Friday, December 30, 2011

Am I Going Insane?

Of the six classic-era Black Sabbath albums, Sabotage is the one that I almost never hear anyone mention. Perhaps people forgot that they still had it in them to issue one more great album after the complex monstrosity that was Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath. By this point, the band’s excessive lifestyle had begun to catch up to them. The drug abuse and constant touring were slowly causing the band to unravel. Combined with Tony Iommi’s burgeoning obsession with studio production, Sabotage took considerably longer to record than the usual Sabbath fare. The result was well worth the time spent, although this is clearly an album by a band that won’t admit to one another that their time is up. At least not until the recording is finished, anyway. There are times when you can almost feel the band struggling to maintain what is left of their sanity after five hard years of recording, traveling, and doing copious amounts of drugs. On the near-ten-minute epic “Megalomania,” Ozzy begs everyone to get out of his life and leave him alone to wallow in his drug-induced isolation. “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” is self-explanatory. It is a descent into madness, punctuated by the cackles of psychotic laughter at the song’s conclusion. The laughter carries over into “The Writ,” which concludes Sabotage on a high note. While the lyrics apparently lash out at Sabbath’s old management team, there is more going on in the music itself. When Ozzy whimpers “I know” repeatedly, it is like an affirmation that the band is over. He sounds like he is shedding tears of relief with that knowledge. The beat marches the song to its bitter end. As it fades out, the creative flame that made Black Sabbath the kings of heavy music becomes extinguished.

If you don’t believe me, I only have two words for you: Technical Ecstasy. End of story.


2 comments:

NO BEAST SO FIERCE said...

The most underrated and by far the best Sabbath LP!!!

Brian said...

awesome! going to grab this tonight, thank you!

also still waiting for AoS/Gilman stories ;)

thanks man, this blog kicks fucking ass!