Sabbath’s victory lap takes true believers to heavy rock heaven
3Arena, Dublin ★★★★☆
HEAVY rock godfathers Black Sabbath kicked up a full-metal racket on the first night of a farewell tour bringing the curtains down on five decades of eardrum-troubling mayhem.
With an average age of 68, the craggy veterans rolled back the years to blaze through an evening of headbanger classics that confirmed their status as popular music’s original dark overlords.
Especially impressive was the ease with which the celebrity mantle that has come to rest on frontman Ozzy Osbourne was cast aside. The doddery dad of MTV reality show The Osbournes didn’t get a look-in as Ozzy led Sabbath through a glorious victory lap.
After Donald Trump’s swearing in as US president, they chose a pointed opener in the eponymous Black Sabbath, a cheerful ditty about the antichrist obliterating mankind.
Back and forth Osbourne bopped, gingerly swinging his mane and waggling the lower half of his body with visible care. But if it was a long way from when he would bite the heads off bats on stage just for laughs, snarled readings of Snowblind and Children Of The Grave were evidence that his voice retained that old protean menace.
Yet the true driving force was guitarist Tony Iommi whose bulldozer chugging tolerated no resistance on a stomping War Pigs and a rendition of Iron Man.
Sabbath ended with the fire and brimstone assault of Paranoid, its hellish riffs ushering true believers once again into hard rock heaven. They tour until Saturday, February 4.
Author: Ed Power