Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Band, Terrible Album Pt. 3: Black Sabbath: Forbidden

I love Black Sabbath. One of my all time favorite bands, and of course, the very first metal band. However, the band went through a LOT of changes over the years. The original version is my favorite with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward. A lot of casual metal/hard rock fans don't really realize that Ozzy is not the driving force and main member of Black Sabbath. In fact, Tony Iommi was one of the principal songwriters and came up with the riffs which later became Sabbath's well-known sound. Iommi also seems to own the rights to the name Black Sabbath which is why he is the only member who has been with the band throughout its history.

Sabbath moved on after Ozzy was kicked out and brought in Ronnie James Dio. The sound changed obviously as Ozzy and Dio are much different singers but they were still releasing some good music. The band did decline quite a bit after Dio left and they went through a couple different vocalists including Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Glenn Hughes (also Deep Purple oddly), and a whole host of individuals for tours. Tony Martin brought a little stability and sounded a little like a deeper-voiced version of Dio. He did a decent job, but the band should have stopped releasing albums as Black Sabbath by this time.

Forbidden is the last full-length, original album by Black Sabbath so far. It was released in 1995 and was the only album not to feature Geezer Butler on bass. With only one original member, this band proved to be fairly lackluster in the songwriting department as Geezer was another very important piece to the puzzle. Another problem was the rushed nature of the music, there is some decent potential, but the ideas were not fully formed. Finally, the appearance of Ice-T rapping over the first song is a little off-putting on a Black Sabbath album. For being a poor excuse for a Black Sabbath album, only having one original member, and including a rapper (albeit one who does have an admittedly strong interest in metal), this album is a terrible release from a great band.

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