Black Sabbath - Mob Rules
Warner Bros. Records
Heavy Metal
9 songs (40:25)
Release year: 1981
Black Sabbath, Warner Bros. Records
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

After Ozzy's firing in 1979, Black Sabbath hired Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio as a replacement. The first album with Dio, Heaven And Hell, was a pretty big commercial success and an excellent sounding record. A few years later Mob Rules was released with Dio on vocals again and it turned out to be another memorable release from the band.

Turn Up The Night starts out with the heavy, catchy riffs that Sabbath is known for, and sounds like something in the same style of Heaven And Hell. Dio's voice sounds awesome as usual as he powers through this quick hard rock frenzy. I also notice the bass a lot on this track because it is played so fast and so well by Geezer Butler. Voodoo is up next and starts out a bit slower and more melodic, but Iommi keeps it heavy in the guitar department. Sign Of The Southern Cross is a ballad track that starts out with some clean guitar and the softer side of Dio's voice. About a minute and a half in the crushing riffs come in, Dio steps up his vocal work to sound a bit rougher as the song builds up more tension. Finally the chorus comes in with a lot of great energy. It does strike me as somewhat odd that they would choose to put a ballad this early in the album, perhaps it was to separate it from Falling Off The Edge Of The World, the other excellent ballad track on the album.

Iommi's guitar work is excellent throughout this album as usual; he goes seamlessly between slower, more melodic parts and some really heavy riffs. Vinny Appice does a great job on drums as well. The lyrics on this album seem to be mostly written by Dio and his influence is clearly seen in almost every aspect of the music. To me this occasionally sounds less like a Sabbath album and more like a Dio album; in particular the song Slipping Away definitely sounds like something that could have been on Holy Diver. Ultimately it doesn't matter though because it's a great album either way.

One thing I like about these older albums is they are usually shorter and to the point. Back in the days of vinyl and cassette tapes there was a somewhat more limited amount of space to work with and there were other considerations such as what songs would fit on which side of the album. This album is 9 tracks; that's only about 40 minutes of music total. Even so, the album seems longer than that, and it rocks the whole way through.

Killing Songs :
all of them, personal favorites are Voodoo, Sign Of The Southern Cross, The Mob Rules, Slipping Away
Khelek quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Black Sabbath that we have reviewed:
Black Sabbath - 13 reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Black Sabbath - Classic Albums - Paranoid (DVD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Black Sabbath - Headless Cross reviewed by Adam and quoted 81 / 100
Black Sabbath - Forbidden reviewed by Khelek and quoted 65 / 100
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath reviewed by Adam and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 22 reviews click here
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