‘Black Sabbath’ turns 50


“Black Sabbath” turned 50 Thursday, Feb. 13.

The legendary eponymous debut album of Black Sabbath turned 50 Thursday, Feb. 13.

The album was released in 1970 and despite only having five songs, the album is nearly 40 minutes and covers immense ground.

Metal co-pioneers Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin were beginning to separate the metal genre from rock and roll by rolling out distortion, loudness, and heavy guitar riffs.

But “Black Sabbath” was the push that heavy metal needed to form into its own distinct form of art.

The album begins with the title track and the instruments don’t even kick in for 40 seconds.

Instead, it starts with a cold and chilling ambient intro comprised of thunder, rain, and sinister church bells.

Around the 40-second mark the guitar rolls out a slow churning riff that begins with a downtuned power chord with the phrase ending with a bone rattling vibrato note.

This phrase of the song is entirely based on a Tritone chord which in music has been nicknamed “The Devils Chord” because of its extreme heaviness and dissonance.

After minutes of dark instrumentals the vocals began to be sung, Ozzy Osborne’s wailing, howling vocals sing about a dark figure in black that he had saw.

This was the birth of heavy metal.

After the title track the album begins to roll out tracks that are heavier and faster then the last.

The track “The Wizard” takes inspiration from J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings” and the track “N.I.B” is a dark twisted love song is told from the perspective of Lucifer himself.

This album scared and fascinated millions of people so much so that the band returned to the studio four months later to record their sophomore album “Paranoid”

Black Sabbath was formed in Birmingham England 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.

The band has released nineteen studio albums and has released seven with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.

Their final album “13” was released 2013 and their final world tour concluded at the end of 2017.

The band has released over 70 million records worldwide and rated 85th on The Rolling Stones “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”

The band has influenced music acts such as ” Metallica,” “Slayer,” “Iron Maiden,” “Judas Priest,” “Motorhead,” “,System Of A Down,” and so many others.