If you hear opinions about the album Sabotage you’ll surely get some mixed reviews about it, It’s normal to happen. You see, Black Sabbath changed a lot in this album, they were experimenting a more progressive side, we could say. Making songs more instrumentals and longer. This was kinda different from previous materials of the British band. And when there are changes, there are unpleasant listeners, especially hardcore fans. Fans that were attached to the simple but heavy metal riffs from Tony Iommi. But Sabotage has a lot to offer that maybe you’ll appreciate some of it. I will go through my favorite track from the metal pioneers from Birmingham, Melagomania.
Let’s start with the meaning of the title itself. according to the Cambridge dictionary, Megalomania is “an unnaturally strong wish for power and control, or the belief that you are very much more important and powerful than you really are” When someone is megalomaniac he might suffer from schizophrenia, that is having his personality splitter in a good side and a bad side. We will notice this “two personalities” through the song, I will point them out shortly.
That’s is the technical definition of the title. But let me share with you the actual meaning that the British band intended to deliver based in my opinion and what people are saying online: the four members of the band have sold their soul to the devil in order to become rock stars.
“I mixed reality with pseudo-God dreams”
They are feeling more powerful than they truly are.
“I sold my soul to be the human obscene”
They are using the term human obscene for referring it to rock stars.
“How could this poison be the dream of my soul?
How did my fantasies take complete control, yeah?”
They are calling the drugs the dream of their soul
“Why don’t you just get out of my life, yeah?”
Maybe they don’t want to change really
“The ghost of tomorrow from my favorite dream
Is telling me to leave it all behind”
They are playing with the words here. The ghost sees the future and he is warning the present “them”. It looks like the dream was not as good as it looked like.
This is not the first song that a band references selling their soul to the Devil in order to achieve something. On Robert Johnson’s Crossroad Blues” he sais he’s selling his soul to the Devil for becoming a blues master. The same desire of Sabbath but different music genres.
There are some people that would criticize Ozzy’s abilities to sing. Actually there are lots of Sabbath fans that dislike him, either because of his mainstream marketing approach or just because of his personality. I think mainly they dislike Ozzy just because they prefer Dio. People are extremist and they would like one thing and hate the opposite just because. I would like to say that there is no Ozzy record that he has released either with Sabbath or during his solo career that he has sung better on this one, in my opinion. The vocal range and the passion that he delivered is outstanding
When I was talking about this song being more experimental for Sabbath, check out this guitar small fill from Iommi. (see the video above) Tony was the guy to whom we should credit the invention of metal music, and he achieves so doing simple riffs that sounded huge. But it was with this album that he expanded definitely his guitar abilities and added to his sound these little paintbrushes.
The beginning of this song makes me feel like entering a creepy temple. Right?
Without a doubt, the pinnacle of this song is this transition (check out the video above). The Latin campana was beaten by Bill. Iommi: “let me come out with a riff in two seconds that would be legendary. The on and off contribution of Geezer Butler. Ok, there it is, sounds good right?” Ozzy sounds with two voices (check out the video above). The teleportation of Tony.
I will piss off lots of people for this, but this song has a very clear reason why so many people like Black Sabbath better in the Ozzy era rather in Dio´s one. Black Sabbath was founded to be a band that would put you aware of the devil that you could find in your life. And they will approach that message with diabolic sounds. Ozzy gave to Sabbath that flavor in my opinion. Even though I’m more a fan of Dio’s voice I don’t think he gave that to Sabbath. For me there was no better era of Sabbath but definitely two different good bands.