Stripped of vocals and guitar, you can hear the rhythm section clearly. Hearing Bill and Geezer playing together without adornment is a revelation. If anyone comes out looking very underrated in the Sabbath saga, it is Bill Ward and Geezer Butler, who are psychically locked-in and loose.
Meanwhile, in new footage from the here and now, Iommi demonstrates some of the most famous riffs and solos in Sabbath history. Meanwhile Ozzy explains how he wrote melodies. This story is unfolded within the context of the late 60’s and early 70’s, and what Sabbath stood for in those tumultuous times.
Bonus features are generous, like all Classic Albums discs. About 45 minutes of additional footage is available, discussing songs and topics that didn’t make the cut of the main Blu-ray feature itself. None of it is filler, all of it is worth watching and probably would have made a completely un-boring extended feature anyway, had it been left in.
My only complaint is the resolution of this disc is only 1080i. Minor complaint at that.
As a companion piece, I highly recommend getting Paranoid in its 3 disc expanded edition. The reason being is, on this Blu-ray you will hear demo versions of songs with alternate lyrics. If you want all of these demos complete and uncut, you have to get the 3 disc version of Paranoid which includes them all (as well as the album’s original Quad mix).
Oh, and one last thing: Henry Rollins.