Master of Reality
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Media Type: CD
Artist: BLACK SABBATH
Title: MASTER OF REALITY
Street Release Date: 07/07/1987
Domestic
Genre: HEAVY METAL

Black Sabbath's first two releases, Black Sabbath and Paranoid, were more than groundbreaking, they were earth-shattering, exposing the public to a brutal new form of noise pollution termed heavy metal. But it was the band's third album, Master of Reality, that cemented the group as blackened wizards of doom and gloom. Just listen to the echoing cough and sludgy guitar riff of the opening track "Sweet Leaf" and compare it to anything that existed at the time. Not only were Black Sabbath heavier than Deep Purple or Vanilla Fudge, they were also more experimental and controversial, exploring themes of darkness, drugs, and depravity that others dared not address. The heaviest and most influential disc of Black Sabbath's career, Master of Reality featured proto-metal sludge like "Children of the Grave" and "After Forever," which served as a blueprint for a legion of musicians including '90s Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins. --Jon Wiederhorn

Customer Reviews:

  • Another Sabbath Masterpiece
    Iommi and company took the world by storm with their first two releases. Their critical third in my opinion threw them over the top. From the opening coughs of "Sweet Leaf", to the last drum beat of "Into The Void", the entire album is killer. They were able to play both sides of the coin on this one, with "After Forever" willing people to look at what their doing and realize that "God is the one", to the flip side with an ode to the Devil himself on "Lord Of This World" (read the lyrics to that one to see what I mean). The album happens to contain two Sabbath favorites of mine, the aforementioned Into The Void, as well as Embryo/Children Of The Grave. Highly recommended, do go out and buy it now, if it's not in your collection already....more info
  • Black Sabbath Brings Doom & Destruction To A Whole New Level
    One can chart the rise and fall of every band that ever was simply by listening to each album in chronilogical order. 1971's Master Of Reality is the very start of Black Sabbath's decline. Why? Because they would never reach the masterpiece level that was Paranoid ever again and the excesses of popularity would start to infiltrate the members of the band. Money, drugs & egos were on the rise. After their second album, they would always be reaching for that pinnacle that was Paranoid. Is Master Of Reality a bad album? Absolutely not! This is one of the heaviest albums of all time. But it's lacking. Sorry to say it, but it's true. There is a lot of experimentation here, which isn't always a bad thing, but you can feel the changing of power from Ozzy as the frontman/singer to Iommi. Sad little instrumental outings start to pop up on Master where before they were just jam sessions by the whole bad. Iomm needs the world to realize how great he is and he's showcasing it. Where in later years Eddie Van Halen would do the same thing on all the early Van Halen albums, Master Of Reality is the beginning of the rift that would eventually tear Sabbath apart. Singer vs. Guitarist.

    Sweet Leaf - The coughing intro is perfect. One of the glorious Sabbath classics that will be forever remembered. A great song about smoking dope. The riff is infectious. Beautiful.

    After Forever - Sraight-ahead rocker. The Sabbath sound had culminated ino a living entity. Everything they did had their indelible print right on it. You could hear a song and say, yeah, that's Sabbath. "Would you like to see the Pope at the end of a rope?" The lyrics are hilarious. This is actually the first pro-God Sabbath tune. Were they trying to clean up their Satanic image? Most assuredly.

    Embryo - Tony Iommi doing volume swells on his SG. Innovative? Perhaps at the time. This is just a little 30 second show off. Not very necessary, but kinda cool.

    Children Of The Grave - An anti-nuclear war tune that became a Sabbath classic. Great guitar riff. Ozzy is great here. Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear? Yeah!

    Orchid - Lethargic, heavy-handed accoustic instrumental that shows Iommi being incredibly repetitive. Yawn! Another nail in the coffin. Iommi's ego is starting to show through. He needs attention. Dig me, I'm the guitar player! In the live shows of later years, Ozzy was off to the left while Iommi was at center stage. That is not good.

    Lord Of This World - Great tune. Ozzy belts it out. The dreary, heavy riff is hypnotic. Very Sabbath! Almost to the point where they have started to repeat themselves. Some of the riffs here sound strangely familiar. Still a good tune.

    Solitude - Strangely reminiscent of Planet Caravan. Going against the grain of Black Sabbath. This shows the Sabs trying to experiment with their sound, moving away from the traditional pounding rock. The flute is creepy. Ponderous. Dragging. Not one of their better songs.

    Into The Void - Back to Sabbath's signature crunchy sludge sound. Into The Void is a sci-fi song Black Sabbath style. One of the better songs here.

    Overall, Master Of Reality was a choppy outing for the Sabs. Too many show-off Iommi moments. Playing around with their sound. There are classics here in Sweet Leaf and Children Of The Grave, as well as some overlooked gems. But the content is mixed not flowing. Were they trying to hard? Maybe a little. A classic Sure. Just not as classic as Paranoid.

    Dig it!...more info
  • Best Black Sabbath has to Offer
    Gloomy, dark, and Kick @$$! That's what I call this album, and maybe the best Black Sabbath album. Even better than Paranoid? You bet. It was a tough choice, but I would rather listen to these sludgy, dark riffs. Plus, it's as addicting and catchy as Iron Man (!!!). Well, the songs may not be as world famous, but the point is, it's got pretty much the whole quirks of Paranoid's fantastic tracks in ways. There's no substitution for each other. You know what? Just get them both.

