Thursday, September 13, 2012

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

As a fan of doom metal, when I hear Paranoid I tend to think "This is what all metal should sound like" rather than "This is what metal used to sound like." Yes, this is a groundbreaking and trendsetting album. It's The Velvet Underground & Nico of metal in that at least half the great metal bands in the world were inspired by it. Paranoid laid down the metal law while establishing the traditions and iconography of the genre. Every metal band since this album has taken the Paranoid formula and run with it. For those of us with mutliple Scott Weinrich records in our collections, we wish they hadn't run so far.

Anyway, my personal metal proclivities aside, this is one of the greatest albums of all-time. After beginning guitarists have mastered the simplicity of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water," they move on to the slightly more complex riff from "Iron Man." That's just how it's done. "Iron Man" "War Pigs" and "Electric Funeral" are all such great songs, they have crossed into the lexicon of the non-metal public. This is one of the least boring historical documents in the world. It's slow, sludgy metal and it's just the way I like it.

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