Album of the Week: Paranoid

Album of the Week: Paranoid

Maddox Wolfgram, Staff Writer

For this week, I decided to go with Paranoid by Black Sabbath. Paranoid, released in 1970, was one of the first heavy metal albums, and it features many of Black Sabbath’s biggest hits. Black Sabbath was an English heavy metal band formed in 1968 featuring guitarist Tony Lommi, drummer Bill Ward, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, and bassist Geezer Butler.

The album kicks off with “War Pigs/Lukes Wall,” an 8 minute anti-war song. This song largely paved the way for many heavy metal bands to come. “War Pigs” opens with HEAVY guitar riffs and some of the most intricate drums I’ve ever heard. It features powerful vocals from the legendary front man, Ozzy Osbourne. His vocals pierce my soul in a way I haven’t felt from any other vocalist. The song closes with the “Lukes Wall” section, which is a 2 minute instrumental outro. This brings the song to a magnificent finish.

The title track,”Paranoid,” is easily Black Sabbath’s most famous song. It features fast paced instrumentation, using more heavy guitar riffs and insane drums. Bill Ward has to be one of my favorite drummers of all time. Ozzy’s vocals are once again unique but incredible. His voice fits what Black Sabbath was going for perfectly. The song is simple in structure, but it’s effective in its goals.

Everyone and their mother has probably heard “Iron Man” at this point. It opens with one of the most iconic electric guitar riffs of all time. The song feels like you are driving through a ring of fire. Through the middle section, the song speeds up a bit, before heading into a lightning-fast pace to close the track. Overall, even though this is one of the most overplayed songs of all time, it holds up insanely well.

My favorite track on the album easily has to be the instrumental, “Rat Salad.” I am a massive sucker for big drum solos, and this song provides that for me. It starts off with a guitar riff, before exploding into a chorus of intricate drum patterns and guitar. After this, the song flows aggressively into my favorite drum solo of all time. The track then transitions into the chorus one last time, but this time allowing the drums to take the forefront.

Overall, the best word I can use to describe this album is “classic.” All of the songs are so incredible, it was hard to not talk about all of them, as to hopefully encourage anyone interested to listen to it yourself. I would give this album a 9/10.