Black Sabbath

Children of the Grave

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Let's make it quick and simple, shall we? If you already own Black Sabbath's classic 1972 release, Black Sabbath, Vol. 4, then there's no reason to purchase Children of the Grave, as it replicates the entire track listing of Vol. 4. The only difference is that a live version of the title track is tacked on at the end (which sounds like it was plucked directly from the live Sabbath release, Past Lives). However, if you don't already own Vol. 4, or you're looking for an affordable intro to the mighty Sabbath (and want to dig a bit deeper than "Paranoid" and "Iron Man"), then the budget-priced Children of the Grave makes a bit of sense. After all, the original Sabbath lineup was still firing on all cylinders at this point, resulting in such metallic classics as "Tomorrow's Dream" and "Snowblind," as well as such gentler fare as "Changes," and the gorgeous instrumental, "Laguna Sunrise." And as evidenced by the high quality of such lesser-known tracks ("Wheels of Confusion," "Supernaut," etc.), Vol. 4 remains one of the group's strongest albums from front to back. Still, there's no denying Children of the Grave is a pretty darn sneakily assembled package.

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