The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘ozzy’ Category

Black Sabbath Concert Review, Austin, TX 7/27/2013

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I’ve been a fan of Black Sabbath since the mid-70s when one of my my older brothers, Robert (RIP), brought home Paranoid.  Somewhere around 78 or 79 he gave me their debut album for Christmas and it was one of the first pieces of vinyl that I ever owned.  I’ve spoken many times before about his influence on me musically and and his love for Sabbath was certainly passed on to me.  I f’n LOVE Sabbath…Ozzy, Dio, Gillan and Martin eras.  But my love for them doesn’t give them a pass.  In fact, it may make me more critical.

I’d never seen Sabbath (by name) but I did see Heaven & Hell twice.  I saw Ozzy live in 1988 and to be honest he was horrible.  At that point he was a shell of his former self.  Last night I would have called him a shell of a shell of his former self.

Lots of cards were in play with the recent Sabbath reunion.  No Bill Ward on the album because of a contract dispute (read: $$ and Sharon).  Iommi’s lymphoma which was caught early but is still being treated for every 6 weeks.  No Ward on the tour.  A new album that I think is boring, autotuned vocally and severely over-processed.  Bill couldn’t have saved the album.

Sabbath opened the recent leg of the tour in Houston the night before and the reviews of Ozzy were pretty awful.

The show was opened with Andrew WK doing a DJ of the same songs that most venues would have played prior to a concert…DIO, Slayer, AC/DC etc.  Sharon must have gotten him on the cheap!  I would have preferred an opening band.

Sabbath opened up with War Pigs then went into Into the Void(!).  By the second song Ozzy had pulled out his inner ear monitors.  He was motioning during War Pigs that his inner ear sound was jacked up.  The band sounded great the whole show.  Tony and Geezer were just incredible to watch and listen to.  Touring drummer Tommy Clufetos (Alice Cooper, John 5, Ted Nugent) did a fine job on everything except for the song Black Sabbath.  He played most of the songs pretty spot on but was doing something weird on that one that just didn’t seem to work.  He also did a drum solo and even as me being a drummer (retired), I really don’t like most drum solos, especially from metal bands.  But Ozzy said it best last night, “Rat Salad…I need to take a fucking break!”  So I can easily see why there was a solo.  Ozzy looked worn out.  Metal band drum solos are typically just a bunch of double bass, quads and triplets.  zzzz.  I’d prefer to not have a solo or to watch one where a drummer is showing me their chops.  But that’s just my opinion.  The crowd loved it and that’s what mattered.  And let’s be honest here, does anyone think Ward would have been good live at this point?  From what I have seen on Youtube and read in reviews of the reunion tour, dude had a tough enough time keeping up as it was.

I will say that I thought Ozzy was better than I expected him to be, but he wasn’t great by any means.  Strapped to his teleprompter, still not getting words right (same in 88 actually) and being flat for a majority of the show.  Sure his drug use is that of legend and in general the guy probably doesn’t know where he is half of the time.  His wife, who did save his life, seems to be money hungry and continues to prop him up like a puppet.

He sounded best on God Is Dead? and the other new songs which makes sense as they were written more about how he is able to sing now.  I was happy to see Dirty Women in the set, unfortunately he couldn’t keep up in it.  Snowblind was another highlight.

I know my opinion on this is a minority opinion, but I’d respect Ozzy more if he’d just say, “That’s all, folks.  I just can’t do it any more.”  I have a list of performers that fall into that category for me.

But all the above taken into account, I had a really good time and have zero regrets about going or about the high ticket price ($115+fees).  I felt it was the last time I’d have a chance to see Iommi and watching Geezer is always a treat.  He’s still a beast on the bass.  And Ozzy sounded better than what I had expected, so there’s that.

I did hear someone say before the show that they loved “Tommy Iommi.”  That one always cracks me up.