    The history of this album is rather long and has some twists on why the sound is like the way it is. Iommi drop tuned the strings so he could play them easier. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, as this became the starting point of many metal genres. Master of Reality arguably does those styles the best. It's nothing but old fashioned sludgy, doomy, head-banging monsters. A slab of the essentials of those genres. That's why you should listen to this album: It's classic metal, and nothing can replace great metal like this.

    Master of Reality does seem kind of skimpy on the song department, at least metal. At only eight tracks, with three non-metal tracks, I was a bit miffed. That's not really a bad thing, because there are no single tracks worthy of a __________ forgettable B-Side throwaway. It never lets up, and it will entertain you from beginning to end. It's refreshing that I can old-fashion head bang, not having to provoke wild seizure attacks that can exhaust me after thirty seconds (see: Calculating Infinity).

    The album begins...with a cough. A cough. It goes into the ultimate stoner metal song: Sweet Leaf. It's __________ trippy as ________, with Ozzy professing his love to (probably) his best friend: Weed. While other bands try to hide their love in complex hidden messages only a madman could decipher, Ozzy doesn't. He says it. Directly. After Forever, it's shocking to see Ozzy promoting Christianity, but you have to remember Sabbath isn't a satanism promoter. Ozzy says his band "were a hippy band. They were into peace and love". Or something of that nature.

    Embroyo goes into Children Of The Grave, a classic track. It can be quite haunting. After Orchid, Lord Of The World, the best track on here, grooves and pulses. Well, it's a tough choice, but Solitude is next, and this may be the best track on this album. It's radically different, but it's all based on the title (I'm not going to spoil everything for you). Into The Void, the last track, ends it perfectly. And there is thirty four minutes of classic heavy metal for everybody!

    Concerned parents, don't be too worried: Sabbath may be creepy and seem like they are satanists (come on, how many parents get worried about the word heavy metal? How many Tipper Gore followers are there?). There isn't anything about that. You have my word.

    10/10...more info
  • An Amazing Follow-Up
    With their behemoth 2nd album Paranoid going into the books as one of the essential rock records of all time, it probably was amazingly difficult to have a succesful follow-up to an album of such magnitude. However, Master of Reality, miraculously, equalls, if not surpasses, Paranoid's musical content. Sweet Leaf, the first song of the album, may be a turn-off to some fans. Personally, I feel it's the weakest song on the album. However, it's quickly followed by After Forever, a relatively upbeat song which deals with matters of religion. Although deviating from Sabbath's musical style, the music is still good in this track. Butler's bass is the most prominent on this track, and synthesizers are used. It's quite refreshing. Next, we have Embryo, a 30 second violin-ish track, which eerily and perfectly opens up Children of the Grave, the monster of the album. It's truly a quintessential metal anthem, showcasing Black Sabbath in their true and purest form, Ozzy's creepy vocals, Iommi's hard-hitting riffs, Butler's pounding bass, and Ward adding his flair into the mix. This monster is followed by the gentle Orchid, which is disliked by most fans, but I personally enjoy. Afterwards, you have Lord of this World, a great track, although not one of the strongest on the album. Afterwards comes Solitude, a song where Ozzy decided to sit it out and hire another singer. This one is debatable in the Sabbath fan base, but I personally like it for its uniqueness. Lastly, the album closes with Into the Void, similar to Electric Funeral from Paranoid in structure. I feel it's the second-strongest cut on this album, and I truly love it.

    So, what do we have out of this album? A truly solid performance, and the perfect follow-up to Sabbath's best album, Paranoid. Experimental and traditional at the same time, Master of Reality is, in short, an essential album and amazing follow-up....more info
  • A different kinda Sabbath
    What I always liked most about Sabbath w/Ozzy was their 'plodding' heavy metal.. Not real fast, but with an powerful bass and percussion foundation (not to mention the Iommi's fuzzy riffs)...

    Of all of the 'classic' Sabbath albums, this is the one that sounds the most like they walked into a studio, plugged in their instruments and said 'ok let's jam'...

    Ironically, 'Sweat Leaf' one of the most popular tracks on the album is one of the poorest. Yeah the lyrics are neat but I have always been thankful that it is the first track as it gets it out of the way.

    After Forever is just amazing, as is Into the Void, but for pure adrenalin nothing compares to Children of the Grave. This is Bill Ward's 'Moby Dick' for you Zepplin freaks out there.

    As for the 'mello' songs, I have always felt that Sabbath had a unique way of putting them where they belonged on an album. Even 'Fluff' off of the SBS album was placed exactly were it needed to be. You almost get the feeling of a live concert, with Ozzy taking a break to get a drink of.... water.. yeah that's it.. water... before coming back out to do his leap frog imitation..

    And yes it's a short album compared to those being released. I have always felt cheated that CD's weren't around when bands like Sabbath, Aerosmith, Maiden, Scorps and Priest where in their hey days.. One can only imagine the 'garbage' that had to be left on the editing floor...
    ...more info
  • These guys are Masters Of Reality
    1971 was a big year for Black Sabbath. They had already released their first 2 albums in the previous year, and in '71, they released Master Of Reality. Although while better than the first album, just can't match with Paranoid. But the only reason why is because it's just too short (34:32)

    But that can't drag this album down. It's still got some of their best songs (Sweet Leaf, Children Of The Grave).

