|Children of the Grave|
|production credits unnown|
|Released on 1991|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
|PS-SR 6011-2 cover|
I nvited to a pagan mass, the troll and I stood contemplating our closet, in search of le noir juste. There is black in its familiar form, refracting not a drop of kindness or sympathy from its stitching, but neither terrifying. Blacker, so as to draw the gaze of man and suggest an air of the unreal, almost mystical in application. And blackest, where the pockets become portals into a nether world of nonmatter. As I reached for a dark charcoal mock turtle neck shirt, the troll slapped my hand back. “Fool,” he hissed, “we’re not going to the Chili’s near the mall. Black, damn you. Real black. And if you even look at the sports jacket with the elbow patches...” He was right, of course, but I just wasn’t in tune with black, so you can see where this is going. If the succession of “Supernaut,” “Snowblind” and “Cornucopia” doesn’t snuff the last cinder of color from your inner eye, then black probably isn’t a staple in your closet anyway. Before I dig any deeper, a word about this mislabeled animal called Children of the Grave. It’s a reissue of the expanded reissue (still with me?) of Volume 4. It wasn’t much of an expansion, tacking on the live “Children of the Grave” that I’m pretty sure is taken from the Live At Last recording (it’s unlikely Sabbath recorded two versions of the song that sounded this crappy). Otherwise, track order is identical to Volume 4, with the caveat that Children of the Grave has been digitally remastered. Pfftthhh. Digitally remastered from an old cassette tape they found in a shoebox under their bed maybe. But it’s no big matter; Volume 4 was antithetical to high fidelity. It was an inarticulate interpretation of madness, bleak and weary one moment, fitful and furious the next, broken by moments of clarity (“Changes”) and beauty (“Laguna Sunrise”). It signalled an unravelling of sorts, exemplified in the haphazard approach of “Wheels of Confusion,” which sounds at times like a blood and gore jamfest. Tony Iommi also unleashes some of his fastest fretwork on here, though you may strain to hear it in the murky remaster. I miss the razor-sharp riffs, but it’s still a bloodied and unbowed performance worthy of the tag “classic Sabbath.” All of which helps me get into the perfect black mood. Now to get dressed to the upside-down nines...
return to BLACK SABBATH discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||Creative Sounds Limited||CD/CS||6011|
|US||1996||Power Sound 2001||CD||PS-SR 6011-2||digital remaster|
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