Posts Tagged ‘Master of Reality’

The intro to ‘Dopes of Infinity’ is one of the purest Sabbath riffs never to come from those magical Iommi fingers. It has the the perfect mix of catchy but heavy as fuck guitar. It sounds like a lost b-side from ‘Master of Reality’, but then morphs into one of the best stoner metal tunes you’ll ever hear. Monster Magnet have been a consistent force in the good old fashioned rock and roll world of stoner rock. ‘Dopes to Infinity’ is probably Monster Magnet’s best record, certainly their most famous, which helps its cause here as my riff of the moment.

But don’t let yourself think that this opening riff isn’t that spiritual successor to ‘Into the Void’. Because it is, so turn it up and bang your fucking head


There’s nothing quite like Black Sabbath live. I need to get that out to start. But rewind back to the start of the evening. This was a day I’d been waiting for for about seven months, when my lovely lady bought me Sabbath tickets for my birthday. I had to wait so long, so fucking long to see the originators, the progenitors of my most beloved music genre. But it turned out to be more than worth the wait. But first, to the support.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats were great, their fuzzed out proto-doom are the perfect warm up act for a band like Black Sabbath. Uncle Acid are what Sabbath could have become if they’d stayed stuck in ‘Master of Reality’ mode. Their songs are catchy, but with a malevolent element; something dark and occult lurks behind those melodies that worm their way into your brain.

But now to Sabbath. There’s always a fear when you go to see a favourite band that they won’t be as good as you hope. Especially one like Black Sabbath, whose influence on music is unfathomable, but whose members are all pushing 60. And Ozzy, oh Ozzy, how you are still alive nobody knows but we are all eternally grateful. Ozzy turned 65 just days before the gig, and with his quadbike accident and the years of abusing his body with all kinds of substances, you’ve got to cross your fingers and hope he’s gonna be ok. Luckily, he was better than ok.

Opening with ‘War Pigs’ probably was the best choice. Opening track of their most famous record, and epic slice of heavy metal history, it was a perfect start. The gig then became the hit parade, with ‘Into the Void’, ‘Snowblind’ and ‘Black Sabbath’ thrown into the first half. The new tracks from ’13’, like ‘Age of Reason’ and ‘God is Dead’ fit in perfectly with older material, and tracks like ‘Under the Sun’ and ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ were an unexpected surprise to me. I assumed it’d be the hits, but in fairness both those tracks are awesome. Highlights were the thunderous ‘Iron Man’, with the sold out crowd ‘whoa whoa’-ing along with the iconic main riff, and a grinding ‘Children of the Grave’. Iommi was staggering, Geezer’s bass was note perfect, and Ozzy’s voice was great. Ozzy is forever the showman, running around, jumping up and down and moving a lot more than a man of his age should be. His voice, while not able to hit the higher notes he used to be able to, has gained a darker tone that really cranked up the evilness of tracks like ‘Black Sabbath’. In fact, the eponymous track still, after 43 years, is the most sinister and evil piece of metal ever written.

It was a beautiful thing watching the men who started it all bring their A game 43 years later. Let’s hope ’13’ wasn’t their last record, because the godfathers still have plenty of life left in them. They are lords of this world