THE END is nigh. Next month, the clanging chimes of doom will fall silent and the heavy metal pioneers who spawned a monster of a genre will hang up their heavy boots of lead for good. But, for now, Sabbath rock, albeit a little arthritically after everything they have been through as a band.
Hydro, Glasgow ****
This farewell Scottish show was a relatively plain affair, partly powered by fan affection, and with an extra star here out of sheer respect for their remarkable legacy. It is almost too easy to take for granted their enormous influence. Into the Void only sounds like every alternative metal band of the last 20 years because they all used it as their blueprint. While his bandmates – bassist Geezer Butler, suitably anchored to the spot, guitarist Tony Iommi immersed in his ominous tunings – unleashed bedlam around him, legendary frontman Ozzy Osbourne rocked back and forth into the microphone, emitting the occasional demonic cackle or hoot, the baleful but beseeching tone of his curdled vocals lending a melancholy to all the death and destruction.
Their production line attitude to performance put the focus squarely on the music, drawn predominantly from their early albums. Iommi let rip on the blues boogie and fiery licks of Behind the Wall of Sleep, there was a quaking slap bass solo from Butler and Tommy Clufetos covered the comfort break with a pummelling drum solo, while their best known songs, War Pigs, Iron Man and Paranoid, remained undeniable headbangers.