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Born Again

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iTunes Review

As the lone Black Sabbath album to feature Ian Gillan in the role of vocalist, Born Again is an oddity within the band’s career, and because of that it's been unfairly overlooked. In fact, it's one of Sabbath’s most vicious and evil-sounding albums, and Gillan is perhaps the only Englishman who could match the infernal majesty of Ronnie James Dio. The album is particularly powerful from a rhythmic standpoint. The slashing drums sound extra-coarse, and Geezer Butler’s high-throttle bass is turned way up in the mix (a production choice that Gillan and Tony Iommi later disparaged, stating “Geezer went a bit wally”). While these production elements might have sounded erroneous on another Sabbath album, here they contribute to the overall themes of claustrophobia, fury, and sin. Songs like “Trashed” and “Born Again” would have as much influence on goth and underground punk bands like Black Flag as they would metal groups. Guns N' Roses, meanwhile, based the verse of “Paradise City” on the riff from “Zero the Hero,” the eternal churn that is this album’s centerpiece.

Customer Reviews

Stellar album. Made me wish Ian Gillan stuck around longer

Sabbath's lone studio album with Ian Gillan behind the mike. This was the first Sabbath studio album to be released after I had got into the band, so it was a big deal for me. It does have the worst album cover Sabbath's ever used, but the music on here is absolutely brilliant. Some awesome tunes, great riffs - unfortunately the band all but ignores that this ever existed, unfortunately. The only time any music from this album was ever played anywhere else was on the following tour in 1986 when a few bars from Zero the Hero were played. Additionally, in 2005 Ian Gillan released a project to commemorate his 40th anniversary in the industry. Trashed appears on that in a newly recorded version with Tony Iommi on guitar.

Born Again has some hidden gems

This is an under rated album for sure, but its dark, disturbing and doomy. The production is also strange which makes it even more fascinating. This is a band that is trying to stay relevant in a changing world and all the turmoil comes out in the music. "Disturbing the Priest" is scary and heavy, "Zero the Hero" is absolutely relentless and crushing. Both songs are acknowledged as true gems in metal/doom circles. Other tracks like "Trashed" and "Born Again" are good showcases for Ian Gillian's vocal range. It would have been very interesting for this lineup to do a second record.

Ian and Sabbath - great combo

This album is great. Tony Iommi plays extremely well, and the Remastered version finally does the music justice. If you don't know, for whatever reason, Ian Gillian sings on this album - his main fame came from Deep Purple. He's easily one of the top metal singers in the genre since its inception. Invest in the following tunes: Trashed, Disturbing the Priest, Zero the Hero, and Born Again. You won't lose by investing in Hot Line and Keep It Warm either, but the first four mentioned are the standouts.


Formed: 1968 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An English hard rock institution whose influence on heavy metal cannot be overstated, Black Sabbath not only pioneered the genre, they helped launch the career of one of its most colorful and controversial characters in Ozzy Osbourne. The band distilled the smoke and strife of its industrial hometown into a punitive blast of doom-laden heavy blues-rock via bass player Geezer Butler's dystopian lyrics, which leaned heavily on the occult, and guitarist Tony Iommi's seismic riffing. When paired with...
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