City Paper is not for tourists
Liner notes for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath take a none-too-subtle jab at the recent Kiss tribute album—which featured a broad spectrum of contributing artists—by declaring Nativity “an album made by its community for its community.” That is, by headbangers, for headbangers. As such, Nativity is long on earnest bombast (Megadeth and Sepultura turn in straight-arrow covers of “Paranoid” and “Symptom of the Universe”) and short on experimentation (Type O Negative putting its gothic spin on “Black Sabbath” and 1,000 Homo DJ’s industrializing “Supernaut”). Nativity does take the unusual step of featuring three original Sabbath members—Ozzy assists Therapy? on“Ironman” and Bill Ward and Geezer Butler join fellow metal fossil Rob Halford on “The Wizard”—but otherwise the standard tribute-disc caveat of highs and lows applies. Even so, those in the “community” should find it worthwhile.