As we were walking out after Children of the Grave (Yes, I left before the Paranoid encore), I heard Ozzy say, “Thank you, Houston!”  He must have walked away from his teleprompter again.

Written by The Metal Files

July 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

My Life With Ozzy

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Having been very familiar with Ozzy from Sabbath, I looked forward to hearing his solo stuff. My brother brought home Blizzard of Ozz in ‘81 and I was a bit surprised how different from Sabbath it was.

Blizzard of Ozz – 1980 (81 in the US)
This is a really good album overall but I never liked Crazy Train and No Bone Movies. Goofy songs. Yes, I know Randy sounded good on both of those but he couldn’t save them. My faves would be Suicide Solution, Mr. Crowley and Steal Away (the Night). Ozzy annoys me with his little noises he does in many of their songs. Like Crazy Train…aye aye aye…or whatever. He’s a doofus. I just never really got into this one.
7/10

Diary of a Madman – 1981I think this album is heads and tales better than Blizzard. Better riffs, solos and a tad less goofiness from Ozzy. SATO is my favorite Ozzy song ever. For this album, Flying High Again is probably my least favorite followed up by You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll.
9/10

Bark at the Moon – 1983
This was the first Ozzy album I bought with my own money and it will always hold a special place. I adore Jake’s playing on this and have always liked his style better than Randy’s. Ozzy got a little goofy on this one with the title track and Rock and Roll Rebel (retarded lyrics) but the riffs and solos in both songs overshadow the dumb lyrics. I could probably do without So Tired, but whatever. Jake rules.
10/10

Ultimate Sin – 1986
Ozzy really should have started getting someone to write lyrics for him by this time. Cripes. Thank God for the Bomb, Secret Loser and Never Know Why are silly, but again, Jake saves the day. Lots of long winded songs on here as well. The production was so thin and tinny. Awful. I am hoping that one day this will get properly remastered. The title track and Shot in the Dark and my faves. Jake is great.
8.5/10

No Rest for the Wicked – 1988
Zakk who? My current guitarist was a finalist to replace Jake in Ozzy’s band and subsequently they chose Zakk. There’s a plethora of tales out there as to how and why Zakk got the gig. My guy was told by Sharon that they chose Zakk over him because he (Doug) wasn’t quite “Randy” enough and that Ozzy needed that again. Doug rehearsed with the whole band a few times before getting the phone call and subsequent letter in the mail. Anyway, as for the album, it took me years to actually get into this one and it’s still not one I listen to often. Lyrically, this album sucks for the most part. My faves would be Breaking All the Rules and Bloodbath in Paradise. I saw this tour and Zakk was an idiot on stage. Ozzy let him speak way too much. He’s an idiot. It was nice to see Geezer though and Castillo was great.
5.5/10

No More Tears – 1993
Side one of the cassette is great. I rarely listen to anything from side 2 besides Hell Raiser. Lemmy saved Ozzy on this one. In general, it’s not a bad album but I rarely listen to it at all.
6/10

Ozzmosis and everything after…0/10

Blech.I really wish he’d just go away at this point.

Written by The Metal Files

December 31, 2008 at 1:45 pm

My Life With Black Sabbath

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About the same time my brother was bringing home KISS’ Dressed to Kill, he was also letting me hear Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. The mid-70s were very influential on my becoming a metalhead. Here’s how Sabbath breaks down for me.

Black Sabbath – 1970
This is still one of my favorite Sabbath albums, in the top 3 even. The haunting vocals of the title track are awesome as is the use of the Devil’s tritone chording. NIB is the only song I wish I would never ever hear again. Perhaps radio overplay killed it for me. I don’t really remember liking it that much as a kid either. Ozzy’s voice is clean and has a raw quality to it.
9/10

Paranoid – 1970
I catch flack for this all the time, but I really don’t like this album in general. Maybe hearing it all the time growing up killed it for me, I don’t know. Paranoid, Iron Man and War Pigs make me want to puke. Radio overplay again maybe. I guess it’s really those 3 songs that kill this one for me as I do love Planet Caravan, Electric Funeral and Hand of Doom.
6/10

