The third album and one, which had much to prove for the Brummie-Metalheads. From the very onset this is a heavy record. The often-imitated classic doomy riff into "Sweet Leaf" opens the album and once again leads the listener into the narcotic driven world of the Sabs - a far cry from the satanic image that still dogged the band. "After Forever", is a ramble through Iommi's religious beliefs and in no way pays service to Beelzebub! The acoustic wandering of "Embryo" builds into the awesome pounding riff of "Children Of The Grave" - to this day still one of SABBATH's truly great songs.
SABBATH break up proceedings with the delightfully acoustic "Orchid", which paves the way for another one of Iommi's brooding riffs, the intro to "Lord Of This World".
Often derided in the press for their failure to break the Heavy Rock-mode, SABBATH always delivered a few surprises and it is a criticism that is unjust as SABBATH where innovators in their field. As with "Planet Caravan" on the previous album, the moody "Solitude" showed that the band could diversify and gave us a heavy acoustic song without the devastating riffing of Iommi. For me this is the stand-out track on the album. Great vocals from Ozzy and Geezer's bass just flows behind the guitar. But all is not lost "Into The Void" closes the album and it is back to Heavy Rock-roots with yet another unforgettable Iommi-riff.
Once again the SABBATH produce an album that should be in every Metal-fans collection. No excuses.