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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Black Sabbath - "Black Sabbath" (Warner Brothers Records, 1970) [key tracks: NIB, The Wizard]
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"Now I have you with me, under my power. Our love grows stronger now with every hour. Look into my eyes, you will see who I am... My name is Lucifer, please take my hand"
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Hey! I am back. You still check this site? Cool! Way cool! Lots happened this summer. The biggest news from Carl-ville is that we bought our first house. Its a nice little house in Council Bluffs. Come over anytime. I'll make you listen to records though. That's right, the man-cave is fully operational. Now NFL just needs to begin... Other news that makes me happy is the fact that I have now, in my possession, 3 of my top 5 wished for records. More on that in entries to come. And, I started my P3 year of pharmacy school (again... heh). Anyway, busy busy. On to the rock!
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Carl's Favorite Songs - #37 - Wasted Years by Iron Maiden
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Decibel Magazine recently had a Stoner Rock themed issue, in which they attempted to list the top Stoner albums of all time. I have very little quarrel with anyone making a list, because I know how complex and hard it is to do. However, my brother was upset to see that the number one album of all time was "Master of Reality" by Black Sabbath. In his opinion, it should be their first album. And I have a hard time making a good argument against him. The debut LP from Ozzy and crew is as chest crushing and soul blackening today as it was new and thrilling then... hearkening to groove metal and doom metal that wouldn't arise for a decade or two after the LP hit shelves. Frank Zappa himself often stated that his idea of the perfect rock songs/sound was a variety of Sabbath tunes from their first few LPs. The horror show, low toned, plodding macabre blues rock set the pace for ALL good metal bands to come. It is senseless to list Sabbath as an influence; from appearance, to theme material, to sound and packaging... all of metal as we know it is built on the Sabbath template (and to be fair, Zepplin too).
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On this LP, we are introduced to the demonic-yet-perfect vocals of Ozzy, the jazz/doom bass of Geezer Butler, and the still 10-fingered guitar wizardry of Tommy Iommi. The epic tracks just keep coming at you... "Black Sabbath," which is more of a tone setter for their career than a band theme song (the song is itself a miracle; inspired by the Boris Karloff movie that inspired them to change from a blues band named Earth to Black Sabbath, a demonic vision seen by Geezer, and uses a musical trick known as a dissonant harmonic progression with augmented fourth... banned once by Christian monks as being diabolus en musica... the evil-metal connection sealed in blood once and for all), "NIB" which is the musical equivalent of a Hammer horror film, "The Wizard" (a song which it at once about a literal wizard ala Gandalf, and the bands drug dealer. The theme and tone is set for all stoner rock to come, both in fantasy and herbal use), and "Behind the Wall of Sleep" which makes H.P. Lovecraft fandom a requirement for all future metal heads. The LP simply kills (that is p0wns for you l33t fans).
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Well, no use talking about Sabbath, better go listen to it. Thanks for checking in, lots of new vinyl was bought this summer, so I have some great treasures to share with you all. Horns up!

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