Killing Yourself To Die (No Label)
Olympen, Lund, Sweden April 21, 1977
(74:18) Supertzar Intro, Symptom Of The Universe, Snowblind, War Pigs, Gypsy, Black Sabbath, Dirty Women, Drum Solo, Rock ‘N’ Roll Doctor, Guitar Solo, Electric Funeral, Band Jam, N.I.B., Paranoid, Children Of The Grave
The recording of Black Sabbath in Lund Sweden on the European leg of the tour in support of Technical Ecstasy has been in circulation for some time. It has been released on vinyl as Killing Yourself To Die (Stoned Records 4) and on compact disc Killing Yourself To Die (Bondage Music BON 041) and under the same name but labeled as a Westwood One Radio Network release, I own this particular title and it was pressed with two second gaps so I was very pleased to be able to obtain this concert, blemish free.
When comparing the sound of this new release it is much louder and fuller sounding than the Westwood One disc and is to my ears a nice upgrade. The sound is excellent stereo and has often circulated as a soundboard but in truth is an excellent audience recording done with a Nakamichi tape deck and two microphones that give it the nice clarity and well balanced sound, one to definitely turn up loud.
The band take the stage with Symptom Of The Universe, the only song from the bands middle 70’s era, sadly nothing from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath makes the set. Symptom is a great opening song though and leads the band into a heavy Snowblind, the crowd gets behind the band and clap in time with the piece. There is some nice keyboard addition to the song via Gerald Woodroffe that really fleshes out the live sound and adds to the bleakness of the song.
War Pigs is super heavy, the band employs the sirens at the beginning that adds to the ambiance, the crowd again claps and this is where you can really tell that this is an audience recording, some of the clapping sounds near the recorder but in no way interferes with it. Bill Ward does some superb drumming on this song, his fills and time keeping is perfection and really adds to the feel of the song. Gypsy is the first of three new songs in the set on this night, It starts with a Bill Ward lead in and has a simple straight forward rock riff and average lyric that goes off a bit moodier thanks again to Woodruffe and Tony Iommi playing a more sinister riff. One of my favorite songs from the record, it is great to have some really good live versions of it, this is certainly one.
Black Sabbath is played with no solo or fanfare, it stands as a dark contrast with the rest of the set, so heavy and evil. Iommi plays the song to perfection, his leads breaks in the beginning are so tight, he is the star of the song. The band force nothing and sound like the song just ebbes out of them as if conjured from a fiery pit.
The band has a vehicle for soloing improvisation, it starts with Dirty Women. Iommi plays a nice solo using a wah pedal to great effect, again Woodruffe fills out the sound with some tasteful playing. The song is like a companion piece to Gypsy, both about evil women and are complex in structure. Towards the end of the song Iommi plays a nice blues styled solo before ripping into another wah flurry of notes Bill Ward is ready to take over but not before a brief bass and drum jam with Geezer. Bill then proceeds to cover all the bases, the crowd cheers him on and his two plus minute solo is well received.
Rock “N” Roll Doctor is another Sabbath curiosity, the good time rocker if one can say a thing in regards to Sabbath, Woodruffe plays a boogie style and the whole things sounds more like Lynyrd Skynyrd than Sabbath yet strangely it works. The song is short lived and leads to a Tony Iommi solo spot. He has obviously been itching to let loose and at first chance lets it rip. The rest of the band comes in for a quick jam and leads into, with some keyboard help, a very ominous Electric Funeral. Its first notes sound like they are coming from a newly radiated blast, one of my favorite additions to the bands latter set lists the song works well in its live format. Still in the same long jam the band flow into a blues jam that has some great and almost funky playing from Geezer that somehow evolves into the classic N.I.B., resurrected after a long absence. The recording is a little thin during this some, Iommi guitar is not as high in the mix as one would like. Paranoid finishes out the main set in typical fashion and the band is brought back for a children Of The Grave encore that leaves the crowd wanting more. A great concert in superb sound !
The packaging is simple inserts with live shots of the band, the cover picture has Ozzy in full flight is a classic as is the one on the inside featuring a high stepping Geezer. Great sound, nice simple presentation makes this release an easy recommendation to someone like myself who was in need of an upgrade or the casual collector looking for some good sounding Sabbath.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)