Bass players, like drummers, are often the overlooked participants who create the weighty ballast and deep groove whilst the front of stage guitar players and singers swipe the attention and plaudits from fans and critics alike.

However, there are quite a few prominent exceptions to this cliche and Geezer Butler is most certainly an exceptional deviation to this narrow rule.

Widely respected as a guileful exponent of the heavy bottom-end in the metal genre, Butler is also regarded in high esteem for being the main lyricist of Black Sabbath‘s enduring songbook. Stepping out from the shadows, he combined both of these well-versed talents on a trio of experimental and singular solo albums spanning a decade from 1995 to 2005.

Not conforming to Sabbath fans expectations, there’s a baleful industrial metal flavour of musical sparks flying around both 1995’s Plastic Planet and 1997’s Black Science contemporarily reflecting a newly forged minatory metal movement of the nineties. Whereas 2005’s  Ohmwork finds GB back on familiar heavy ground. There’s an overload of Power Metal with Psych undertones that lock and load on these deep cut tracks.

Serving up these heavy slabs on a silver salver of multi formats, Butler remarks how he has ‘missed having the albums on vinyl’ after an ordeal trying to track down the original master tapes. The vinyl releases, in particular, are excellent.

Butler’s solo output is ripe for reappraisal and these redux releases possess a propulsion of their own as they fire out of the speakers reflecting an alternative side to this unassuming metal guru genius.

Geezer Butler

Plastic Planet
Black Science
Ohmwork
(BMG)
 
8/10
 
by Paul Davies

About The Author

I began my career in journalism at the now defunct, pre-digital Smash Hits magazine, which was situated in London's Carnaby Street. After learning the ropes, I washed up at Vox Magazine, essentially the NME'S monthly magazine, as the Internet arrived into our lives. Thereon, I eventually graduated onto Q Magazine when people still treasured the magazine that they bought. My journalistic career since has been on newspapers at The Times, The Independent/i newspaper, Daily & Sunday Express and, ofcourse, National Rock Review.

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