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by Black Sabbath

Released September 18, 1970 via Vertigo Records / Warner Bros. Records

Reviewed September 29, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
War Pigs / Luke’s Wall (88%), Paranoid (66%), Iron Man (50%)

Paranoid presented a sea of change to the musical world. Arriving in 1970, it signaled the end of the summer of love and the start of a much darker sound incoming. Between this and their debut, the four Birmingham boys managed to fully create, perfect and showcase what metal could do. While it may be The Godfather of Metal, Paranoid still manages to be one of the genre’s best albums 50 years later and is an iconic stepping stone for the world of music. – Jared (10/10)

Black Sabbath's sophomore release ranks among the most important cornerstones in popular music history. In the world of heavy music, Sabbath's eponymous first record set the tone, but Paranoid set the standard. Turning the blues––an already heavy set, emotionally evocative sound––up to an astounding level seemed to be the key ingredient to heavy metal's success, and no other band proved this more true than Sabbath. They dial the norm up a notch in tone, tenacity and overall atmosphere, with historically fruitful returns. To this day the impact and sheer velocity of Tony Iommi's riffery, backed by the soulful rhythm section of Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, and lead by charismatic frontman Ozzy Osbourne equates to something of a dream: The Beatles of the underworld, if you may. “Iron Man” will be played perennially in guitar shops for the remainder of time – Peter (9.5/10)

As one of the most impressive examples of heavy metal, Paranoid took rock music to new heights in 1970. Guitarist Tony Iommi’s riffs still stand amongst some of the best even 50 years later, as they serve as a focal point throughout. Meanwhile, the rhythm and groove provided by Bill Ward and Geezer Butler round out the bruising, brooding, and intense sound that would later define heavy metal. And with the ever-eccentric Ozzy Osbourne being the vehicle in which lyrics about death, war, depression and the like, are transmitted, Black Sabbath developed a deeply dark form of rock music that paved the way for so many future acts. – Dominick (9.2/10)

Paranoid - The gateway to metal. Paranoid is chock full of naive aggression and unbridled force, but never does a song structure or vocal performance go off the hinges. It is laser focused both instrumentally and in terms of songwriting, despite what early critics held reservations about. The themes, especially regarding the human condition at the turn of the 70s, is ripe and full frontal. As a result, the term “classic” deservedly has been and always will be attached to Paranoid. – Ben (Synth) (9/10)

Jared: 10/10 | Peter: 9.5/10 | Cam: 9.3/10 | Dominick: 9.2/10 | Ben (Synth): 9/10

Pax: 8.9/10 | Enth: 8.5/10 | Hadley: 8.5/10


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