Though the Black Sabbath catalog has already been remastered & reissued in the UK a few years ago, we've not seen domestic releases here in the US, until now, no doubt spurred on by the band announcing their 'The End' tour, which will see them criss-cross North America for the very last time. The first in line are the initial trio, Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality, with surely more to come. For those who plunked down the cash back with then UK reissues came out, no need to get these as they are virtually identical (save for perhaps some packing differences), including the same remaster versions and bonus material. If you happen to own the initial Warner Brothers CD pressing of these early heavy metal classics, the sound is a bit brighter and clearer than those rather rough (though still great sounding) CD releases, so you'll have to make the decision whether to go ahead and pick these up or not. The wealth of bonus material, artwork, photographs, and liner notes are extensive, so that alone might make it worthwhile for many.
Here on Black Sabbath's third release, what is now considered a doom or stoner rock classic, the band get even darker, even heavier, with crushing dirges like "Sweet Leaf", "After Forever", and "Children of the Grave" making up the legendary trio from side one that forever will resonate in the minds of the somewhat casual Sabbath fan. However, it's important not to overlook the mighty "Into the Void", the lilting "Solitude", or the menacing, riff-tastic "Lord of this World", as well as the two charming guitar instrumentals "Embryo" and "Orchid", all great examples of just incredible the band were at their craft during this time period. Easily a Top 3 album of the Ozzy years, Master of Reality never gets old, and still sounds fresh here in 2016 as it did in 1971.
Over on the bonus disk, you get a wealth of really fascinating stuff, easily the best bonus material of the first three album reissues. A few songs with alternate (and odd) lyrics ("Sweet Leaf" is hilarious), an intriguing "Lord of this World" with piano & slide guitar (!), the boozy, heavy, previously unreleased "Weevil Woman", and a few outtakes from the sessions. Cool stuff for sure. Add in a great booklet packed with liner notes, photos, artwork, and lyrics, plus a great sounding remaster on the main album, and you have a very essential reissue of a heavy metal classic.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
"Children of the Grave"
"Lord of This World"
"Into the Void"
"Weevil Woman '71"
"Sweet Leaf" – Studio Outtake
"After Forever" – Studio Outtake Instrumental
"Children of the Grave"- Studio Outtake
"Children of the Grave" – Studio Outtake Instrumental
"Orchid" – Studio Outtake
"Lord of This World" – Studio Outtake
"Solitude" – Studio Outtake
"Into the Void (Spanish Sid)" – Studio Outtake