This short review of the first Sabbath album comes from Hit Parader, March 1971, by Mike Dillon…
Magic has finally wormed out of the drug attached stigma, come out from behind the “psychedelic” album covers and pretentious arrangements and found its way into a hard rock environment. Black Sabbath (the name of the group, their first album, and the first cut on the album), is frightening, frenzied, driving, satanical and excellently played, arranged and produced. Four musicians who I have never heard of before lay down one of the heaviest magic-music statements you’ll ever hear.
This album is a far cry from 90 percent of the junk that gets passed off as rock these days. From the opening thunderstorm of the last scream you hear only solid head-throbbing original rhythms, designed to reinforce your perception of the supernatural, evil powers that roam the earth. After listening to Ozzie Osbourne’s vocals, which are unlike any previous style, one can’t help wonder about Lucifer and the powers of darkness.
This is definitely not a good time album and you probably won’t hear it on many radio stations. It’s too dangerous for 12 and 13 year olds to get into. Go out and get it, but stay in your magic circle when you listen to it.