What is this that stands before me? What indeed. Imagine hearing this, in the early days of 1970 – I’d love to have a time machine to see how things really went down. I suppose us modern-day hipsters will just have to contend for crackly old vinyl copies of this and be done with it.
Whether you think Sabbath invented heavy metal or not, they absolutely took that downering, bluesy sound to the mainstream. I am not a Black Sabbath fanatic, far from it (their discography is a fucking far cry from perfect), but praise I must heap on this debut record. Forgive me if I am too bold in saying that it is absolutely flawless. This record sings to me. The production in particular, is fucking God tier. It has warmth, a little bite from the distortion, and the balance with the rhythm section sends shivers up my spine. Ward sounds fantastic, but Geezer Butler’s bass… that shit is sublime. Absolutely mind blowing.
I could go on for some time here so I’ll just level it off here. If for some reason you have never heard this album, I implore you to give it a go. This is more than a heavy metal record. This is an historical document.