Master of Reality – 1971
Sabbath is really starting to hit their stride at this point. Other than Sweet Leaf, I adore this album. The downside to this is that it is starting to make me hate Ozzy’s vocals. One of the things that has annoyed me about him all these years is that he always seems to have to do stuff between normal vocal parts, i.e. “alright now”…”can you hear it”…”yeah”. And it may not be so much what he says, but the frequent nature of it and his annoying whine. But damn, Children of the Grave, Into the Void, After Forever, Lord of this World. Doom! DOOM!
8/10 (blame Sweet leaf for bringing down the score)

Volume 4 – 1972
This is not a bad album overall, but I rarely ever listen to it. I don’t know why that is. Even Changes doesn’t bother me. I have no favorites on this one. I can’t praise it but I can’t dog it out either.
5/10

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – 1973
This is a great one beginning to end although Ozzy’s whiney voice really gets on my nerves. Spiral Architect and National Acrobat are definitely my faves.
8/10

Sabotage – 1975
Damn man. That’s a lot of metal from 1970 to 1975. Anyway, this is another one that I rarely listen to. Hole in the Sky and Symptom of the Universe are definitely my faves. There are no stinkers on here.
7/10

Technical Ecstasy – 1976
I sometimes like this one and I sometimes hate it. I don’t listen to it often, but I don’t think it sucks. This is definitely an experimental one for Sabbath and I like seeing bands try to stretch their limits a bit. It didn’t really pan out for them here.
3/10

Never Say Die – 1978
This was a nice recovery for Sabbath. The title track is great. Overall it’s not a great album, but it has a few shining moments.
5/10

Heaven and Hell – 1980
Ladies and gentlemen, Ronnie James Dio. Having heard plenty of Rainbow up, I was familiar with Dio and always loved his voice. This album is brilliant. Sabbath got heavier. This is another of my top 3. There are no bad songs on here. There aren’t really any average songs. It’s just awesome any way you slice it.
10/10

The Mob Rules – 1981
Oh man. Things got even better. How is that possible? Don’t ask questions, you doofus. Just listen to the album…over and over. Simply brilliant. Too bad Ronnie left after this one. This is my favorite Sabbath album. My top 3 rotate around sometimes and H&H falls out only to be replaced by the next album on the list…
11/10 (yes, I said 11)

Born Again – 1983
This seems to be an album that people either love or hate, no in betweeners. I personally love it. The addition of Ian Gillan was nice even though his vocals on here are pretty erratic. Trashed is perhaps my favorite Sabbath song ever. The first time I heard it was on the K-Tel metal compilation Masters of Metal (which also featured Rainbow and DIO). Other than the production, this is a great LP. The songs are very weird and very dark.
9/10

Seventh Star – 1986
WTF? I never liked this one in general. No Stranger to Love is OK but this just isn’t Sabbath enough for me. Yeah, I know, this was to be a solo album for Tony. Glenn Hughes’ voice annoys me. I don’t like his Deep Purple work either.
2/10

The Eternal Idol – 1987
Enter Tony Martin. This is a pretty good album all the way around and I always felt Tony was a good substitute for Dio. The Shining is awesome. It’s not a brilliant LP by any means but it’s worthy of several listens.
6/10

Headless Cross – 1989
This is definitely a step up from The Eternal Idol. The addition of Cozy Powell doesn’t hurt. This is a great album beginning to end. I still kick myself in the ass for not going to see this tour when it rolled through Norfolk. Thankfully, I do have that show on CD. Tony Martin sounds awesome on here.
9/10

Tyr – 1990An often overlooked album by metal fans. It’s nowhere near the caliber of Headless Cross but it does kick some mighty ass…well, except for It Feels Good to Me. Sorry, that song sometimes makes me nauseous. By the way, Mr. Martin…nice hair. Haha
7/10

Dehumanizer – 1992
I’ve never physically owned this one until 2007. Letters To Earth, Sins of the Father, I, Buried Alive. I really wish i hadn’t waited to bother with it. It rocks!
8/10

That’s it for me. I never bothered with Cross Purposes or Forbidden.

