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Black Sabbath - Born Again review


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Band: Black Sabbath
Album: Born Again
Release date: August 1983

Disc I
01. Trashed
02. Stonehenge
03. Disturbing The Priest
04. The Dark
05. Zero The Hero
06. Digital Bitch
07. Born Again
08. Hot Line
09. Keep It Warm

Disc II [2011 Deluxe Edition]
[Live at the Reading Festival on Saturday, August 27, 1983]
01. The Fallen [Previusly Unreleased Album Session Outtake]
02. Stonehenge [Extended version]
03. Hot Line
04. War Pigs
05. Black Sabbath
06. The Dark
07. Zero The Hero
08. Digital Bitch
09. Iron Man
10. Smoke On The Water
11. Paranoid

Another transformation of Black Sabbath after Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio, now with Ian Gillan. It's by far the most underrated album in the history of Black Sabbath. For the most devoted of fans, perhaps this is the worst album. In my opinion it's a great heavy metal record and a great alliance between Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi.

Born Again starts really fast with "Trashed", maybe the best of the album for me. Characterized by a great solo, and a pretty cool vocal performance by Ian Gillan. In my opinion the lyrics have a different theme from the typical Black Sabbath. In this record from 1983 there are two tracks made with the purpose of adding some mystery to the album, two instrumental songs that are really great and very well composed. One of the features added is the mix between the heavy but melodic and powerful tunes, that were so typical in the Ozzy and Dio eras. With Ian Gillan you have both, there is strength, power and melody in most of the songs. The best song is perhaps "Trashed", like I said above it reveals a more familiar Black Sabbath sound completed with the band's great performance. Another plus to this 1983 reformation of Black Sabbath is the power ballad "Born Again" that is different from their past; the guitar is so profound but also so heavy, and given added emotion by Ian Gillan. There is a lot of meaning given to that song making the album definitely more complete with a lot of diversity.

Opposing to the best, "Zero The Hero" is a bad moment, it has a good chorus but it's way too repetitive and lasts far too long with 7:40. It would definitely improve Born Again if shorted, it would make the album more compact, concise and more self oriented.

In my opinion it's definitely the most underrated album in the 80's. It's a great addition for every single one of the fans through the years. Black Sabbath would definitely have a "more empty" discography without this album.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written by AndMetalForAll | 27.11.2011

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 9   Visited by: 128 users
27.11.2011 - 18:51
Troy Killjoy
I don't think this is an underrated album by any means. It's a change from the psychedelic Ozzy era and the emotive RJD era, failing to capture the magic of their respective classics. I always felt Gillan was a weak vocalist, and this album didn't do anything to change my opinion.

And I definitely disagree with your concluding statement. I don't think many Sabbath fans would lose any sleep had this album never been released. 6/10 from me on a good day.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
28.11.2011 - 08:25
Angelic Storm
I think "Born Again" is definitely underrated, although the production on it is absolutely awful.

I agree with the reviewer that "Zero The Hero" is far too long. I think it's a great song, and the main riff is great. But even the greatest of riffs can start to get on your nerves if it's repeated ad-infinitum throughout a long song. The song would have benefitted a great deal were the main riff not repeated so much.

8 is probably the score I would also give it, although a better production and shortened "Zero The Hero" would make it a 9 for me.
28.11.2011 - 22:39

Underrated for sure but not one of Black Sabbath's best albums imo.
Ian does give BS a nice different touch.
29.11.2011 - 00:28
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Nice to see a positive review of this album. I do agree that it definitely is underrated, and goes overlooked far too often.
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

01.12.2011 - 15:10
Rating: 7
gloom cookie
This isn't one of the Sabbath classics for sure, but it shouldn't be overlooked, as it is a collab between brilliant artists and a nice effort on its own.
7.0 means the album is good
01.08.2012 - 06:46
Rating: 6
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
I agree with Troy Killjoy here - I don't think this is underrated at all. The only decent songs are Trashed and Zero the Hero and maybe Disturbing the Priest. Some of the others are shockers and go on way too long. Also agree the productions is awful. The guitar solo on Trashed is pretty good and the riff on Zero the Hero is memorable. If Digital Bitch really is a song about Sharon Arden then it's a bitchy song, and pretty lame. And the closing track is horrible. 6/10 for me as well.
The sun shines over The Fool...
19.04.2014 - 09:32
Rating: 8

"Born Again" wasn't supposed to be a Black Sabbath release but the record company said no Sabbath no album. It was plagued from the get go. From production to album art every spinal tap scenario came about. Even with all the flim flam I think "Born Again" is great! This COULD have been a monster if the production was handled better. Listen to Danzig's "Under Her Black Wings" and tell me where that riff was lifted from. "Disturbing the Priest" was written because the house where they were recording was next to a church and well it was uh.......Disturbing the Priest. Iommi still just keeps coming up with some of the best riffs ever. Post "Born Again" songs like "The Headless Cross,Computer God,I,After All(The Dead),The Devil Cried and Bible Black are crushing.
23.07.2015 - 19:08
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Lyrics well Geezer wrotes it ask him,
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
06.06.2020 - 10:41
Rating: 9
Lord Slothrop

One of my favorites of theirs. Underrated indeed.

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