Download Festival 2016: Black Sabbath Review

A fitting end?

 Black Sabbath Download Festival 2016
Ben Gibson


Why wasnt this on Sunday? I know the Saturday headliner slot is usually the crowning performance of the weekend, but as a farewell and from a band literally called Black SABBATH, the stage was set for them to play the final notes of the festival on the final day.

It's just silly that they weren't.

Still, that didnt affect Sabbaths performance, which lived up to the promised billing pre-festival. Geezer, Ozzy and Tony all promised that their last tour would have an added energy (because it has an end in sight), and they absolutely delivered. This is the third time they've played this festival as a headliner, and this was the most energetic they've ever been.

Tony Iommi Black Sabbath Download
Ben Gibson

Ozzys voice is not what it was - that goes without saying - but then he shouldnt be in a position to sing at all given what hes done in his life. And what he perhaps lacks in skill he makes up for in surprising presence, and his band mates pick up with stunning technical skill. These were the pillars on which Download was built, and even as they fall, they do so with sublime showmanship.

It's a shame - to a certain extent - that Iommi and Butler can't go on with someone else singing. They don't even have to be Black Sabbath any more, but those two just aren't as visibly battle-worn or as broken as Ozzy and it doesn't yet feel like their time is up.

Hopefully it's not, and this was all just a sad dream, but what a way to go out.

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