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Master of Reality

4.7 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 14 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B000002KDO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Sweet Leaf
2. After Forever
3. Embryo
4. Children Of The Grave
5. Orchid
6. Lord Of This World
7. Solitude
8. Into The Void

Product Description

Product Description

Certified Multi-Platinum (2 times) by the RIAA. (7/01)


Black Sabbath's first two releases, Black Sabbath and Paranoid, were more than groundbreaking, they were earth-shattering, exposing the public to a brutal new form of noise pollution termed heavy metal. But it was the band's third album, Master of Reality, that cemented the group as blackened wizards of doom and gloom. Just listen to the echoing cough and sludgy guitar riff of the opening track "Sweet Leaf" and compare it to anything that existed at the time. Not only were Black Sabbath heavier than Deep Purple or Vanilla Fudge, they were also more experimental and controversial, exploring themes of darkness, drugs, and depravity that others dared not address. The heaviest and most influential disc of Black Sabbath's career, Master of Reality featured proto-metal sludge like "Children of the Grave" and "After Forever," which served as a blueprint for a legion of musicians including '90s Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins. --Jon Wiederhorn

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Master of Reality kicks off with the amazing Sweet Leaf, a song about cannabinoid use with one of the greatest geetar riffs of all time. After Forever is somthing of a curiosity, a Christian song on a Black Sabbath album! I suppose the message here is that they are not a "Satanic" band a la Deicide et al, but merely sing about God, the Devil and such in a descriptive way. Black Sabbath to me are the musical equivalent of a Hammer Horror film, except they have aged better! Embryo is a nice 20 second piece (at least Black Sabbath kept their instrumental meanderings short and to the point!), and it's on to the colossal, thundering, "Children of the Grave" and a warning that is still as relevant to day as it was three decades ago (it's hard to believe this album is over 30 years old!) Orchid is another short & sweet insrumental at 1 and a half minutes, followed by the brilliant "Lord of this World", the haunting, "Planet Caravan"-like "Solitude" and "Into the Void", a great track, but not the best one on the album. Many cite this as Black Sabbath's best album, and I can't prove them wrong - most of their releases are of such good quality it's just so hard to pick one single best album. Master of Reality is certainly a contender.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
These days it seems like "Remaster" means "Compress the life out of it until it's as loud as possible and sounds flat as heck", so I was very hesitant to give the new Sabbath remasters a chance. I have the Black Box and although the albums are all compressed, I thought they were tolerable and still sounded decent. Well I decided give this one a try and I don't regret my purchase one bit. The Black Box version is louder, flatter and has more treble. The decrease in treble on the new version might make it seem a bit muffled in comparison, but when you listen to it for a while and then switch to the Black Box disc that one will sound harsh. Plus there's that pesky hearing fatigue thingy that comes into play at louder volumes.

Is it worth getting these versions? Well it depends on whether you're looking for value or the best sound quality. The Black Box is cheaper than buying them all separately, and if you already have it then you'll have to decide whether you want to buy the same albums yet again. For crazy audiophiles like me I'd say it's definitely the way to go. To put it in a number value, Black Box Master Of Reality ReplayGain value -8.89, 2010 Sanctuary Master Of Reality ReplayGain value -4.01. I also looked at the waveforms of Children Of The Grave in Audacity just for fun and it almost looks like 2 completely different songs. There's also a Deluxe Edition with a second disc of outtakes so you might want to check that one out if alternate versions are your thing.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, I will say that the sound quality is decent, and the bonus tracks on the second disk are a bit of a mixed bag, but interesting enough over all. However, is it just me, or is the volume on these remastered CD's extremely low? I had this disk loaded in my CD player's carousel along with another heavy metal CD. When that CD was done playing it loaded this Masters Of Reality disk and it began to play. Honestly, the volume was so low on MOR that I had to go over and turn the volume up on the amp, not just a notch but quite a bit. Otherwise the volume on this disk would have been at about the same level that most people would turn their stereo down to if they got a phone call. You know, it's there in the background but very low. As I say, after cranking up the volume on my amp the CD did sound quite good, but I don't relish the idea of having to continually adjust the volume every time I load the disk into my player with other titles. Has anyone else noticed this issue with the volume on this version of Masters Of Reality? And if so, is it just this one title in this remastered 2-CD series or are they all like this?
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