Masters of Reality

Masters of Reality

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Because the Syracuse, New York-based Masters of Reality took their name from the title of a scorching Black Sabbath album, some assumed they were a heavy metal band. But in fact, their forte is a bluesy approach with a late-1960s/early-'70s type of appeal. Though subtle traces of Sabbath can occasionally be heard on a few of their songs, their sound owes a lot more to Ten Years After and the Doors. First released by Def American in 1989 and reissued by Delicious Vinyl in 1990, this impressive offering was produced by Rick Rubin and has the markings of a Rubin production. The thing that makes Rubin so great a producer is his willingness to follow his gut instincts, an approach has served him well whether producing Slayer, Johnny Cash, or L.L. Cool J, and one that clearly works to the Masters' advantage on such pearls as "Domino," "Gettin' High," and "The Eyes of Texas." Rubin is the type of producer who knows how to step aside when appropriate and let artists be themselves. Under his direction, the material sounds well produced, but never over-produced.

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