Master Of Reality was Black Sabbath's third album and their followup to one of the best heavy metal albums of all time, Paranoid. Although this album is nearly as strong as Paranoid, it has become somewhat of a closet classic, only getting its just recognition from their die-hard fans. While the songs here aren't as well known as the classics "Iron Man" and "War Pigs", most of the tracks are top notch and the band have recognized this by bringing some songs from this album into their set on the annual Ozzfest tours.
Like most of their catalog, Masters Of Reality is at its best on the heavier material carried by their simple yet memorable riffs. The opening track "Sweet Leaf", where Ozzy Osbourne sings of his love of marijuana, is one of their best tracks. "Children Of The Grave", the best known song here and a staple of both Ozzy's solo band and Black Sabbath's live shows, is one of their great epics featuring a killer solo from Tony Iommi near the track's end. Also featured here are the excellent "Lord Of This World" and "Into The Void", the former featuring excellent counter bass lines from Geezer Butler while the latter is literally a riff tour-de-force. The band also show hints of their changing musical direction which would come to fruition on their Volume 4 album on the acoustic instrumental "Orchid" and on the track "Solitude", a solemn piece featuring a soft vocal from Osbourne, laid back musicianship and a flute! By far, the most underrated track here is "After Forever." Listening to the pro-Christianity lyrics, it's hard to believe that this was the same band that gave us the gloom and doom of their debut album. Simply put, next to Paranoid this is their best work and a must have for all heavy metal fans.