DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Dick Carruthers
Black Sabbath
Writing Credits:

The End presents Black Sabbath's final concert.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English LPCM Stereo
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 11/17/17

• “The Angelic Sessions”
• Bonus CD
• Booklet


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Black Sabbath: The End [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 13, 2017)

With the February 2017 concert captured on The End, legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath calls it quits – maybe. One look at the group’s history shows a series of stops and starts, so I can’t accept their apparent retirement at face value.

Whether it ends up as their swan song or not, The End gives fans a document of Black Sabbath circa 2017. Shot in the band’s hometown of Birmingham, England on February 4, the concert emphasizes their early career.

From the band’s self-titled 1970 debut, we find “Black Sabbath”, “NIB” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep”, while 1970’s Paranoid delivers “Fairies Wear Boots”, “Iron Man”, “War Pigs”, “Hand of Doom”, “Rat Salad” and the title song.

From 1971’s Master of Reality, we locate “Sweet Leaf”, “After Forever”, “Into the Void” and “Children of the Grave”. "Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes", “Snow Blind” and “Supernaut” arrive from 1972’s Vol. 4, while 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabhath boasts the title song.

1975’s Sabotage brings us “Megalomania”, and 1976’s Technical Ecstasy boasts “Dirty Women”. As far as I can tell, “Bassically” never appeared on a studio album – it seems to exist essentially as an instrumental lead-in to “NIB”.

I’ll freely admit that Black Sabbath have never been my cup of tea. I wasn’t a metalhead as a kid, and I’ve not changed that attitude a whole lot over the decades – except that I’ve come to appreciate the band better. 30 years ago, I had no use for an act like Sabbath, but now I can understand them and judge their output on its own merits.

Did The End make me a Sabbath fan? No, but I liked the music more than I would’ve in my youth. While most people go for softer stuff as they age, apparently I’m turning more toward harder rock, so I kinda dig the sludgy metal edge we hear from Sabbath.

I can’t compare this performance to shows the band played in earlier years, but Sabbath sounds fine. The musicians remain tight, and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne shows a voice that’s held up well after all the decades – and all the substance abuse.

As for the work of director Dick Carruthers, he makes the presentation “busier” than I’d like, though not to an offensive degree. On the negative side, the concert suffers from a lot of quick-cutting as well as a few intentionally blurry images and too many shots of the head-bangers in the crowd.

Still, I’ve seen worse - much worse, in fact. I wish Carruthers had reined in some of these editing and cinematographic excesses, but I can live with them, as they don’t go too over the top.

All of this leaves The End as a fairly compelling document of Black Sabbath’s supposed last concert. Fans should feel pleased with it.

Note that we got only three-fourths of the original Sabbath here. While founding members vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler returned, drummer Tony Ward remained on the sidelines.

Apparently Ward and Osbourne had a falling out a while back and didn’t patch that up before the final tour. The cynic in me thinks they’ll kiss and make up a couple of years down the road and we’ll see a farewell tour from the original foursome, but that’s just idle speculation.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Black Sabbath: The End appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.

Sharpness excelled. Outside of some intentionally blurry elements, the show offered solid definition, as the shots looked crisp and distinctive.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and edge enhancement failed to appear. As for print defects, I saw no issues in that regard.

Like most concert movies, most of the colors stemmed from lighting, as the musicians wore dark clothes. With an emphasis on purple and red, the hues looked lively and vivid.

Blacks were tight and deep, while shadows were positive. A couple of crowd shots seemed a smidgen too dark, but I didn’t mind those, as they were inevitable and not a big deal. Everything about the image satisfied.

Though not quite as good, I still liked the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1. As we often find for live presentations, much of the audio remained mostly anchored in the forward channels.

In the front, we encountered solid stereo imaging. Vocals stayed nicely centered while the instrumentation spread cleanly across the forward speakers. Those components showed logical placement and worked well.

Surround usage mainly restricted itself to crowd noise and general reinforcement of the music, though instrumentation – guitar and drums – occasionally bolstered the back speakers. The soundfield reproduced the concert information in a satisfying way without becoming too busy.

All in all, audio quality was positive. Vocals sounded natural and distinct, without edginess or other issues. Guitars showed appropriate crunch and bite, while drums had a nice pop and kick to them.

Highs appeared clear and bright, while bass response came across as pretty deep and rich. This became a pleasing soundtrack.

In terms of extras, the Blu-ray includes The Angelic Sessions. Recorded at Angelic Studios not long after the final concert, Black Sabbath plays Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard”, Master of Reality’s “Sweet Leaf”, Vol. 4’s “Tomorrow’s Dream” and “Changes”, and a 1970 B-side called “Wicked World”.

These tracks fill a total of 26 minutes, six seconds and offer a bare bones visual accompaniment, as we just see the band in the studio. It’s not particularly dynamic, but it offers a decent complement to the main concert.

A bonus CD includes the five songs from the “Angelic Sessions”. It’s a disappointment that we don’t get a CD version of the concert as well.

Finally, the set provides a booklet. It mixes band quotes, credits, photos and an essay from Rolling Stone writer Kory Grow. It adds value to the package,

After nearly 50 years, legendary metal band Black Sabbath calls it quits, and The End documents their final concert. Despite some iffy directorial choices, the show mostly comes across well. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals and very good audio but skimps on bonus materials. Sabbath fans seem likely to enjoy the band’s swan song

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main