Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
The 60’s was a time popularly known for the incarnation of Psychedelic Culture. It was an era of hippies swinging-by preaching both love and peace; however not every place had the same story to tell.
How it all began: It was an ordinary day in Birmingham (in 1968) that had gone gruesomely wrong. While working in a steel factory, Tony Iommy accidently got his finger tips chopped off. This incident left Tony devastated and led him into depression. He quit his job and tried various experiments with his guitaring. He finally used plastic tops with leather for the grip, but it was still painful and very difficult. It was then that he detuned his guitar; which actually made the sound heavier and darker. This was a completely original style; and which eventually became Heavy Metal. Therefore; with the band name and their dark and heavy music, Black Sabbath got associated with Satanism; an image they played with throughout their Life.
The Tri-Tone: In their 1st debut album, Black Sabbath released a song called Black Sabbath. This was the song in which Tony used, or it can be rightly said that he invented The Tri-Tone. The Tri-tone; or the devils chord has historical links with diabolism. In the medieval period, the tri tone was considered to be the devils tone and was banned by the church. Its use was considered to be evil- or that which connects to Satan. So, now here comes the matter of thought, whether Ioomy’s accident: was really an accident? or an act of Satan? But Ioomy claims no such relations; all he wanted was something heavy and frighteningly different.
Fathers of Heavy Metal: The debate regarding the origin of Heavy metal has been going on and on. Some say its origin can be traced down to bands like Led zeppelin, Blue Cheer, and Deep Purple. But really metal was brought about by Tony Iommy’s Guitar. It was then when Iommy detuned his guitar adding distortion to the sound, and along with Ozzy’s wailing possessed voice; Heavy metal came into the picture. Black Sabbath created music which influenced almost all other heavy metal bands. Almost every heavy metal riffs have been written by them. Their songs dealt with apocalypse, death and destruction. They sang about heaven and hell, solitude and dark mysticisms. They were loud and rebellious, and overall brewed darkness.
It wasn’t only music which Black Sabbath devoted to heavy metal. They also gave a dark and evil theme to it. This is clearly witnessed in their name, appearance, and their album covers. Their 1st album cover had a picture of a Black figure (Ozzy) standing in front of an old watermill. The picture surely gives an evil look with its old worn-out color combination. Others even had images of the Cross, Devil, and Angels. The album cover of Heaven and Hell had three angles smoking joints! Another big contribution made by Black Sabbath was the devil’s horn or 666. It was Ronnie Dio, follow up of Ozzy Osbourne, who introduced the devils horn which defined metal like nothing else. Today it has become the universal signature for Heavy Metal.
In the initial years Black Sabbath were highly criticized. Their music has been considered as the music of social outcasts, and that’s precisely what they did. They created music not for the mainstream audience, but for them who could understand the darker aspects of life. They headed down their own paths of conquering the world. Listen to songs like Iron man, Electric funeral, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, War pigs, and Psycho man; they are incredibly heavy (for that period). Electric Funeral has kickass monster riffs, with a shrilling melody. The way the song starts; it takes me to an old barn, about to get electrified. As if I am possessed and reciting the song as a ritual. But when the main part shoots off with Butler’s (Bass Guitarist) crawling bass, it totally kicks off. NIB is totally off the hook- It starts with an insane bass solo and then adds its heavy riffs, which involuntarily rocks my head. It seems like a crying love song at first, but once you listen to it, you will realize there’s a whole different story. This song, as I understand, is about Satan offering temptations to a human to worship him, in the form of his love. He offers the sun, the moon and the stars which symbolize great wealth to fool people into committing sin and worshipping him. He persuades people to follow him and live a life of sin, telling them that they will not regret it. This describes how one can gain a lot of things in the short-term and blinded by certain benefits will not be able to foresee the consequences of their actions. And finally once he is totally under his (Satan) control, Satan says “Now I have you with me, under my power, Our love grows stronger now with every hour” meaning he will become more evil with the passing of every hour.
Being the Gods of heavy metal, they have also produced songs which are totally off topic such as Planet Caravan; a song with such calmness that takes you across the sky. This song has a psychedelic element with its mellow bass and guitar. Since it was the period of high times, fans loved this song. It’s a must-listen when you have stepped into the parallel universe.