Various Artists

Nativity in Black, Vol. 2: A Tribute to Black Sabbath

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Released in 2000, six years after the first volume, Nativity in Black II: A Tribute to Black Sabbath reflects the shifting tastes in heavy metal over that time period. Alternative metal had risen to massive popularity with its assimilation of rap and industrial-style electronics, although a few of the heavier bands from the '80s and early '90s maintained their credibility through sheer ferocity. That's reflected in the artist lineup of Nativity in Black II, with relative newcomers like Godsmack, System of a Down, Hed (Pe), and Static-X sitting next to Pantera, Megadeth, Slayer, and Monster Magnet. In terms of consistency, Nativity in Black II doesn't quite match its predecessor; nearly all of the rap/industrial fusions render their source material almost unrecognizable, and while that sometimes results in compelling re-imaginings, it also comes off as awkward and forced at other times (System of a Down's "Snowblind" and Hed (Pe)'s "Sabbra Cadabra" in particular). The vets may be a little more conservative and faithful in their approaches, but they also know what makes Sabbath tick, and so they tend to deliver the goods more reliably. Highlights include Pantera's creepy "Electric Funeral," Slayer's "Hand of Doom," Soulfly's "Under the Sun," and Monster Magnet's "Into the Void." The album also licenses the Busta Rhymes/Ozzy Osbourne duet "This Means War!! (Iron Man)," which appeared on Busta's E.L.E. album and here has the title reversed for proper emphasis.

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