Sunday, August 9, 2020

August 9th, 2020 - Black [Sabbath] Is Beautiful


Good evening and happy Sunday evildoers!  The Meista here getting heavy with Black Sabbath's classic self-titled, debut masterpiece (Deluxe Expanded Edition) and a delicious Black Is Beautiful Oatmeal Stout from SaltFire Brewing Company!  I'm dedicating this pairing to my good buddy, Jerry Howard who introduced me to this album, although I don't think he remembers that... cheers Jerry!!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Black Sabbath
  • Title: "Black Sabbath" (Deluxe Expanded Edition)
  • Recorded: October 1969 at Regent Sound in London, England
  • Release date: February 13th, 1970 (1ststudio album by Black Sabbath)
  • Record company: Vertigo Records
  • Production: Rodger Bain
  • Album cover art: Marcus Keef
  • Personnel: Geezer Butler (bass guitar), Tony Iommi (guitars), Ozzy Osbourne (vocals and harmonica), and Bill Ward (drums and percussion)
  • Additional musician: Rodger Bain (Jew's harp)
  • Musical style: Heavy metal, hard rock
  • Sound: This is it folks... arguably the very first and the ultimate heavy metal album, "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath!  Amazing to think this album came out in 1970.  It still sounds as fresh and powerful as it did then.  I still remember the exact place I was when I first heard it... it made that much of an impression on me.  Musically and lyrically, "Black Sabbath" is dark, cerebral, heavy as hell, and profound.  The opening song is based almost entirely on a diminished tritone (the "Devil's note") interval played at slow tempo with fast-paced bursts  of Iommi's amazing guitar, Geezer's booming bass, and Ward's unparalleled drum attack.  It opens with the sound of rain, thunder, and an ominous church bell... and then boom! the music nails you right between the eyes.  Ozzy's vocals are ominous, terrifying, honest, powerful.  And it doesn't end there!  "N.I.B.," a love song from the viewpoint of Lucifer is a powerful rocker.  "The Wizard," inspired by Tolkien's Gandalf is another rocking monster with fantastic signature changes, and Ozzy's rare harmonica stylings (he should definitely play more harmonica!)   "Behind the Wall of Sleep" references a story by horror master H.P. Lovecraft and lays down even more heaviness!  All in all, such an amazing and insanely influential album!  Brilliance!! 
  • Major themes: Isolation, loss, darkness, evil, the occult, paganism, the blues, fantasy, horror, etc.
  • Tracks:   
  1. "Black Sabbath"
  2. "The Wizard"
  3. "Wasp / Behind The Wall Of Sleep / Basically / N.I.B."
  4. "Wicked World"
  5. "A Bit Of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning"
  6. "Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me)"
  7. "Black Sabbath" (studio outtake)
  8. "Black Sabbath" (instrumental)
  9. "The Wizard" (studio outtake)
  10. "Behind The Wall Of Sleep" (studio outtake)
  11. "N.I.B." (alternate version)
  12. "Evil Woman" (alternate version)
  13. "Sleeping Village" (Intro)
  14. "Warning" (Part 1)

Brew Info:
  • Brewery: SaltFire Brewing Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Black Is Beautiful Oatmeal Stout
  • Style: Oatmeal Stout
  • Serving: 16 ounce can
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Pour: The Black Is Beautiful pours a deep mahogany brown (almost black) with a virtually no head.
  • Nose: The nose is roasty, chocolatey, earthy, and slightly sweet.  There are aromas of roasted coffee beans, fresh cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa, oatmeal, mesquite, light liquid smoke, and sweet toffee.
  • Taste: The taste of the Black Is Beautiful is roasty, toasty, sweet, chocolatey, nutty, and rich.  There are notes of creamy oats, dark and milk chocolate, fresh brewed coffee, cream, light marshmallow, walnut, hazelnut, and caramel/toffee.  
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low carbonation, the mouthfeel is creamy, velvety smooth, and slightly crisp with a dry, smoky finish.
  • Notes: This beer was "brewed to support Justice and equality for People of Color".

Overall pairing: The classic sound of Black Sabbath requires a brew with depth, complexity, and something rather dark!  The Black Is Beautiful Oatmeal Stout from SaltFire Brewing Company definitely fits that bill!  With its rich texture and earthy and smoky aromas and flavors, the Black Is Beautiful is perfect for the heaviness, melancholia, and dark beauty of  the mighty Sabbath!

Cheers and Hails!! 

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