Friday, July 25, 2014

Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath

Who would have thought that a Black Sabbath tribute album could really hit it hard and sound great? Well to tell the truth it sounded like a good idea to me. Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath (Ubiquity) is even better than I imagined. One reason it works is that it's one band, Austin-based Brownout, getting into cool rearrangements of old Sabbath tunes. Alex Maas of The Black Angels is in there and they all get good leverage on the music.

They give the songs a real kick in the teeth with the heavy metal sound updated, then add horns and percussion to make it really push. Sometimes it sounds like a Crimsonian Sabbath reading of "20th Century Schizoid Man" in a funny way. Other times it just sounds vital and fresh. And that's plenty good enough!

The singing is Sabbath-worthy. And face it, early Sabbath did something to metal that it never recovered from--and set the pace for less worthy bands to follow, and some worthy ones too.

This album is a kick! You'll be surprised, then happy to hear the care with which they recreate the tunes anew. Seriously.

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