    The group had released (what most would think is) their best album, and although it isn't, it's still one of the elite six.

    1)Sweet Leaf [5:05] - From Tony's joint drag at the start to the fade out at the end, it's a fine song. Sweet Leaf shows the positive side of drugs, and a great part at that. Tony's solo really stands out in this song. Obvious reasons that it became a hit. [4/5]

    2)After Forever [5:27] - A song that I think is about religion, but anyway, still a fine song. My favourite song on the album, Ozzy's voice is at it's best on this album, particularly this song. The riff is legendary as well. [6/5]

    3)Embryo [Instrumental] [:28] - This instrumental is rather thought of as the intro to Children Of The Grave, and it makes sense as it's only 28 seconds long. But it is pure Iommi, and it's pretty cool. [2/5] for Tony's cool work and that it's the intro to COTG.

    4)Children Of The Grave [5:18] - The album's best known song. And a great one at that. Great riff, the best drums ever, and just an all-out amazing song. Ozzy's vocals really work with the lyrics. Although not as good as Paranoid's Iron Man, still good. 2nd favourite song on the album. [5/5+]

    5)Orchid [Instrumental] [1:30] - Another instrumental, but this one actually is bettre than Embryo. It's guitar sound is more peaceful, and stands out to be one of the 3 greatest guitar instrumentals in Black Sabbath's list (Fluff, Orchid & Laguna Sunrise). And not only this, but it can also be used as either: 1)The outro to Children Of The Grave, or 2)The intro to Lord Of This World. Either way, it's still a work of art. [4/5+]

    6)Lord Of This World [5:25] - Least favourite song on the album. It's just that the song is just a bit slow for my taste, and the lyrics just don't do anything for me. But there are far worse songs than this (Gypsy, Rock 'n' Roll Doctor). And the part where it gets fast is actually pretty good. [3/5+]

    7)Solitude [5:02] - One last attempt to impress me, and it did. This is the 'Planet Caravan' of MOR. This is the 'Changes' of MOR. And for those who want to know, Yes that's Ozzy singing this song (I was confused the first time I heard it too). A great use of the flute. It has a great forest feel to the song. Plus it has the bells. [4/5+]

    8)Into The Void [6:11] - My 3rd favourite song on the album, and the song that has appeared in many band's playlists - particularly Soundgarden. It's a great song, the slow start, and then the great pickup at the 1-minute mark, before the verses start. The only flaw with the song is a 1-second sound dropout in the left channel at (1:48), but it doesn't hurt anyone. The lyrics are sublime and the guitars are great. Simply GODLY! [5/5]

    And that's Master Of Reality. Check it out, as well as Paranoid, Volume 4, and definitely Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. See ya round. ...more info
  • So, you thought Paranoid was depressing? . . .
    If anyone was under the illusion that Black Sabbath could get no blacker than they did on Paranoid, a shivery album with titles like War Pigs, Electric Funeral, and Hand of Doom... well, Master of Reality quickly dispatched such a notion. Songs like Children of the Grave and Lord of This World live up to their names both lyrically and musically. Except for Solitude, a very mellow but no less depressing interlude featuring Bill Ward on vocals, and Tony Iommi's inclusion of two go-nowhere-but-thankfully-short instrumentals, Master of Reality is the near perfect storm of metal with all the thunder and lightning you can take. Beginning with Sweet Leaf, an insidiously memorable tribute to Ozzy's love affair with the unholy weed, and ending with Into the Void, an indictment of everything wrong with the world (but which includes a hopeful, if somewhat improbable escape plan), it's all a metalhead could want. If not Sabbath's finest hour (I would bestow that honor on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath), it's definitely a close second....more info
  • Overall, an excellent album.
    The third album, Master of Reality, while not being Sabbath's best (behind Black Sabbath Vol. 4 and Black Sabbath) is still pretty much a perfect album.

    The album is guitar driven except perhaps with the song Solitude, which is somewhat similar to Planet Caravan (it's not as good though). There are two good instrumentals on this album: Embryo and Orchid. My only complaint about those two is that they are too short. Into the Void and Children of the Grave (this song is not about dead children) are two of my favorites by Black Sabbath and have awesome riffs. After Forever is pretty cool too and is one of the most Christian songs I've ever heard. Sweet Leaf has a nice riff and decent vocals, but I feel like something is missing from it; it's the weakest track.

    If you already have albums of the Ozzy era of Black Sabbath, then you should get this album. If you're new to Black Sabbath or haven't heard Black Sabbath as it sounded with Ozzy however, I recommend you to buy the album Black Sabbath Vol. 4.
    ...more info
  • Sabbath's heaviest and most influential album
    Black Sabbath are without a shadow of a doubt one of the greatest and most influentual heavy metal bands of all time, and they're also one of my all time favorite heavy metal bands as well. Man I just can't praise this band enough. 1971 was no doubt a big year for Sabbath. They released their second album "Paranoid" which was a true masterpiece and one of the greatest metal albums ever, and in the same year they released what is considered the band's heaviest, most influential, and best album of their career, "Master of Reality". This album gave birth to the doom/gloom, sludge, and stoner metal subgenres, and it's also cited as an influence by many stoner and sludge metal bands as well. This album would also be the third and final Black Sabbath album to be produced by Rodger Bain. The lyrical themes on "Master of Reality" included: drugs (mostly marijuana), solitude, war, and theology. Every song on here is just fantastic. Ozzy Osbourne's vocals are just awesome on here. Guitarist Tony Iommi does some of his most heaviest riffs on this album, and his solos are really cool too. This guy is truly one of metal's greatest and most legendary guitarists. Bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward's rhythm section is really solid, nice solid bass lines from Geezer and great drumwork courtesy of Bill as well.

