Metal Insider’s top five: Best and worst Black Sabbath albums

Posted by on March 31, 2014

1. Master of Reality (1971) — This album, more than any other, bears the signature Sabbath sound. Sonically, it’s distinctive because the guitars are detuned to C# relative to E (three half-steps lower than is standard). What’s more, Iommi favored strings with low tension because he had severely injured his fingers as youth in a Birmingham, England steel mill. This was also the album which, more than any other, cemented the band’s legacy as the fore-bearers of stoner metal. The first sound on the album is actually Iommi coughing after smoking a joint in the studio as an introduction to the anthemic “Sweat Leaf.” The whole album is strong, with songs like “Children of the Grave” and “Lord of this World.”

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