|Review by michi September 18, 2011 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|I'd have to agree with Analogue above. Paranoid was absoutely stunning and I was surprised. This album, sonically, doesn't hit its stride until Track 3 "Embryo" and 4 "Children Of The Grave", which is pretty well done if you turn up the volume a bit. (Read: Not overly compressed.) Track 5 "Orchid" is done VERY nicely indeed, with the guitar being very full, and well, let's not mince words. The instrumental sounds beautiful; am I allowed to say that about a Black Sabbath track? Will Ozzy find me and kick in my door? (well.... probably not, these days.)
I really hoped "Sweet Leaf" would have been cleaned up more, but it's one of the weaker tracks (sonically) on the disc. It's not bad at all, by the way. Just could be a bit more dynamic.
But in short, this is not a 'pop compressed' album, it is not harsh, it is very pleasant as Analogue said, and is actually very relaxing to listen to. (In fact, if you aren't into Black Sabbath, this may be one to give a try.) Wherever there is guitar (most of the album of course!) this is where it really shines. The guitar is very full and deep and substantial. The drums have character and, while not too much high end, still have a lot of 'snap',and are not just plosive white noise.
I have an odd theory about some of these which may be off: On a lot of these recordings, the most popular songs, which are towards the beginning, tend to have the most tape distortion, high end rolloff and warble on the transfer. Could that be because that part of the tape has been played more, in demonstration, than other sections of the tape? Just an idea...
In any case, I give this 4 out of 5 stars for sonics. The SHM-SACDs really are hit or miss; I would count this one in the "hit" category.
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