Monday, November 7, 2011

Born Again

The idea sure looked good on paper, but when former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillian joined Black Sabbath for 1983's dreadful Born Again album, the grim reality was that Gillian's bluesy vocal style and oftentimes humorous lyrics were completely incompatible with the lords of doom and gloom. Widely deemed the band's creative nadir, Born Again's atrocious "production" leaves one with the distinct impression that, in a misguided attempt to record the heaviest album ever, Black Sabbath came away with the muddiest instead. Among the smoking ruins that pass for its songs, one might find it possible to appreciate Gillian's trademarked double entendres on "Disturbing the Priest," pick out a decent melody within the messy title track, and get down to some mercifully straightforward headbanging with "Digital Bitch" and the album's lone classic, "Trashed." Black Sabbath's greatly anticipated association with Ian Gillian had gone down as one of heavy metal's all-time greatest disappointments, and nearly killed the genre's founding fathers in the process.

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