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Nightmare Fuel / Black Sabbath

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  • Their self-titled song. A pure and prime example of "Diabolus in musica." The song was inspired by a nightmare of "Geezer" Butler's. After reading a book about the occult, he fell asleep and woke up a bit later to see a silent creature with a black face staring back at him. And black means pure black. No eyes, mouth, anything — only black.
    • When it first came out, this song was so scary that the first time they played it, most of the audience ran out of the venue screaming. (The ones that stayed yelled for it to be played again.)
    • Another common interpretation of the song is that it's about a dabbler in the black arts who inadvertently summons Satan himself. The unlucky summoner is then dragged kicking and screaming down to Hell by the Prince of Darkness.
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    • Listen to the demo version of this song, Ozzy sounds more like a victim of the demonic summoning.
  • "Paranoid” in general is a trippy, disturbing listen. Themes of war, death, mental illness, drug abuse, nuclear fallout, a homicidal cyborg destined to eradicate mankind, amongst the intense, fast, doomy riffs, established heavy metal as an unholy force to be reckoned with.
  • "War Pigs", also from Paranoid. The first and third part of the apocalyptic anti-war lyrics are accompanied with eerie silence save for the regular guitar hits and licks. Then there’s the melodic, climactic instrumental “Luke’s Wall”, when listening feels like falling through a labyrinth of flames.
    • The alternate lyrics for the song's first incarnation "Walpurgis" are just as horrific, detailing the disturbing going-ons as Satan's followers sow chaos, death and ruin across the land on their "holy" night.
  • "Electric Funeral", again from the above mentioned album, is pretty damn scary for a song about nuclear war, with its nightmarish description of the radioactive fallout and the chugging pace of the riff, which feels like some sort of lumbering monster or something.
    • "Electric Funeral" also contains an unusually terrifying example of the band showing their work. In the third verse, the reference to "terrifying rain" calls to mind the rain storms that followed the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thick, black rain, filled with the ashes of burned buildings and people sucked into the mushroom cloud fell in the aftermath of the blast. Many victims drank the water to, as the song states, "ease the burning pain", not knowing that it was highly radioactive.
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  • Hand of Doom and its creeping lyrics about the sheer horror of heroin addiction. The harsh, stuttering guitar riffs in the later part of the song can be interpreted as heart palpitations during an overdose.
  • The cover of Black Sabbath. A figure in black standing in front of a dilapidated house in a wooded area. For decades, information about the figure was unknown.note 
  • The haunting whispering and distorted guitar at the end of "Children of the Grave"
  • “Solitude” may qualify as this for some, what with its hauntingly quiet atmosphere throughout (including complete lack of drums the whole time), eerie bassline, and Ozzy’s strangely soothing voice which fits the depressing lyrics about the world being lonely and hopeless due to the loss of someone. Whether a breakup or the death of someone is up to interpretation, but the lyrics make either one possible, and the song closes with a reversed piano and every instrument slowly fading to the creepy sound of wind chimes off in the distance... Oddly one of the most beautiful Black Sabbath songs ever written at the same time.
  • The album artwork for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, depicting a man on his deathbed, grotesquely surreal demons mocking and tormenting him, a snake wrapped around his throat crushing it, and at the top of the bed, a skull with demonic claws, and 666, the number of the beast. Guarantee you this freaked out a lot of people in the ‘70s.
    • Oddly enough, the inner sleeve art is much more serene and peaceful in appearance, depicting the same man dying a peaceful death.
  • Filler tracks such as "FX" from Vol. 4 and "The Dark" from Born Again. Just give them both a listen in a dark room.
  • Born Again's album cover is particularly loathsome, depicting a newborn infant doctored to look like a demon child. brrr...
    • Speaking of "The Dark", it fades into the intro of the next song, "Zero the Hero" where the opening riff sounds like a monster coming alive in the most nightmarish way possible.
  • Also from Born Again, your listening to the atmospheric "Stonehenge", when all of a sudden... "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" You're jolted into the next song, "Disturbing the Priest", a haunting track in its own right.
  • "Born Again" from the eponymous album. A slow, haunting, doom metal sound with distorted guitars due to the muddled production give it an atmosphere as though an Apocalyptic Log is recording the coming of the Antichrist.
  • Most if not all of Dehumanizer. The majority of the Ronnie James Dio albums favors epicness over nightmares, but this album, from its cover art to its doomier sound makes this easily the scariest of the Dio Sabbath albums.
  • "Virtual Death" from Cross Purposes. The opening bass sounds similar to "Hand of Doom", while Tony Martin's hauntingly creepy vocals will wonder if you're experiencing a living nightmare.
  • Say what you will about Forbidden, but the opening 50 seconds of "The Illusion of Power" would be a great tone-setter for any Sabbath album.

Black Sabbath: The 1963 Italian horror film (yes, the one a certain band was named after) has three segments than can and will haunt one's dreams.

  • Much of the final short, "The Drop of Water", but the ghoulish Uncanny Valley face of the dead medium stands out.
  • "Mama, I'm cold. Mama, let me in. I'm cold."