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"Nativity In Black II: A Tribute to Black Sabbath" (Divine Recordings/Priority Records)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

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Another tribute? Yep. Yet another in the seemingly endless series of recordings by bands honoring bands that inspired them. This is one of many dedicated to Black Sabbath (but obviously only the second "Nativity In Black") and - if there's anything that sets this one apart, it's the fact that the bands herein are all pretty big, well-known bands and that this CD is the first release on Divine Recordings, Ozzy's very own record label.

But when you get right down to it, "Nativity In Black" is just more of the same. Some admittedly killer bands doing some admittedly killer classic Black Sabbath songs as a tribute to Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill.

Most of the tunes herein are straight-forward carbon copies of the Sabbath classics. Those who don't include System of a Down - who offer a little bit of a twist with "Snowblind," Hed(pe) - who do "Sabbra Cadabra" a whole lot funkier, Monster Magnet who give "Into the Void" a whole new and bizarre sound and Busta Rhymes (that's right, rapper Busta Rhymes!!) who takes "Iron Man" and melts it down into a hip-hop tune.

But, for the most part, it's bands playing Black Sabbath tunes with such reverence that it sounds pretty much like the original Black Sabbath tune. Sure, you can recognize different vocalists; Dave Mustaine always sounds like Dave Mustaine and the vocalist from Soulfly doesn't sound anything like Ozzy but the music is still the same old, heavy plodding, gloomy stuff that Black Sabbath invented. And, hey, when you can get Slayer to slow down as much as they do on "Hand of Doom," you've accomplished something.

"Nativity In Black 2" is just another tribute CD with bands that are somewhat bigger than most of the bands you see on tribute CDs. Black Sabbath fans and fans of any of the bands herein (a list follows) will probably enjoy this CD. But there's really no reason for anyone else to go out of their way to pick it up. It's a novelty - a fine one - but a novelty nonetheless. 

Included on "Nativity in Black 2" are:
GODSMACK "Sweet Leaf"
MACHINE HEAD "Hole in the Sky"
STATIC-X "Behind the Wall of Sleep"
MEGADETH "Never Say Die"
SYSTEM OF A DOWN "Snowblind"
PANTERA "Electric Funeral"
PRIMUS WITH OZZY "N.I.B."
SLAYER "Hand of Doom"
SOULFLY "Under the Sun"
HED(PE) "Sabbra Cadabra"
MONSTER MAGNET "Into the Void"
BUSTA RHYMES "Iron Man (This Means War)"


Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Jan 2016 11:33:10 -0500.