Black Sabbath - Sabotage (1975)
What a mixed bag. I had already heard, and now agree, that Sabotage contains some of Sabbaths absolute best material, and some of their most lackluster. It starts very strong, with an A-side that is unyielding save for a weak acoustic instrumental track. Some of Toni’s best riffs accompany Ozzy’s most impassioned vocal performance yet.
The B-side isn’t bad, not at all. It’s just so completely inferior to the A-side. Mostly hard rock tracks lacking either memorable hooks or riffs carry the listener through the second half in minor disappointment. However, nothing can be said to overstate the comeback that is the final track, “The Writ.”
“The Writ” blew my mind when I first heard it. Unmistakably, I recognized that track as the birth of true Doom; in contrast to the Traditional Doom sound Sabbath coined, this track was very moody, very slow, very heavy. It was melancholic, and passionate. Somewhat progressive and eclectic. This track, I believe, is what birthed melancholic Doom Metal as a separate style to the slow but epic style of Trad Doom, and consequently, led to Death Doom and Funeral Doom.