Black Sabbath, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne, The Metal Apologist

The Metal Apologist (Part I: Black Sabbath)

{My first task here will be to archive select old writings. Here’s the first installment of “The Metal Apologist,” which is exactly what it sounds like, from January 13, 2007}

So I’ve unofficially decided to be the biggest fucking dork ever and put up a (semi-)regular series of posts pertinent to exalting the best Metal that I’ve encountered and defending it from the disparaging falsehoods and misconceptions with which it is too often saddled.

It started with a listen to Black Sabbath’s “A National Acrobat”. A brilliant song that kinda chokes me up by how lyrically amazing it is. A much younger Ozzy is powerful and unstrained singing these lyrics (penned by Sabbath’s unsung genius of a bassist, Geezer Butler):

“I am the world that hides
The universal secret of all time
Destruction of the empty spaces
Is my one and only crime
Ive lived a thousand times
I found out what it means to be believed
The thoughts and images
The unborn child that never was conceived

When little worlds collide
Im trapped inside my embryonic cell
And flashing memories
Are cast into the never ending well
The name that scorns the face
The child that never sees the cause of man
The deathly darkness that
Belies the fate of those who never ran

Well I know its hard for you
To know the reason why
And I know youll understand
More when its time to die
Dont believe the life you have
Will be the only one
You have to let your body sleep
To let your soul live on
Love has given life to you
And now its your concern
Unseen eyes of inner life
Will make your soul return
Still I look but not to touch
The seeds of life are sown
Curtain of the future falls
The secret stays unknown

Just remember love is life
And hate is living death
Treat your life for what its worth
And live for every breath
Looking back Ive lived and learned
But now Im wondering
Here I wait and only guess
What this next life will bring”

Yeah, Sabbath were basically big hippies but with a little more gravity, grounded in the reality of facing the uglier parts of the universe. But beneath it all there’s a profound message of rebirth and understanding the breadth of existence beyond your current form. Heavy stuff. Not dumb. Lest we forget riffs that are still among the most innovative the entire genre has yet seen. Very little has advanced since these guys, Motorhead and, to some extent, Led Zeppelin. Anyway, to address the usual arguments, you can understand what the singer’s saying, it’s not about Satan and killing, and uh…go listen to some fucking Sabbath!

Yours in metal,