Not as bad as its reptuation holds, but far from being an overlooked classic. Sabbath was on rocky terrain at this point in their career, and managed to pull together this album before Ozzy would make his extended departure and Dio would enter the fore. It’s not bad by objective measure, but undenyably tired and offering little that hadn’t already been done better before.
The title track actually starts the record off at a nice, galloping pace and is a good song. Unfortunately, it is also the best. Continuing along is a drudge of songs simmilar to older tracks, but paling in comparison. “Air Dance”, for example could be cited as experimental and innovative for a metal band. Then it occured to me that it is basically a composite of “Changes” and a few other Sabbath songs. Sax in “Breakout”? Eh. “Johnny Blade” can at least be given credit for incorporating synths as a unique weapon for their arsenal, even if it doesn’t reach particularly successful heights. The rest? Lacking the conviction of what had made Sabbath so great before.
I can’t enthusiastically recommend this album for any but metalheads, and only with reservations.