Zakk Sabbath: Vertigo (Magnetic Eye) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020  

Zakk Sabbath


Magnetic Eye

Sep 16, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Zakk Wylde is certainly a Black Sabbath devotee. He came to prominence playing lead guitar for Ozzy Osbourne in the late ’80s, riffing on Ozzy albums from 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked through 1995’s Ozzmosis. He’s played his own brand of ’70s-influenced dark rock and roll since the late ’90s with his own Black Label Society. And, heck, he has a band called Zakk Sabbath for crying out loud. All which make him the perfect person to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut. Vertigo is Zakk Wilde and his band covering Black Sabbath in its entirety, cover to cover.    

Black Sabbath was a groundbreaking record, ushering in heavy metal on the tritone-based riffs of guitar god Tony Iommi, the thunderous bass of Geezer Butler, the thrashing drums of Bill Ward, and of course, the menacing screams of Ozzy Osbourne. Vertigo doesn’t stray from the template. In fact, it pretty much recreates the album note for note. Really the only difference is the timbre of Wylde’s vocals compared to Ozzy’s. Otherwise, Vertigo is a near-perfect replica. It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Black Sabbath might be the ultimate flattery-prone metal album. But why, you might ask, would anyone want to listen to Vertigo, when one could very easily seek out the original?    

The way I see it, there are two kinds of tribute or cover songs. Some feature interpretations that are wildly different from the original, with artists putting their own unique stamp on the tracks. Others are faithful recreations, but in this case the songs almost always pale in comparison to the originals. Vertigo, however, is a third type, one that faithfully recreates the originals to such a note perfect degree that the homage is unparalleled. And that’s why Vertigo is worthy of your listen. It takes a heralded rock and roll classic, perhaps the most important and significant record of its genre, and redoes it without shame, without a dip in quality, and with a superiority that makes clear the reverence its players have to its material. And in this case, there is likely no one who could do it better than Zakk Wylde and his Zakk Sabbath. (  

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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