Steffen Jungersen


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The performance on Sweden Rock Festival may well be the last Sabbath show this reviewer will ever see – if so the legends went out in the most marvelous majestic way

BLACK SABBATH, Sweden Rock June 6

Foto: Migselv

Dansk version

Black Sabbath is the mightiest Heavy Metal band that ever walked the earth and trod the same plains as us humble underlings.

These masterful majesties have held on to their throne since Friday 13th. of February 1970. When guitarist Tony Iommi first removed the lid from the black treasure chest from which he collected one monstrous majestic metalriff after the other and wrote rock history in the process.

Immortal themes of music. These are not only chiseled into Heavy Metal's concrete foundation but also deep in the minds of those of us who ever found solace and redemption in the concept known as "the power of rock and roll!"

Nothing less.

It may soon be over now though. Tony Iommi has more than hinted that Sabbath's show in London's Hyde Park on July 4th. could very well be the last ride of these legends. The band has no further plans after Hyde Park and Iommi himself has a hard time coping with touring since just ending treatment for cancer.

Mixed emotions
So it was with mixed emotions of anticipation and melancholy I found my place in front of the festival stage in Sweden this late Friday night. Knowing that this could – to paraphrase the Stones - be the last time. The last time I'd ever experience Black Sabbath live.

If so, so be it. If this fantastic performance was to be my last Sabbath show, they sure entered the annals of rock history with a masterful, mindblowing and majestic (black) mass that occasionally made the description “breath taking" about as sufficient as one light beer at a Viking bash.

With a vigorous and very funny Ozzy Osbourne on fine form, with a nothing less than excellent and – even for Sabbath – intensely heavy rhythm section in Tommy Clufetos (drums) and Geezer Butler (bass).

And then of course HIM! The Riffmaster General. Tony Iommi stage left – cooler than Humphrey Bogart resting on ice.

Lead bombs
Then we got 'em – not so much like pearls on a string as lead laden bombs on an anchor chain.

First up "War Pigs" and "Into The Void" and then into the first pinnacle of the night with the wail of madness that is "Snowblind".

War Pigs
Into The Void
Age Of Reason
Black Sabbath
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Fairies Wear Boots
Iron Man
God Is Dead?
Children Of The Grave
Paranoid (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro)

Then “Age Of Reason" and into these masters' signature song "Black Sabbath". Played in a manner so heavy, that I've really never heard it like that before. For moments there I feared they'd actually come to a halt, yeah it was that slow.

Clufetos, Butler and Iommi's timing assured, that the song was kept on the “just about to. . ." level though. A master class in control right there.

Onwards with "Behind The Wall Of Sleep" og "N.I.B." – the two Sabbath songs that started everything for this reviewer at the ripe old age of 11!

If I'd had my wits about me at that time I would've taken a picture of the happily smiling Ozzy and had same picture tattooed on my chest.

The mighty Ozz
The much maligned Ozzy may well invent several alternative keys as the concert progresses, but it really is neither here nor there to keep up that silly discussion about Ozzy's vocal abilities or lack of same. To some of us he'll always be the heroic tenor of Heavy Metal. Because he's for real and because he is truly as essential to the Sabbath sound as the rest of them.

With "Fairies Wear Boots", "Iron Man", "God Is Dead?" and "Children Of The Grave" then forced the competition – all of it – to their knees in surrender. Until the band bid us all a good night with the inevitable “Paranoid".

Should this goodbye turn out to be permanent, we could not have gotten a fonder memory of Black Sabbath.

It was way better than their show in Copenhagen last winter. It was unequalled, masterful and majestic.

It was Black Sabbath!

“What is this that stands before me?"

It was BLACK SABBATH, I said!



Dagens Sang



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