Black Sabbath, Vol. 4

( 8 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Vol. 4 is the point in Black Sabbath's career where the band's legendary drug consumption really starts to make itself felt. And it isn't just in the lyrics, most of which are about the blurry line between reality and illusion. Vol. 4 has all the messiness of a heavy metal Exile on Main St., and if it lacks that album's overall diversity, it does find Sabbath at their most musically varied, pushing to experiment amidst the drug-addled murk. As a result, there are some puzzling choices made here (not least of which is the inclusion of "FX"), and the album often contradicts itself. Ozzy Osbourne's wail is becoming more powerful here, taking greater independence from Tony ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Vol. 4 is the point in Black Sabbath's career where the band's legendary drug consumption really starts to make itself felt. And it isn't just in the lyrics, most of which are about the blurry line between reality and illusion. Vol. 4 has all the messiness of a heavy metal Exile on Main St., and if it lacks that album's overall diversity, it does find Sabbath at their most musically varied, pushing to experiment amidst the drug-addled murk. As a result, there are some puzzling choices made here (not least of which is the inclusion of "FX"), and the album often contradicts itself. Ozzy Osbourne's wail is becoming more powerful here, taking greater independence from Tony Iommi's guitar riffs, yet his vocals are processed into a nearly textural element on much of side two. Parts of Vol. 4 are as ultra-heavy as Master of Reality, yet the band also takes its most blatant shots at accessibility to date -- and then undercuts that very intent. The effectively concise "Tomorrow's Dream" has a chorus that could almost be called radio-ready, were it not for the fact that it only appears once in the entire song. "St. Vitus Dance" is surprisingly upbeat, yet the distant-sounding vocals don't really register. The notorious piano-and-Mellotron ballad "Changes" ultimately fails not because of its change-of-pace mood, but more for a raft of the most horrendously clichéd rhymes this side of "moon-June." Even the crushing "Supernaut" -- perhaps the heaviest single track in the Sabbath catalog -- sticks a funky, almost danceable acoustic breakdown smack in the middle. Besides "Supernaut," the core of Vol. 4 lies in the midtempo cocaine ode "Snowblind," which was originally slated to be the album's title track until the record company got cold feet, and the multi-sectioned prog-leaning opener, "Wheels of Confusion." The latter is one of Iommi's most complex and impressive compositions, varying not only riffs but textures throughout its eight minutes. Many doom and stoner metal aficionados prize the second side of the album, where Osbourne's vocals gradually fade further and further away into the murk, and Iommi's guitar assumes center stage. The underrated "Cornucopia" strikes a better balance of those elements, but by the time "Under the Sun" closes the album, the lyrics are mostly lost under a mountain of memorable, contrasting riffery. Add all of this up, and Vol. 4 is a less cohesive effort than its two immediate predecessors, but is all the more fascinating for it. Die-hard fans sick of the standards come here next, and some end up counting this as their favorite Sabbath record for its eccentricities and for its embodiment of the band's excesses.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/22/2007
  • Label: Sanctuary Uk
  • EAN: 5050749203427
  • Catalog Number: 34

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Black Sabbath Primary Artist
Ozzy Osbourne Vocals
Geezer Butler Bass
Tony Iommi Guitar
Bill Ward Drums
Technical Credits
Black Sabbath Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Ozzy Osbourne Composer
Geezer Butler Composer
Colin Caldwell Engineer
Tony Iommi Composer
Patrick Meehan Producer, Audio Production
Vic Smith Engineer
Bill Ward Composer
Hugh Gilmour Liner Notes, Artwork, Reissue Design
Ray Staff Remastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great, Great and Great

    It simply doesn't get better than this. I can still listen to this album from the first song to the last and be amazed. I'm playing it for the thousandth time tonight

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    good sabbath, nice sabbath!!!

    I have to say that its not quite as good as the three that came before it, but its pretty experimental and it got them ready for the next two. It still has some great songs on it, in fact none of them are bad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awsomely Addicting...

    A great album, worthy of the best of Black Sabbath. Some of their best songs are in here. This goes along great with the albums "Mob Rules" and "Paranoid."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wheels of the Changes

    More rocking tracks than before. Ozzy sings equally good than before. Some tracks are fortunatelly too simple but I can handle that. There is 7 classics in this album. Sabbath rules!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    More mayhem...quite tasty

    At this point - Sabbath's fourth album of doom-laden riffery - one might find the formula wearing a bit thin. Yet, they still dish out all the right slashing licks and screams on classics like 'Wheels of Confusion' and the almost neoclassical 'Snowblind'. They attempted a piano ballad with 'Changes' which is easily the least listenable track here. But the rest is good solid metal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews