September 20, 1998
...Take Black Sabbath, a group who always realised that subtlety, aesthetics and taste were virtues that would land them in the poor house....
7 / 10
REUNIONS ARE unnecessary, unpleasant and shit; doddering codgers with bad beards and several chins who now feel happy to add lots of beedly-beedly guitar twiddling to their greatest hits in the upstairs room of some pub in a town that was last heard of when a battle was fought there during the English Civil War.
Some bands demand our indulgence, however. Take Black Sabbath, a group who always realised that subtlety, aesthetics and taste were virtues that would land them in the poor house. Decades on they play those hits loud and hard enough to blot out all the painful memories of decimalisation, the energy crisis and the death of fringed suede jackets and flares.
From the lead-like intro to 'War Pigs', Sabbath sound as rancid as they ever did; the sheet metal guitar of Tony Iommi is as distinctive as the trying-to-shit-a-porcupine whine of Ozzy. He always had a bad moustache, so the years haven't changed him.
It's greatest hits here mostly, exactly as they are on the albums except with clapping and cheering in-between. Which is exactly what you want from a Sabbath live album.
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