Volume 4 (Audio Cassette) Import
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1972 debut pressed on 180 gram vinyl with Direct Metal Mastering. Earmark. 2005.
Vol 4 both consolidated Black Sabbath's massive transatlantic success and marked the beginning of the end. Thematically, the band continued to move away from cod-Satanism towards an apocalyptic Science Fiction based on the abandonment of a world turned irrevocably bad. Relationships were now explored, in "St. Vitus Dance" and the maudlin, piano-led "Changes", and drugs, which the band were now consuming with dangerous enthusiasm, remained a concern, "Snowblind" being a celebration to match 1971's "Sweet Leaf". But the increasingly complex and varied music--the sweet instrumental "Laguna Sunrise", the pure ambient percussion of "FX", and additional keyboards--caused vicious arguments that would eventually culminate in break-up. Hard to believe, as much of it was as crushingly heavy as ever, an obvious precursor of both industrial metal and grunge. In fact, Ministry's Al Jourgensen would later cover "Supernaut", and Seattle's Screaming Trees would cover "Tomorrow's Dream". --Dominic Wills --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
By the time they reached 1972, Black Sabbath had already released three excellent albums - each one more excellent than the last (in my opinion anyway.) But, of course, the band was beginning to realize that they needed to broaden their horizons. And thus, Black Sabbath's experimental era began. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward all knew that their fans loved the sound they had used so far, but they knew they couldn't just keep doing the same things over and over again. The first album to emerge from their experimental era was their fourth studio album - Vol. 4. Read on for my review.
This is probably Black Sabbath's most uneven album with Ozzy at the helm, but it's a solid album nonetheless. Rockers and ballads alike can be found on this album. They kick things off with Wheels Of Confusion/The Straightener, an excellent hard rocking tune. This song will grab your attention and hold it - which is exactly what an album's opening track should do. Perhaps one of the best things about this album is that it gives us a chance to see Tony Iommi doing some acoustic guitar work - something we're not used to seeing him do. Tomorrow's Dream and Laguna Sunrise are softer, more melodic tunes that beautifully demonstrate that there is more to Mr. Iommi than a hard rocker. And, of course, we get Sabbath's classic ballad, Changes. This is a piano-heavy track that features some really cheesy and simplistic lyrics, but that doesn't mean it's a good song. And, of course, what would a Sabbath album be without some rockers? Snowblind, my favorite track on the album, is a straight-up classic metal-style rocker that will not fail to please if you like classic hard rock.Read more ›
Not that the heavier stuff isn't good. The tracks "Supernaut" and "Snowblind" are certainly two of the better heavy songs that they've recorded with the former featuring a killer riff from Tony Iommi and the latter describing the effects of cocaine. The epics "Wheels Of Confusion" and "Under The Sun" are both good tracks, but not as definitive as other long tracks they've recorded like "Iron Man" and "Children Of The Grave." However, this album is best known for the previously unchartered waters found in the piano ballad "Changes" and the strings and acoustic guitars of "Laguna Sunrise." While these songs are truly a change of pace for the band, both work surprisingly well, especially "Changes" which has albeit on a smaller scale become to the band what "Beth" has become to Kiss, one of their most popular tracks despite sounding totally different from the rest of their catalog. The tracks "Tomorrow's Dream", "Cornucopia", and "St Vitus' Dance" are also decent, if not among their best work. A strong album, albeit not on the same level as Paranoid and Master Of Reality.
It is true that there is a noticeable drop in the volume of the right channel at 4 minutes 52 seconds into Wheels of Confusion. It never bothered me. Could it be that I had it cranked up too loud? I suppose I'll have to live with it, but you don't. Get a different edition.
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