Paranoid at 50: Celebrating the balm for "beaten-down listeners" in Black Sabbath's classic record

First heard Black Sabbath on one of the older kids’ boom boxes when I was 11. From the sound, I was convinced that the batteries were dying. He assured me that that was just how they sounded. I was captivated.


I feel like this is one of those memories I may have just created, from fragments of related stuff, but I could swear listening to War Pigs at some point was how my mom explained the Vietnam War protest movement to me from her times.

That song is still so damn powerful every time I hear it, no matter how many years have passed, as if it was created yesterday. It’s still so poignant and probably forever will be. Whenever people tell me heavy metal is Satan’s music, I point out how a band called Black Sabbath ironically still points out the pointless realities of war throughout history effortlessly- a demonic movement would never have that sense of self.

The very foundations of heavy metal came from protesting the horrible natures of the common status quo. It has evolved into both beauty and nightmares.


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