The first six Sabbath albums are known as cornerstones of the heavy metal genre. Key to a nutritional metal diet. Contrary to popular belief, Ozzy should not be known as 'the godfather of metal'. When I think of Sabbath it's not Ozzy's vocals that immediately come to mind. I think of Bill Ward & Geezer Butler's menacing rhythm section. But probably more than anything it is the sinister guitar of Tony Iommi that pops into my head the most. I'm not discrediting Ozzy as a frontman. His vocals are another component to the sound. However, without the three instrumentalists backing him, it's kind of hard to take it on its own. A fact proven by his first two solo efforts with the immensely talented Randy Rhodes.
The first album can be considered the 'one that started the metal ball rollin''. The second being the one most embraced by popular culture with its signature tunes Iron Man & Paranoid. The third took elements from both albums and went even further. This one is more doom-y than any other Sabbath record during this line up. Even after this, they still had enough juice left in them to produce three more great albums.
Also, any notion that Sabbath are actually evil will be diminished when actually listening to the lyrics on this record. The sounds emitting from the record sure sound evil though.