    The opening track "Sweet Leaf" starts off with an echo of coughs, and then breaks with a slow heavy sludgy riff and hard heavy drums. That riff on the song is just extremely catchy, and a great solo by Tony is included as well. This is truly one of the best songs on here. Lyrically this song of course deals with you guessed it: marijuana. Track two "After Forever" features some really cool bass work from Geezer, some nice catchy riffs and another cool solo from Tony. Another one of my favorites. "Embryo" is a 28 second guitar interlude which leads into to track four "Children of the Grave" This is my favorite song on the entire album, and it features some more catchy and heavy riffs throughout, a groovy drum beat, and of course another great solo, killer bass, and great vocals by Ozzy. I've been learning the riffs to this song on my guitar recently. "Orchid" is antoher short, but nice instrumental with some nice accoustic chords. "Lord of This World" has a slow sinister drum beat, as well as some groovy bass lines, more heavy sludgy riffs, and cool solos from Tony. Track seven "Solitude" is a nice soft accoustic ballad with some nice singing vocals from Ozzy, nice slow bass from Geezer, and of course Tony plays a flute solo which I found tearjerking yet very cool. The lyrics on this song deal with yeah, you guessed it: solitude. The closing track "Into the Void" starts off with some slow heavy doom like riffs. During the 3 minutes mark, the songs breaks into a faster pace with faster riffs, hard hitting drums, but then shifts back to the slow heavy riffs at the 3:36 mark. Another cool guitar solo from Tony near the end is also included too.

    The song list and the ratings:

    1. Sweet Leaf (5:04) - 5/5
    2. After Forever (5:25) - 5/5
    3. Embryo (0:28) - 5/5
    4. Children of the Grave (5:17) - 5/5 My favorite song
    5. Orchid (1:31) - 5/5
    6. Lord of This World (5:26) - 5/5
    7. Solitude (5:02) - 5/5
    8. Into the Void (6:11) - 5/5

    See every song on here gets a 5 out of 5.

    The bottom line is this: If it weren't for Black Sabbath and this album, we wouldn't have the doom/gloom, stoner and sludge metal subgenres. This album my friends, is a true heavy metal masterpiece, and it makes a great addition to your metal collection. So anyways if you're a fan of Black Sabbath, heavy metal, hard rock, or just good music in general like I'am, Master of Reality is an absolute must have in your collection. Enjoy!!

    LONG LIVE BLACK SABBATH!!
    LONG LIVE HEAVY METAL!!...more info
  • You need Black Sabbath!!!!!!!!.
    Paranoid may have been a tough album to follow, but the style that Black Sabbath honed on that release is improved upon here on this excellent album. Tony Iommi's guitar work is even darker and deeper, right from the beginning riffs of Sweet Leaf (with a cough sound for added effect) through to the epic closer, Into The Void. In between, it's also clear that the writing is more inspired. The spiritual debate of After Forever alternates between two striking musical ideas and the middle 8 section of Into The Void is just amazing it sends shivers down my spine, that's how good it is. Iommi and Butler had mastered the Heavy Metal Beast that they had single handedly created. They took the best moments from their previous releases, and came up with the most amazing riff filled album ever. Sweatleaf, After Forever, Children Of The Grave, Lord Of This World and Into The Void - 5 of the finest Heavy Metal songs ever written. Sure, they had to fill it out with some instrumental interludes and a decent ballad but if you want a place to start with Black Sabbath because you've heard the stories and you're not convinced with Paranoid, Master of Reality is for you. Osbourne's vocals are a huge improvement, the lyrics are great and well, it's just perfect. The band went on to make the excellent Vol 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage and the under rated Technical Ecstasy which are all worth 5 stars in my opinion. This is a wonderful album, better than Paranoid because it's harder, meaner, has better tunes and doesn't have the embarrasing bits of Paranoid or other of their classic albums. There are some truly sublime moments on this album (great riffs, drumming and vocals), and if you like some introspection and melody as well as their strangely upbeat dirty chuggathons then you'll love this. The sheer quality is sustained throughout from beginning to end. If you don't have this album yet then what are you waiting for!?, buy this now. It's brilliant!!!.

    ...more info
  • *Cough Cough Cough Cough...*
    The legendary mary jane-induced cough of Tony Iommi opening one of Sabbath's masterpieces, Master of Reality. "Sweet Leaf" plods along at a slow guitar pace with a fast bass, and in its simple inevitablity carried with that doom metal riff, you can't help but feel your adrenaline build. I almost want to take out my lighter every time I hear it.

    Then there's "After Forever", another terrific song that I like to play for my Christian friends who think I'm Satanic for liking Sabbath.

    "Embryo" is just a bridge between "After Forever" and "Children of the Grave", both modeled on the idea that humanity needs to change its ways. For some reason, these three songs just seem to fit together for me...you have questions of life after death, then the embryo, then children...just seems like a cycle.

