Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Sabbath: "Sleeping Village," from Black Sabbath (1970)

Here’s where we get into some more tracking weirdness. In North America, we have a medley “Sleeping Village/A Bit of Finger/Warning,” while Europe splits into “Sleeping Village” and “Warning.” Europe wins again. Sure, it all kind of melds together, but for some reason, I’ve always preferred separate tracks to “slash”songs.

“Sleeping Village” is an interesting song, opening with an ominous acoustic guitar and, of all the strange instruments to choose, a boinging jaw/mouth harp. It’s not a particularly dark sounding instrument, but Sabbath manages to make it one. Ozzy’s moaning vocal delivery adds to the melancholy and dark mood of the song before Iommi cranks up the distortion to finish out the piece as an instrumental.

There’s another shift in the song around the two minute mark, where Bill Ward starts up another jazzy beat. I’ve got to be honest and admit that giving this album a more critical relisten, I’ve certainly gained respect for Bill Ward’s talents as a drummer. There’s no doubt in my mind that Ward and Geezer Butler were definitely the most solid rhythm section that metal has ever seen.

I will admit that I wish “Sleeping Village” had given us a little more of that slower, somber acoustic piece from the beginning. I really dig that, and think it’s one of the shining moments of this debut album.

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