Music Reviews Black Sabbath

Published on December 8th, 2017 | by Darren Paltrowitz


A Look At “The End” By Black Sabbath, Courtesy Of Eagle Vision

Although The Beatles got heavy with “Helter Skelter,” The Who was loud on “I Can See For Miles” and Blue Cheer turned it up on “Summertime Blues,” heavy metal undeniably started with Black Sabbath. The quartet of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward not only made music that was heavy in terms of the volume, but thematically-heavy with dark imagery and lyrical themes. Black Sabbath shocked the world in its early days, and would ultimately go on to reinvent itself a number of times over the years.

For many people, when they think of Black Sabbath, they are only thinking about “the Ozzy years,” which initially wrapped in 1979; Never Say Die! was released in 1978, but its touring led into the following year. Many Sabbath fans stuck around post-Ozzy with “the Dio years,” which lasted until 1982, and included a pair of successful full-lengths with Ronnie James Dio as the group’s frontman. Fewer people were around for post-Dio recordings, which included Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes, Badlands’ Ray Gillen, and Tony Martin at various points. Osbourne would return for proper Black Sabbath reunions at various points between 1997 and 2017, while Dio joined up with Iommi, Butler and drummer Vinny Appice between 2007 and 2010 under the moniker Heaven & Hell. Simply put, Iommi was the only member to appear in all incarnations of Black Sabbath.

As its name would imply, The End captures what is/was intended to be the final chapter of Black Sabbath. Filmed on February 4, 2017 at the Genting Arena in Sabbath’s hometown of Birmingham, England, The End features a full-length concert from the band’s farewell tour. Earlier this year, parts of the concert were shown for as part of a companion documentary, as screened in over 1,700 cinemas around the world. This edition of The End — as available on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, double CD, triple 180-gram vinyl, and a limited-edition deluxe collector’s edition — not only has the full Genting Arena performance, but also the five recordings that make up “The Angelic Sessions.” The limited-edition version of The End also includes a 32-page bound book, a metal “Winged Demon” pin badge, a replica The End tour laminate, and three plectrums. Also, an audio-only version hit Spotify and iTunes.

Obviously it is not a good thing when one of the best rock bands of all times calls it quits. But The End captures a legendary band in fine form — three-fourths of the original lineup is there, plus drummer Tommy Clufetos (Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne) and auxiliary keyboardist/guitarist Adam Wakeman — playing most of the Black Sabbath songs you probably wanted to hear, with excellent audio and video. Notably, The End features what was billed as the last-ever performance by Black Sabbath, as recorded in the city where Black Sabbath first formed.

Could the band have integrated songs from the non-Ozzy years into the setlist? Could the DVD have more bonus features and proper acknowledgment of the non-Ozzy years of Black Sabbath? The answers to these questions are obviously “yes” and “yes,” but those sorts of things can be found with ease on YouTube; for kicks, you may want to look up the Sabbath show at Ozzfest in which Ozzy was not able to perform, so rather than cancel, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford filled in on lead vocals with just a few hours of notice. Eagle Vision is known for its strong, hits-driven live releases from major artists, and The End is yet another great example of that.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.

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