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Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" was so far Ahead of its Time

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  • Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" was so far Ahead of its Time

    Ok, this post isn't as obvious as the title makes it out to be. Obviously Sabbath were ahead of their time when it came to heavy metal music. But they were way ahead of their time when it came to creating an album that was so non-stop evil sounding. This is about Sabbath's album "Paranoid", the darkest hard rock/metal album made until the doom metal bands of the 80's. There isn't one bright/upbeat moment on the entire album lyrically or musically. As far as I know, this is the first album where every single song was dark/bleak/evil/depressing both musically and lyrically, and as far as I know, no hard rock/metal album made after that was THAT dark until probably "Ride the Lightning", "Hell Awaits", "Psalm 9" or "Epicus Doomicus Metalicus" in the mid 80's. Sure, in the 70's there were plenty of bands that made hard rock songs once in a while that were evil and dark, but none of the Bands made consistently dark songs throughout any of their albums. I guess "Stained Class" by Judas Priest would come the closest. If there was one that I'm not thinking of, then someone should tell me, because I'd love to hear it. But it's just amazing that after "Paranoid" was made in 1970, no band would make another album that was even dark/evil for half of the album until the 80's. That means that "Paranoid" was 10 years ahead of its time! You would think that a lot of 70's bands would try to copy off of Paranoid's success and make straight-up evil metal albums, but apparently that didn't happen, unless there are some obscure metal bands that I haven't heard of. Lucifer's Friend had some dark songs on their debut album, but nowhere near that of "Paranoid". Atomic Rooster, Night Sun, Warhorse, UFO, Scorpions, Blackwater Park, Budgie, and Buffalo also had albums with a few dark rock songs. Jacula's two albums and Universe Zero were consistently dark as hell, but they weren't hard rock. And while Black Widow's 1969 album "Sacrifice" was really dark lyrically, musically it was often upbeat sounding.

    Any thoughts on this? Is there a hard rock/metal album I'm missing that compares to "Paranoid" in the 70's in terms of its darkness?
    Last edited by SabbathSteve; 11-15-2008, 12:01 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by SabbathSteve View Post
    This is about Sabbath's album "Paranoid", the darkest hard rock/metal album made until the doom metal bands of the 80's.
    Hm... I always thought that PC was a pretty relaxing song. I honestly didn't hear any doomish or heavy sounds or lyrics when i listened to that. That, and FWB is a pretty up-beat song.
    "i'm 12 and i love dark sabboth"


    • #3
      PC is relaxing, but it's quiet and dark in nature, I think.


      • #4
        Well, I personally think you would have to give the distinction to their 1st album.
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        • #5
          It connects enough to what went before it, similar bands WERE cropping up but hadn't made it big, and was followed by enough directly influenced stuff like Priest that I think it wasn't way ahead of its time. Just one step ahead.
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          • #6
            Although Paranoid destroys Communication Breakdown anyday of the week, has anyone every thought of those two as being similar in sound structure? Just the riffs and the beats? I mean im not saying sabbath copied it cause they didnt, but I've just heard that when I compare the two.


            • #7
              I think it really boils down to individual interpretation. For instance I sort of agree with the group in terms of Planet Caravan. To me it's very melancholy. Still incredibly dark, but not so much depressing, evil or foreboding. Even the song Paranoid itself seems a bit more energetic and up in mood as well as tempo.

              I feel an album like their debut might be a more likely candidate, minus Evil Woman. It's got those very bluesy moments of course. But consider the old fables about the deals with the devil at the crossroads out in the south. There's a sinister vibe in the blues that translated very easily to rock, which I feel is where doom originated in songs like Dazed & Confused, Black Sabbath, Electric Funeral etc.

              I'll admit The Wizard is a bit borderline. But still has a mystic quality about it lyrically. But again what I consider dark & evil you might not. So there's no definitive answer.

              I feel the album was ahead of it's time just in terms of astoundingly good songwriting. Just like many bands do, Sabbath had their first two albums pretty much written and were playing much of it live prior to them getting signed. However Paranoid seems to be a bit more of a focused piece of work compared to Black Sabbath (Which sounds a little more improvisational at times). I mean how much of Paranoid has remained in the set up to the latest shows with Ozzy? 3 - 4 songs, and right after the reunion started it was more like 5 of the 8 songs from that album. That really says a lot.
              Last edited by devstorm; 11-20-2008, 04:43 PM.
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              • #8
                The first six sabbath albums were incredibly ahead of their time. I mean listen to Hand of Doom (middle section), Children of the Grave, Symptom of the Universe, Into the Void, and Under the Sun, and you can see that they were playing a primitive form of thrash metal around ten years before the first real thrash bands took the stage in 83 or so. Paranoid was one of those albums I listen to and can't believe it's from 1970. When most people think of that era they think of hippies and such but I believe Sabbath was the primary band that helped popularize the darker more melancholy sound and they also helped make music more real. Paranoid just completely defines that heavy metal attitude and did it in a way that seemed to really speak to people.