    After this, there is another instrumental, "Orchid". It's okay, but it's no "Laguna Sunrise" or "Fluff". Again, it just seems like a bridge between "Children of the Grave and Lord of This World".

    For some bizarre reason (probably the bluesy bass line), "Lord of This World" is my favorite song on the album. Many would probably disagree with me, but I like it because the riff sounds less like something out of an 80s action flick ("Children of the Grave") (and yes, I know the album came out before the 80s, but I was born in 82, so leave me alone), it's a little less choppy than "After Forever" and "Sweet Leaf", and I like the lyrics better.

    "Solitude" is a great ballad. I like it better than "Changes" from Volume 4 (find it a bit too repetitive), and it showcases Ozzy's early talent as a singer. Where did it all go?

    Finally, "Into the Void". If this weren't such a short album, I would have complained about this song being at the end. It really does sound more like an opener than an ending, and maybe that's my biggest problem with this album: just when you're headbanging along and expecting more, it just ends. Instead of brilliant fillers like "Paranoid", you have two short instrumentals, one of which is half a minute long.

    Despite the length though, this is worth your money and your time if you are into metal and its roots....more info
  • One of the best albums you'll ever get!
    I recently purchased this having high expectations, and well, this
    CD went above and beyond my expectations.

    Specific cuts such as "Children of the Grave", "Lord of this World", "After Forever", "Into the Void", and "Sweet Leaf", were amazing. But the other songs were really good to. The songs you don't hear as much about such as "Orchid" or "Solitude" were awesome. Every single song on this album was great. Buy it now, you wont be disappointed....more info
  • Heaviest of all metal
    Master of Reality is only 8 songs (2 of which are guitar solos: Orchid and Embrya). But the rest of the album rocks. There is one mellow song that I always liked: Solitude which is sung by the drummer Bill Ward. After forever is one of Sabbaths best rockin tunes and very underated as far as radio play goes.Tony Iommi really got his guitar set up just right as he comes through with some of his heaviest- pulsating guitar work of his career.Master of Reality is my favorite sabbath/ozzy era album of all time. Crank it up to 10 ! ...more info
  • Ozzy's Best
    This album is Ozzy best, while all of his stuff is good this one was his best....more info
  • The Best Ozzy-Era Black Sabbath Album
    On Master of Reality, Black Sabbath showcased how much their originally blues-based sound had been transformed. As opposed to the first two albums (which, though Classic in their own way, were often heavier-than-thou incarnations of Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, and Deep Purple), Master of Reality sets the blueprint for sludge-based Doom Metal...there's no album which compares to it at the time. As far as Doom Metal goes, nothing compares to it in the history of the frigging GENRE. Sabbath themselves couldn't top it for originality.

    The song "Solitude" has been cited as the weak link here, but I only partly agree. "Solitude" isn't a Classic track, but serves its purpose far better than its cousin-tracks "Planet Caravan" from Paranoid, or "Sleeping Village" from the eponymous album. "Solitude" sets a standard of dynamic on this album which proves devastatingly effective. After the apocalyptic masterpiece that is "Lord of this World", "Solitude" is definitely a bit perplexing upon first listen. But there is no denying how much MORE effective the brilliant "Into the Void" is following such a mellow, flute-coloured song. You HAVE to hear it between "Lord of This World" and "Into the Void" to get the full effect of this incomparably effecting cd as a whole.

    Another fascinating variable on this album is the last solo section of "Lord of This World"; which seems to take a proto-Romantic era String Quartet form with its layered guitars...you have to HEAR this piece to fully understand how authentically progressive it is on a "strictly musical" level. Those men in Black Sabbath (well, at least Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler) were tremendous musicians (don't listen to the idiots who have a basic problem with guitar distortion).

    Get this album before any other by Black Sabbath....more info
  • A Musical Life Changer!
    This is the album that, without question, completely sold me on Black Sabbath. I'm not sure what did it, but I remember a rush of excitement the first time I heard the crushing riffs and Ozzy's tinny vocals on "Sweet Leaf," and my outlook on music hasn't been the same since. For a long time, this was my favorite Sabbath effort, and it remains a genre classic that rarely gets the radio play it so obviously deserves....more info
  • All right now! It's Black Sabbath - Master of Reality!
    Great album by Black Sabbath. Nice and dark. Intense and heavy!

    Master of Reality is a classic album of the 70s. "Sweat Leaf" starts off the album with a cough and a gut busting riff to be loved by all who love dark heavy music. Another very inspirational album of the metal genre. In my opinion it's just great dark heavy classic rock. "After Forever" is better then "Sweat Leaf" and keeps you banging your head to the beat.

    "Embryo" is short, good, comes out of no where(kind of made me jump the first time), instrumental and leads you right into the best song on the album "Children of the Grave" which is a Black Sabbath masterpiece!

    "Orchid" is a simple, yet beautiful instrumental. It's not heavy by any means, but it's a really great piece of music. "Lord of This World" is a great heavy rock song.

    "Solitude" must be played loud since it kind of quiet. Very dark, pretty "Planet Caravan" type of song, which is my 2nd favorite song on the album. I love "Solitude" for the reason it's very dark, dreamlike and makes me feel like I'm away from home. I bet it would rock even more if I smoked weed. You'll get lost in the song, it is a great song.

    "Into the Void" has a cool beat to it then it totally rocks out becoming a classic closing song for Master of Reality.

