A cold and dark February night in Hackney isn't a place you would usually associate with Black Sabbath, however, this isn't any ordinary night as it's a night of celebration of their self-titled masterpiece.
The record, whom many say was the first to create metal as we know it, is 50 years old and Pitchback Playback are hosting a special listening event this evening to mark this moment in time.
Walking into the venue we were greeted by many friendly faces and a projection of the iconic cover draped over the bar, tempting us to take a look at a great array of beers and drinks on offer, including a delightfully wicked Black Sabbath inspired cocktail.
The Pitchblack Playback concept is simple - they turn the lights off and play the music loud. So all it takes if for you to turn off your phone, shut up, close your eyes and be at one with the album on offer. It seems however, that this was lost on the group before us, as partway through their session the doors flew open, and a full-blown melee ensued.
After around five minutes the group disappeared outside, and our pulses returned to a reasonable level - what an icebreaker and thankfully we didn't attend the 19:30 playback, otherwise this review might have been a little different.
Anyway, back to the main event. We were given blindfolds to wear inside the cinema, to enhance the listening experience and as we walked in we were met with walls adorned with more than enough speakers to totally immerse us in the godfathers of metal, played in MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) high definition audio.
After a short briefing, the lights dimmed, we pulled down our blindfolds and readied ourselves for the unmistakable and eerie opening to the album. The titular track's iconic tritone cut through the air like the devil was playing it himself and in the dark with one of your senses cut-off, you hear certain sounds that you might not have paid attention to before. Iconic tracks like 'The Wizard' and 'N.I.B' soon follow and you are reminded why many see this record as the birth of metal.
Before we knew it 38 minutes had sped past, the listening was over and lights were flicked back on. On the whole, the event was very interesting and it's a quirky way to experience iconic music that deserves to be heard in a very special way.
The event did the album justice and I would hope that further Black Sabbath albums are played here in the future and maybe a bit of Pink Floyd too.