Skip to main content

Review of the Album "Born Again" by Black Sabbath

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Born Again Was a Very Commercially Successful Album With a Different Vocalist

Born Again is the 1983 studio album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath and it is the first studio album not to feature either Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals. It is the only studio album to have Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan doing lead vocals. By this point in time, we witness a major departure from the doom metal style of the 1970s as the sound on this album is much heavier along with impressive screaming vocals by Ian Gillan. Born Again was a major commercial success even without Ozzy Osbourne. The album did very well in the United Kingdom, getting up as high as #4 on the musical charts. Listening to this album the first time through will more than likely leave you feeling like this is a weird album and in some respects it may be. This is an album that has the chance to grow on you especially if you really love British heavy metal. The album fared almost as well on the Finnish and Swedish musical charts, ranking at #6 and #7 respectively.

Why This is an Influential Album

For the situation that the band was going through at the time, the album is a darn good release from one of the Big 3 British metal bands the other 2 being Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Perhaps Black Sabbath was born to continue creating new content and this content is the songs. The album’s cover may be the only horrible thing about this album though. The album is a transitional kind of album for Black Sabbath who were going through a phase of rediscovery and the album could symbolize a sort of rebirth for them. The secondary riff for the song “Zero the Hero” sounds very much like the Danzig song “Her Black Wings” because even Danzig was influenced by these guys and they had that doom metal sound in their songs so the fact that Black Sabbath influenced a lot of bands is evident.


Before the recording of the album Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinnie Appice had departed leaving the future of the band in doubt. It is obviously fortunate that the band decided to continue their activities and give someone else a chance to perform lead vocals.

In the 1992 documentary called Black Sabbath 1978-1992 guitarist Tony Iommi revealed how the band was formed saying that “That band was put together on paper. We’d never rehearsed.” That is a very interesting admission by Tony and in spite of what happened to the band, this album is still a solid enough release in the career of Black Sabbath. It may not be everyone’s favorite release by this band but it gets off to a hard and heavy start with the song “Trashed.” It also has great loud vocals by Gillan which enhance the album. Speaking of the vocals, right from the start of the album where Gillan lets out a shout in the song “Trashed” the album gets off to a sort of roaring start like the one Mob Rules did in 1981. However, this song is not as good as Turn Up the Night. Trashed is a song about a person that leads a reckless life of driving too fast and drinking on his way to ruin. Then we have quite a contrast with the atmospheric song called “Stonehenge” which offers the eardrums a break before the heavy song “Disturbing the Priest” comes upon us. This one has Ian Gillan starting with a few laughs. The bass lines by Geezer Butler are noticeable

Final Thoughts

It is always really important how a band is able to finish an album when the last song is completed. The blues style love song called “Keep It Warm” features a respectable guitar solo by Tony Iommi. Just like the song says that the man will eventually come home to the person that he loves, Black Sabbath would continue as a band until 2017. Born Again is an album that is experimental yet the rock and heavy metal components are still kept to create an interesting release.

Scroll to Continue


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

Related Articles