    A great album not to be missed, especially by Black Sabbath fans....more info
  • Dark and sludgecovered masterpiece
    While most critics cite Sabbath's self-named debut and "Paranoid" as this heaviest of bands' greatest work, one can't overlook the third opus that was so influential it spawned the entire Seattle grunge era and is still better than any imitation.
    From the opening cough of "Sweet Leaf" and its heavier-than-a-coal-mine riff to the end of this too short master work, Black Sabbath was never darker, gloomier, or more frightening to anybody who disliked their brand of metal. Ozzy's vocals - alien and unlike other "powerful" voices like Roger Daltrey or Robert Plant, fit the music perfectly.
    Iommi's SG Gibson set the tone for gloom; sick riffs that bubble up directly from the hell blues singers warned us about with volume and distortion loud enough to invade any bible thumping preacher's dreams.
    Perhaps the best cut on the album, "Children Of The Grave" chops through the murk with scenes of nuclear annihilation and ghostly feedback at the end only Tony Iommi could pull off.
    "Master Of Reality" is, however, an album that must be heard in its entirety, which is not hard since it's barely over thirty minutes long. However, that is long enough when given an aural tour through nuclear hell. St. Vitus, the band that named itself after the song on the follow-up Sabbath album "Vol. 4", has made a career of reconstructing "Master Of Reality", such is the wealth of influence this album holds. No metal fan can call themselves true without this one....more info
  • 5 STARS, A Solid Metal Album
    Sabbath keeps things moving with yet another Classic Metal album, this time around their sound is even heavier and their lyrics even Darker. Tony Iommi steals the show with his lumbering, giant guitar riffs. Heres what I think of the songs.

    1.Sweet Leaf (5/5)-Awesome riff, classic song, I love you Sweet Leaf
    2.After Forever (5/5)-Another crushing riff by Tony
    3.Embryo (3/5)- a classical styled acoustic instrumental, its ok
    4.Children Of The Grave (5/5)-The most evil song ive ever heard, but the song is actually about stopping hate in the world
    5.Orchid (4/5)-another classical styled acoustic instrumental, great song
    6.Lord Of This World (4/5)-a good song, sounds too much like Into The Void though
    7.Solitude (4.5/5)-quiet but eerie sorta folk like song
    8.Into The Void (5/5)-Great opening riff, grest main riff, ozzy sounds awesome on this song

    If you like heavy metal, or hard rock buy this album.

    If you like this album youll probably also like
    Ozzy Osbourne-Diary Of A Madman
    Soundgarden-Badmotorfinger
    Dio-The Last In Line
    ...more info
  • Black Sabbath perfect their own sound
    Master of Reality (1971.), Black Sabbath's third studio album

    Black Sabbath in the early 1970's were a completely unique entity, as no-one sounded quite like them. Sadly, at first this meant that they gained little praise from the critics, even if they did gain quite a large following of fans. The band's first two albums were nothing short of excellent, with their second effort 'Paranoid' being a classic which is still hailed by many to this day. Eager fans in early 1971 were promised by lead-guitarist Toni Iommi himself that Black Sabbath's next release would be their heaviest and darkest yet. 'Master of Reality', Black Sabbath's third studio album, released in July 1971 was exactly what the band had promised; an album heavier, stronger and darker than any of their previous work.

    When I bought this album I wondered how the Ozzy-era Sabbath could ever top 'Paranoid', for the album was so good. However, 'Master of Reality' does exactly this and I personally think it is an even better album. Sadly, this album is a criminally underrated record, often overlooked in favour of its predecessor and the band's self-titled debut. The truth is though, that 'Master of Reality' has the best sense of completeness to it of the first three Black Sabbath albums. The songs are completely refined and any transitions within them are done perfectly. Furthermore, the album contains some of Ozzy Osbournes best vocal performances ever and some of Toni Iommis's heaviest, nastiest and most foreboding guitar playing is on the album. The album may well have the most uninspirational of all of Black Sabbath's album covers but don't let that put you off the album. The fact that five of the eight tracks on this album were covered on the 1994 Black Sabbath tribute album show how great this album is. 'Master of Reality' has also been one of the band's more influencial works, with tracks like 'Sweet Leaf' being a huge influence on 90's grunge bands, especially Soundgarden. The album itself has recently undergone a remaster. The album soundquality is now excellent but sadly no bonus tracks have been added to the release which would have been a great extra to pad out the CD.

    'Sweet Leaf' is one of the band's great opening tracks. From the coughing start, this powerful song about drugs has been a real influence for plenty of bands. 'After Forever' is typical Sabbath, this song being critical of religious beliefs in the lyrics. That aside it has some excellent guitar play and strong bass play from Geezer Butler. 'Embryo' is a short instrumental which paves the way for one of the band's most revered tracks in 'Children of the Grave'. I think at the time, there will have been no song as heavy as this one, its a classic - the whispering, spooky finish is great as well. What was side 2 of the album, begins with 'Orchid', another good instrumental, this one being acoustic. 'Lord of this World' is another strong heavy tune but is then contrasted by 'Solitude'. This is the quiet, melancholy track on the album but it is also one of the best tracks on the album too. Do not skip this track, Black Sabbath were masters of the heavy sound but their slower, quieter stuff is fantastic as well. 'Into the Void' is a return to the heavy sound, were Ozzy sings about doom and pollution. The guitar work is so diverse on this track, from high to low in sound. Its a perfect finish.