Written by The Metal Files

December 19, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Tell me why I have to be a Powerslave…

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Before I get too deep into reviewing old badass metal albums, I am going to start with THE most badass metal album of all time.Powerslave

Yes, by Iron Maiden…like that needed to be said. I guess there are some folks out there who don’t know. Well you do now.

I’ll never forget when I first bought this. It was 1984 and my mom and I were flying into Pittsburgh to visit family for a week. The airport there had a little music store so with some of the spending money I had I bought Powerslave and Bark at the Moon. I had heard some of the Ozzy album on the radio and at that time, Ozzy was still making quality records. Prior to buying Powerslave, Run To the Hills was the only Iron Maiden that I had ever heard. I always loved their album covers but never checked ‘em out. I even remember having the old Hit Parader special edition “Iron Maiden vs. Quiet Riot.” Of course I covered my walls with the QR posters that came with it. Duh. Children!

OK, back to Pittsburgh. For whatever reason, NO ONE in my large family up there had a working cassette player and I didn’t bring my Sony Walkman. Of course their record players and 8-track players worked fine. D’oh. So I ended up having to wait a whole week before I actually heard the damned thing. But once I got back to Virginia, oh man, it was on.

I remember calling Kelz and saying, “Dude, I just got the new Iron Maiden…it’s so fast!” It was also one of the inspirations for me to want to play drums which I started later that year. Now realize that I already considered myself a metalhead and was already into KISS, Crue, Metallica, Sabbath, DIO, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, RUSH, Triumph and a slew of other heavy bands, but Maiden was my missing link.

I wore out at least 6 copies on cassette. A few vinyl copies and have owned 3 versions on CD. The OCD in my head turns on sometimes and says, “Doofus, you must go and find every version of this on CD and have one whole rack dedicated to Powerslave.” You know, it really doesn’t sound that silly, does it? Hmmm…

The album is just brilliant, beginning to end. Every time I play it, I still get goose bumps when I hear the opening riff to Aces High. The transition in to 2 Minutes to Midnight is perfect. I’m not even bothered by the instrumental…and I rarely like Maiden’s instrumentals. I always found it odd that there were 2 songs on there about swords. Sure, Bruce Bruce was a fencer and all, but whatever. Both songs are great. I guess when Dickinson wrote Flash of the Blade, Harris had to get his say and write The Duellists. OK, side 2. I can remember flipping it over in my old tiny boombox that had one 4” speaker. Good times. So now, Back In the Village. Great tune…duh. I’m not sure why I am even mentioning each of these songs since we all know that the album is perfect. But since I am near the end, Powerslave is one of my faves on this record. Just a great groove. Nicko is god. Finally we get to the epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Simply brilliant and very well done.

I’ll never forget Mr. Gordon’s 11th grade English class. We were studying Rime in its entirety and of course I was already very familiar with it. When we were starting to break the long ass poem down, I mentioned that I had a shorter version that still captured the essence of the story and asked me to read it to the class. Read it? Shit, g, I had that junk memorized. So I stood up and recited the entire song to the class. I’d pause now and then and Mr. Gordon would ask if I was done. “No sir, just getting through a guitar solo.” So after I completed it, Mr. G thought it was pretty cool. he said something to the effect of “Wow Sean. Good job. But how is it that you can memorize that entire song but you can’t seem to remember to do your homework?” My reply was simple…”That’s easy, Mr. Gordon. I have my priorities.” He just shook his head and the class laughed. Ha! I ruled the wasteland that day.

1984 was a good year. A damned good year.

I filmed this video in San Antonio, May 2008.