Friday, April 20, 2012

Metal Friday: "Falling off the Edge of the World" by Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath's wheelhouse years were roughly 1980-1981, when it released Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules back-to-back with Ronnie James Dio as vocalist. Not that Osbourne-fronted Sabbath wasn't great (they were), but for a short period with Dio they were sublime.

I've always identified very strongly with the apocalyptic/escapist lyrical subject matter of "Falling off the Edge of the World." Not so much about "closing the door" (I'm not that deep in despair; no worries), but rather the bit about "living well out of my time." I too should be at the table round, with Dio on my right and Launcelot on the left, ready to ride out in search of the Grail or rock the night with electric axe. Instead I'm a computer jockey at a desk all day. Oh well, one can dream.

On top of its wonderful thematic material, "Falling off the Edge of the World" features a great, deep, powerful riff by Tony Iommi, a great bassline, and of course Dio at the top of his game. A tough combo to beat. I'm also a sucker for the epic and that certainly describes "Falling off the Edge of the World" with its languid intro, morphing to a heavy drumbeat like the footsteps of an approaching doom, and finally switching to a high-gear eruption of sound at 2:07.

Turn it up, and enjoy.


Falze said...

Love that kick in at 1:30 (redefining the word 'CHUNKY') and the blaze that starts just after 2:00 and just keeps on going until the end. Always like the "Help me! Tell me I'm sane!" part.

This song really encapsulates the galloping riffage that would dominate 80s metal. Great choice this week!

The Wasp said...

Appice doesn't swing on the drums the way Ward did but Iommi's playing was rarely better. Dio was such a perfect fit for the era of Sabbath. In the day of the cookie monster growl of metal singing his voice I truly miss his voice.


Great song, one of the best in Heavy Metal history. Brian -if you're not already aware of it- check out the song Iron Shadows by the american band Jag Panzer. It is inspired by REH's Shadows in the moonlight.

Brer said...

Cover art by Gregory Hildebrandt of the Brothers Hildebrandt fame.

Brian Murphy said...

Brer: I didn't know that! Cool. Though I'm not a big fan of the Hildebrant bros. Tolkien artwork.

Thanks for the link, ΚΙΜΜΕΡΙΟΣ. I will check it out.

Scott said...

Brian, it seems we have very similar tastes in music, my friend. I've always loved this song.