    'Master of Reality' is an unbelievable album. With this album, Black Sabbath mastered the heavy metal sound which they had done so much to pioneer. Whilst not nearly as popular as 'Paranoid', I personally think this is the better album, with its even heavier and darker style than its predecessor. This is one of Black Sabbath's best, along with 'Heaven and Hell'. Recommended for any fan of heavy metal, this is a must have....more info
  • heavy as all heck
    Probably the heaviest album on the early 70's. Oh heck, who am I kidding? It IS the heaviest album of the early 70's. It's like the band members wanted to see how heavy they can go. Most people were probably thinking back then that it would be impossible to make an album heavier than Paranoid, but then, the band DOES it. How? Why? I don't know. Talent, an urge to be different, just for fun. Who KNOWS why they did it.

    It begins with "sweet leaf" COUGH COUGH COUGH DU-DUN DU-DU-DUN De DO DO, DU-DUN DU-DU-DUN De DO DO. Yeah, I can't stop singing that simple guitar riff that seems to repeat endlessly. It's funny because Sabbath has never really created a guitar riff repeat THIS much before. It's a good song too. "Oh yeah baby!"

    "after forever" is kind of boring with power chords and a weak song overall. The lyrics are amazing to some people, but to me, they're just "alright" "children of the grave" rules. I love the lyrics "show the world that love is still alive you must be brave, before you children of today are children of the grave, yeah!" Some people say it's been ripped off from the "immigrant song" (Zeppelin) but I don't know. They're both good songs in their own ways, and need to be respected as separate beasts.

    The second side is my favorite. "solitude" is so pretty. Everyone says it's Ozzy singing this track, but the dude sounds like Bill Ward to me (the drummer). Maybe I'm wrong. I've been wrong before. More times than I've been right, in fact. lol

    "into the void" is the greatest pounding dose of sludge that reminds me of the Grand Canyon. I can just picture myself turning into a giant creature and pounding my way through the desert. "lord of this world" is pretty cool, with a guitar riff that seems to pull me in as it pounds my brains out.

    Overall, a solid effort. Worth owning. ...more info
  • Black Sabbath At Their Career Peak
    "Master of Reality" is the epitome of Black Sabbath's monolithic riff-fuelled rock. If you want music with heavy, bluesy and infectious riffs, melodic vocals and breath-taking guitar solos, then look no further than "Master of Reality".

    This is one of those special albums where every track has become a classic over the years. It all starts with the fantastic "Sweet Leaf", which was initially my favourite song on the album. The song kicks the album off in style and lays down the foundations perfectly. The opening cough/splutter sample gives meaning to the title (and sets up one of the most prominent themes and influences for the band - marijuana). This was truly the start of stoner rock. Please don't come to the conclusion that this stupefies the music in any way - an accusation I have heard many a time. Yes, this album is a great experience when ripped, as are the best of the modern day stoner albums, but don't be put off thinking a sober state will forge no rewards. Bong or no bong, this is one of the best rock albums ever made.

    The riffs. Let me talk about some of the timeless riffs on this album. Riffs that over the years have become massively influential and classic in every sense of the word. It is through no chance or overreaction that people nowadays refer to some guitar riffs and leads as "Sabbath-esque" or "Sabbathy". The grand onslaught of these riffs starts with the simplistic and contagious lead to "Sweet Leaf", one of my favourite riffs ever conceived. The glory to this riff, and with the majority of Tony Iommi's genius craft, is the simplicity - sacrificing complex timings, extra ghost notes and fancy finger work for simple motifs. The emphasis is put firmly on execution and groove. Take for example the riff changeups in the fine closer "Into The Void", going from the fine rolling and laid-back intro riff to some ferocious muted riffing, all complemented perfectly by Ozzy's high and melodic vocals. All of this combines to make one of the album's finest moments. Then there's "Children of the Grave" which stretches the simplicity to a basic rolling note, repeated in a galloping time signature, augmented by the occasional menacing chord progression. This song was really ahead of its time, paving the way for the galloping marches of the finest Iron Maiden. What makes these riffs even better is the structure of the songs, which are intelligent and keep the various riffs fresh. For example, the changeups in "After Forever" evolve around a repetitive lead riff which gives way to various themes and new riffs, but always returns to retain the original flow and groove. Call them stoners, but this is intelligent song writing, and something ensued throughout the album.

    So the song writing is clever. It keeps the riffs fresh and interesting and manages to hold the fantastic groove. However, it is the overall writing and structuring of the album as a whole that I find most impressive. The balance of "Master of Reality" is perfect and superior to any of their other albums. There are no overly long songs, as all are between 5 and 7 minutes. The effect of this gives the album a special kind of flow that is often lacking in their other releases. "Embryo" and "Orchid" are short little pieces that act as introductions rather than fillers, and again retain the sense of flow as they are not too long or boring.

    Mention should of course go to Ozzy Osbourne. In my opinion Sabbath simply isn't Sabbath without Ozzy on the vocals. His voice has become one of the most distinctive and acclaimed in rock history, and rightly so. He has what all the best rock singers have - the ability to hit the right notes, often quite high ones, and an idiosyncratic style that is instantly recognisable. The Black Sabbath sound is rounded off perfectly by this master vocalist, best highlighted by his inspired deliveries on "Children of the Grave" and "Into The Void".

