It’s been almost twenty years since the music world was blessed with the original Black Sabbath(Ozzy, Tony, Geezer, and Bill) and judging from the hysteria surrounding Reunion they have been sorely missed. From the opening chords of “War Pigs” to the inevitable encore of “Paranoid,” Reunion gives the ’90’s generation a taste of what the Slab once was.
The two disc set includes all of the essentials: “NIB,” “Sweet Leaf,” “Iron Man,” and Children of the Grave.” The less radio-friendly jams, mainly “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” “Into the Void,” and “Lord of the World,” give the first time listener a sample of the blues backbone that the band built itself around. Although Ozzy’s vocals haven’t quite passed the test of time, his presence on the disc is monumental. He maintains the most exciting stage presence in the business, even with vocal chords battered by almost thirty years of music. The energy he creates is riveting. The 8,000 fans in attendance agree wholeheartedly. In fact, their singing drowns out Ozzy’s vocals on tracks like “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and “Paranoid.”
This disc set is a strong reminder of how truly great Black Sabbath was when they were at their height of their popularity. The two new tracks, “Psycho Man” and “Selling My Soul,” fall short of the power of the early ’70’s Sabbath, but still hint at the monsters that laid the foundation for heavy metal today. If Black Sabbath never reunited, we would still consider them to be the founding fathers of metal, but with this reformation comes respect from many fans both new and old. They’re back, so watch out because here “satan comes around the bend.”
+ rick hinkson