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Quintet Plays Black Sabbath In Latin

Some classic heavy metal tunes are making a classical comeback with a medieval makeover.

An Estonian record company has released an album of Black Sabbath songs played by a quintet specializing in music from the Middle Ages and singing in the main literary language of that era, Latin.

"If you take away the massive wall of sound from many Sabbath songs, what you have is pure 14th century music," producer Mihkel Raud claimed Friday. "Really."

The 12-track album — called "Sabbatum," Latin for "sabbath" — includes "Wheels of Confusion" ("Rotae Confusionis") and "War Pigs" ("Verres Militares") in slow, minimalist versions that wouldn't seem out of place in the Sistine Chapel.

"We went at it with the fantasy that these songs in Latin were actually the original versions, and that Black Sabbath found and used them," Raud said. "Usually ... albums try to add modernity to known music. We did it the other way round."

The 33-year-old producer has loved the hard rock group since the 1970s when this Baltic Sea coast nation of 1.4 million was still a Soviet republic and lead singer Ozzy Osbourne was notorious for performance antics like biting the head off a bat.

He hopes an album of contemplative music — whispering harps, gently tapped frame drums — appeals to classical tastes as well as to headbangers. (AP)


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