Nativity In Black
Review by Rick Damigella
It is safe to say that while there were forces all happening simultaneously in music in the late 60’s, which would later be regarded as the elements from which heavy metal evolved. One band crawled forth, nay, stomped out of, the primordial ooze of the late sixties music scene to single handedly create an entirely new sound heretofore unheard coming from the speakers of stereos of the youth of the world.
The level to which Black Sabbath has influenced heavy music is undeniable. Where would any band that has d-tuned their guitars and screamed like Cookie Monster into their mics be without Black Sabbath? Would we have even had a New Wave of British Heavy Metal? Would Guitar Center sell as many six strings to aspiring teenager axe wielders? That is why in 1994, a group of 12 of the best modern metalmeisters came together to pay homage to the preternatural gods of heavy metal. Nativity in Black came out at a time where grunge ruled the music scene. It is album that sounded like a dark, evil thing that should not be, crawling back out of the ooze to flick its forked tongue in defiance at the plaid wearing masses and reminded you just how influential and scary Black Sabbath’s sound could be.
NIB is one of the very few tribute albums that actually is a tribute, as opposed to a small record label throwing its cadre of bands onto a single disc to destroy the classics in the name of profit that generally leave you wanting to go back and listen to the original recordings anyway. While Nativity in Black accomplishes this as well, but in a much better way, it also stands up completely on its own as a unique and scary listening experience. It’s recommended listening on a midnight dreary or whenever you need to hear a bit of musical deviltry.