Dick Carruthers (director)
29 September 2017 (released)
29 September 2017
Much as this writer loves Black Sabbath the prospect of watching a film of their last concert in Birmingham did not appeal. Removed from the setting of the venue and away from the fans, un-adulterated concert films, however good the director is or how many cameras they have to play with, become a sterile experience that soon tires.
However, director Dick Carruthers has mixed the live footage with interviews, studio cuts and turned it into a light documentary. And light it is as many of the facts are well known to fans but for the uninitiated there’s enough for them to understand why this band are so important to the Heavy Metal genre and well beyond. Some of the interviews cut into the songs and live footage but not to any detriment, in fact they enhance it.
The Birmingham concert is outstanding and Carruthers has done a marvellous job of capturing the essence of the band live. However, it’s when we are allowed in to the studio with the band playing rarely performed songs (Wicked World and Changes) around monitors, that you get another insight what makes them tick.
The Bill Ward situation has to be, and is covered, though maybe not entirely satisfactorily. The rest of the band say what you’d expect, and its sincere. It’s a no doubt a complicated area, that has very little to do with the music, but fans will be hoping for a proper closure to this, one day.
The members have their own ambitions away from Sabbath and are keen to get on with exploring other avenues. It doesn’t look as if they will ever record or tour together again. This excellent film is as good a closure as you are going to get for Black Sabbath.
Blu-ray and DVD are scheduled for release on 17 November 2017