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If you are like many fans of the great heavy metal band Black Sabbath, you might think that this is what N.I.B. stands for. N.I.B. is a provocatively dark love song done by Black Sabbath. It appears on their first album, also entitled Black Sabbath. The title of the song originally comes from the band's bassist, Geezer Butler, specifically the beard he had at that point in time, which Ozzy referred to as a nib. So be sure to think of a beard next time, or something.

However all is not lost. In 1994 a compact disc was released in tribute of Black Sabbath, who are considered the higher up in the pantheon of metal. It features several artists that would later appear on Ozzy's Ozzfest festival. There are a few tracks that really stand out on these albums, especially if you're not familiar with all these artists. The first tribute plays well as an album. From start to finish the disc flows with a groove understood by all the artists appearing. It ranges from the rap-rock done right of Biohazard opening the disc to the chilling cover of Black Sabbath by Type O Negative being as evil as they could be.

Nativity In Black:

  1. Biohazard - After Forever
  2. White Zombie - Children of the Grave
  3. Megadeth - Paranoid
  4. 1,000 Homo DJ's - Supernaut
  5. Therapy? w/Ozzy Osbourne - Iron Man
  6. Corrosion of Conformity - Lord of this World
  7. Sepultura - Symptom of the Universe
  8. The Bullring Brummies - The Wizard
  9. Godspeed w/Bruce Dickinson - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  10. Ugly Kid Joe - N.I.B.
  11. Faith No More - Warpigs
  12. Type O Negative - Black Sabbath
  13. Cathedral - Solitude

1000 Homo DJ features Al Jourgensen of Ministry fame. The Bullring Brummies are Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, and Rob Halford, with guitarist Jeff "Wino" Weinrich from The Obsessed. The last song only appears on the European release of Nativity In Black. My version doesn't have it because we'll buy these things anyway :^(. It's a slow ballad originally sung by Bill Ward, the drummer. It's very poignant and moving. Faith No More's cover is a live version, as they covered War Pigs on their breakthrough disc, The Real Thing. Mike Patton has fun with the lyrics at several points. Sepultura also used to cover Symptom of the Universe in their concerts, however they have not done so since the split with Max Cavalera.

A follow up was released 6 years later in 2000. It featured a drastically different line-up of bands, however it still had the best the house of metal had to offer. Megadeth, unfortunatly, sounds very cheesy between the nu-metal System of a Down and the quasi-industrial Static X. Again, the majority of bands have appeared on the Ozzfest tours. Pantera also covered Planet Caravan on their third album, Far Beyond Driven and released Hole in the Sky as a radio only track. The cut was released to promote their first opening stint in years, where they opened for the mighty Black Sabbath.

Nativity In Black II:

  1. Godsmack - Sweet Leaf
  2. Machine Head - Hole in the Sky
  3. Static X - Behind the Wall of Sleep
  4. Megadeth - Never Say Die
  5. System of a Down - Snowblind
  6. Pantera - Electric Funeral
  7. Primus with Ozzy - N.I.B.
  8. Slayer - Hand of Doom
  9. Soulfly - Under the Sun
  10. Hed(PE) - Sabbra Cadabra
  11. Monster Magnet - Into the Void
  12. Busta Rhymes with Ozzy - Iron Man (This Means War)

This album ends in an opposite manner than the first disc. Instead of drearily being sucked back into the stinging depravity of the black void by Type O Negative, we're rocked by one of the hardest tracks on the album, by a rapper?!?! Yeah, that's Busta Rhymes in there, who grew up listening to Sabbath. It would be an excellent track except for Busta's excessive use of the word nigga, which is highly annoying for I am white, and feel real funny singing along to it. The shining pearl of the second tribute happens to be N.I.B., played by Primus with Ozzy on vocals. The only reason this track is so good is Les Claypool's amazing work on the bass, and having Ozzy on the vocals doesn't hurt either. He gives Geezer a run for his money on his version of Basically, the bass solo intro to N.I.B.

With most cover songs, I feel that if the covering band successfully wraps their sound and style around the original song, then they've done their job. This is done several times over between this pair of discs, which are a great addition to any metal head's music collection.

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