Jackson, MS – As the final ear-bleeding refrains of Paranoid came to a close at Birmingham’s Genting Arena, Christians around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief. After nearly a half-century of turning America’s youth onto the occult, heavy drug use, and sexual perversion, it finally signaled ‘The End‘ of Black Sabbath.
Seventh Star Church organist and HIS (Hands in Servitude) volunteer, Eileen Ulick, will host Reclaiming the Sabbath, a weekend-long celebration of Black Sabbath’s retirement.
“It’s time to rejoice and praise the Lord that the abomination known as Black Sabbath is finally over,” said Ulick, speaking via Skype during a HIS gathering at her home in downtown Jackson. “We are spiritually and symbolically reclaiming the holy Sabbath for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” she said.
Black Sabbath was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist, Terence “Geezer” Butler, drummer William Ward and singer John “Ozzy” Osbourne. After admittedly selling their souls to Satan, the band released their self-titled debut album on Friday the 13th, 1970, to instant worldwide success.
The song, Black Sabbath, inspired by a vision Geezer had of a cloaked figure standing over the foot of his bed, makes good use of the ominous diminished fifth, also known as ‘The Devil’s Interval,’ a musical tritone once banned by clerics in the Middle Ages for fear it would raise the devil.
Guitarist Tony Iommi developed his unique playing style after voices in his head instructed him to chop off his fingertips. The next day at the sheet metal plant, he stuck his fretting hand under a machine blade, severing two fingertips. Losing the tips of his fingers led Iommi to experiment with detuning and lighter gauge strings, thus creating the sound and style of heavy metal “on accident.”
The band soon left England after playing an impromptu Black Mass for a group of Satanists at Stonehenge.
Black Sabbath was launched in the U.S. with a party hosted by The Church of Satan, with non-other than The Satanic Bible author, Anton Lavey, presiding over the festivities.
“I blame FM radio forever playing them in the first place,” says Southern Cross Church Pastor, Wayne Kerr. “Disc jockeys back in the late sixties [and] early seventies had lost their moral compass and were promoting filth disguised as music to impressionable teenagers.”
Pastor Kerr will be bringing along his flock of parishioners from Biloxi to join in the celebration. “The burden of preaching against this vile group has left me mentally and physically disturbed,” said Kerr. “I honestly believed Mr. Osbourne, and especially Mr. Ward would have perished decades ago. Not even cancer could stop Mr. Iommi. [It was] a demonic force that has kept the band in business all these years.”
Southern Cross-member, Sharon Dix, recalls the time her 17-year-old son, Holden Dix, snuck off to a Black Sabbath concert while on a youth mission trip to Wisconsin. “Mission leaders had to pick him up from the Milwaukee County Jail,” she said. “He told me the relentless, bestial rhythms possessed him to harm himself and others.”
Sharon believes Holden was seduced by something purely evil. “They took something from my son that night. The light in his eyes…he’s never been the same since.”
Mrs. Dix is referencing the infamous Oct. 9th, 1980 ‘Black and Blue‘ tour stop at Milwaukee’s Mecca Arena, where rioters trashed the building and assaulted police officers who were called to the scene. When the smoke finally cleared, one hundred and sixty people were arrested for various drug-related charges, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage to property. Over a dozen police officers were injured in the melee.
That year Sabbath was promoting the album, Heaven and Hell, their first release with an on-again-off-again replacement singer, Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie is best known for inventing the ‘devil horn salute,’ a crude hand gesture made to mock Christ and pledged loyalty to Satan and heavy metal. Before his death in 2010, Dio had rejoined Iommi and Butler to release The Devil You Know, a Sabbath offshoot project that included such songs as Bible Black & Atom and Evil.
“It’s finally time for closure,” says born again Christian Patrick Crowley. “I was a big Sab fan for over twenty years. I had all the albums and wore t-shirts.” Mr. Crowley says he is fortunate he made it out alive. “It was always the same thing, get loaded and crank the Live Evil guitar solo while cruising Main Street. God had a different path for me to follow. Giving up Sabbath was the best decision I ever made.”
The band’s nineteenth and final studio album, 13, the first to feature original members Osbourne, Iommi & Butler, since 1978’s Never Say Die!, was released in 2013. The album’s lead single, God is Dead, won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance, proving once and for all the evil inner workings of the entertainment industry elite.
While Ozzy, now 68-years-old, is still making headlines due to his insatiable appetite for adultery, it’s comforting to know that the menace known as Black Sabbath has unplugged their cocaine stuffed amplifiers for the final time.
Reclaiming the Sabbath will be held Oct 13th at the Sleeping Village Community Rec Center off Interstate 55 in Ridgeway. Call (530) 278-5046 for reservations.