    Any fan of rock music should enjoy this album. It has every ingredient that makes rock so enjoyable - powerful and inspired vocals, stunning guitar solos and riffs, solid bass playing and some stellar drumming. Black Sabbath at the pinnacle of their career.
    ...more info
  • Great, but not quite as good as"Paranoid".
    "Master Of Reality" is a small step below the possibly best-metal-album-ever "Paranoid", but it still rocks hard. \m/

    The guitar riffs are catchy, but they're even sludgier and heavier before (if that's even possible), and the lyrics cut just as deep as they do on the previous album, especially on "After Forever" (it's nice to see a good ol' blast of Jesus Power in a genre that is often stereotyped as 'Satanic'). Other huge hightlights are "Sweet Leaf", which has one of the most frantic, frenzied middle-sections I've ever heard (complete with lightning guitar solos and drumming) and the closing ballad "Solitude" uses only an acoustic guitar and flute, but is immensely beautiful and immensely melancholy.

    My problems with the album come with the 2 interludes: "Embryo" and "Orchid". Sure, the first one is funny, and the second one is pretty, but they also seem really pointless to me. Because of them, there are only 6 actual songs here, which would have been okay if they were longer (like on their first album) but most of them are around 5 minutes long. There are also no 7 and 8 minute epics like "War Pigs" or "Hand Of Doom" which kinda sucks, considering that's one of the things Black Sabbath does best. Still, this is a great representation of how heavy metal got rocking....more info
  • No one brought it like Sabbath,and no one ever will
    Why is it when you hear a Sabbath song like "Into The Void" or "Lord Of This World",it feels as if there's more going on than 4 talented joes playing music?Sabbath's music,on this album in particular,has a life of its own.Ozzy's psychotic wails to Iommi's ingenius hell-born chords,there really is a sense of higher awareness when you listen to Sabbath,especially with the thought provoking lyrics Ozzy or Geezer would pen.The 2 classical-influenced instrumentals are both terrific and are placed nicely between the heavier songs."Solitude" is a great mellow piece which calms things down a little before "Into The Void" kicks in at full force.Everytime I put any of there CDs in,I still get chills down my spine when I hear Iommi just drag a chord lower than I thought it could go.The band is all top notch here.Bill Ward and geezer Butler give an excellent performance here and showcase why they are one of rock's greatest rhythm sections.If you want quality heavy rock music that will truly take you somewhere else,then look no further than Black Sabbath,the lords of Heavy Metal....more info
  • Just over half an hour of music to crush your soul to.
    Or maybe not. Why not? Well, despite this band being affiliated by others with all things Satanic and dark, this album is a big love-fest and god-love. Sometimes it borders on being "preachy" even, but the lyrics are written well and you just can't beat the music contained here....more info
  • the best,hands down
    my own opinion,on some music history...you had the bands in the mid 60's,then jimi hendrix's sound surfaced,yes,he started the whole rock and roll machine for others to follow...in 1969,black sabbath took rock,heavy metal,to a new level,reaching a peak with master of reality..bill ward kills the drums,gezzer plays the bass like no other,and of course tony and ozzy just kick butt..this album just flat out gets it,rocks to the max,yet put together so suberbly....the type of album this is never has,or ever will be outdown...could say the same about paranoid.......more info
  • Powerful
    This is quite possibly the best album (the question of Sabbath's best album will be argued by fanatical stoners for all-time) of the greatest band that will ever be. Master of Reality put the C# in metal and proved that smoking rules; Christianity criticizes itself enough so why bother; peace and love is heavy; "you turn to me in all your worldly greed and pride, but will you turn to me when it's your turn to die" speaks for itself; a song doesn't have to be loud and fast to be heavy; and most of all Iommi is the greatest riffer ever. This album is the reason why Led Zeppelin is a false pretender. Screw satan Hail Sabbath!!!...more info
  • heaviest album of the seventies!
    Like the title said, this album, in my opinion is the heaviest of the seventies. I also like it more than Paranoid, It's heavier and darker. My favorite track is children of the grave. This album kicks major AS#...more info
  • The Bible Of Heavy Metal Music.
    This Album is such a MasterPiece, the writing & doomy riffs of Tony Iommi, to the odd timing of Bill Wards classic Heavy Metal drum style.
    This album will go down in history as the Bible of Heavy Metal.
    Ozzy sings excellent & Geezer Butlers uncanny ability to wrap his bass lines around Tonys Crushing chords. Every Song rocks.
    Many dont know this album features Bill Wards 1st song he sang on.
    Today with remastered technology the production is excellent.
    This album taught me how to play guitar. ...more info
  • Pure Sabbath
    With "Master of Reality", Black sabbath's third effort, we find ourselves smack in the middle of Sabbath Country and the landscape is dotted with their trademark crosses. This is pure Sabbath in their heyday with Ozzy sitting comfortably at the throne. The heaviness of the music certainly does not subside and songs such as "Sweet Leaf", "Children of the Grave", and "Lord of This World" certainly prove that point. But we also get treated with songs such as "After Forever", with its almost happy go lucky driving beat and the Zeppelin-esque riffs of "Into the Void". A must for every Sabbath fan, my only complaint is that I thought this release was short one or two songs. ...more info