Black Sabbath – Vol. 4
Vol. 4 represents the culmination of Sabbath’s early classic sound, and is the only album I know of that has a dedication to cocaine dealers on the back.
Tony Iommi’s endlessly inventive riffs here are relentless, and his guitar tone monumental, while Ozzy comes up with some of his most melodic and memorable vocal lines. Geezer Butler and Bill Ward do what they do best, which is to keep the bass and drums rumbling and pounding along menacingly in the background.
The album’s appeal is not all about seismic, doom-laden riffage, though: tracks such as Changes and the instrumental, Laguna Sunrise, show a gentler, more experimental side to the band which would be further explored on their next classic album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
I loved Vol.4 from the moment I heard it, and learned it note for note. The principal thing it taught me is that choruses aren’t always necessary in songs – if the main riff is strong enough it can serve as the song’s hook, and you can hear Vol.4’s influence in 109s’ songs such as Leave a Light and No Shame.
Top Tracks: Tomorrow’s Dream, Supernaut, Snowblind