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The Keep of The Sabbath Reviews

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- the music of Black Sabbath is about heaven and hell,
about life and death,
and the poor suckers caught in the middle...

Disclaimer: I wrote most of this in 1998, and maybe today I would be heavily (oh yeah!) disagreeing with myself, but I am not going to change one single score! This to honor the spirit of the moment, and to keep the integrity and consistency of the original review, written after a twenty year long pause from Black Sabbath listening...

Intro: Let me tell you a story. Once, in rather poor conditions in Birmingham, there lived a young boy who wanted to play drums. To get himself out of the grimy industrial neighborhood, no doubt. Unfortunately there already a very good drummer boy in the neighborhood, and the competition was too fierce. Bad luck. So he picked up the guitar instead. And he practiced and he became rather good. So good in fact that he could turn professional. He got a job as a musician, but at the last day in his old job at the metal factory, he cut off parts of two fingers on his left hand. Bad luck. I guess you can still do most of the things you are used to even with your left hand slightly crippled. Except for playing the freakin' guitar. Do I need to tell you? Bad luck. Future seemed grim, and deep depression was experienced. Not particularly interested in hearing guitar music, a good friend still insisted on playing him a Django Reinhard record one evening. Now, how many good fingers did HE have on his left hand? Well, he did have an index finger and he did have a thumb, but the rest was a mess destroyed in a fire... Enlivened by this incredible music, he went straight to the bathroom. Not to be sick, but to melt down some shampoo bottles to get something to put on the stumps of his fingers to get them of approximately the right length. Again he worked and he practiced. And again he became rather good. So good that he got a job as guitarist is one of the hot new progressive bands of the time, destined for greatness. But he did not get along with the leader of that band, and hence very soon quit. Bad luck? Perhaps not, things are getting more complicated... He believed more in his own ideas, and he had his own band, formed some time before. With the infamous drummer from before in place, a local punk as a singer, and a particularly gloomy character on bass. They played gigs and many people who heard them were impressed. One so much that he gave them three hundred pounds to record an album. One hundred pounds a day for the studio. They used two days and took the spare cash to pay off debt. As a digression one could add that later in their careers they might need a whole year to record an album, and that the expenses for cocaine alone might add up to seventy-five thousand dollars... But that was later, now the year is 1970: Hendrix dies, Joplin dies, The Beatles breaks up... Rock'n'Roll is about to loose its innocence (did it ever have one?). The thirteenth of February (a friday of course), the foreboding sound of a tolling bell is heard...

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Black Sabbath is THE original Heavy Metal band. Do not confuse this with other kinds of hard rock or heavy music. Hard Rock is Hard, Heavy Rock is Heavy and Heavy Metal is English ;-) (Ref.: Yan Friis). Black Sabbath's first album (February 13th, 1970, a Friday, of course) is the first incarnation of real Heavy Rock, and of what later has become known as Heavy Metal. Other pioneers was Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin was rooted in Folk/Blues, and subsequently never made Heavy Metal as such. Purple was originally a much more Pop-oriented band, and used several albums until they finally made it to Heavy Rock, with "Deep Purple In Rock". Everything that Black Sabbath is about is already present even in their first album, making it the Heavy Metal debut. Others also suggest names like Blue Cheer and Jimi Hendrix et al, who obviously played (hard rock and/or heavy-sounding music in the late sixties, but Metal? Think not...

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What is following reflects nothing but my PERSONAL view of this band, my ambition is to give a sound (pun intended) assessment of their place in music history. I have not been listening to them for 20 years, but I finally got myself into buying some remasterings on CD of their early work, and "where it will end, I don't know"... What really surprised me was how good this stuff really was, and how well most of it had aged, despite all the ridicule over the years by so many "knowledgeable" music critics. That inspired me into making this page, especially when I realized that there still was a huge crowd of die-hard fans out there...

When I started buying more of this stuff, I turned dizzy by the many changes in personnel. I am not able to understand anything without SEEING it with my own eyes, so I had to make this graph, reflecting all positions in the band and how this lineup changes as documented by their released albums. It should really be cross-referenced with similar charts for Deep Purple, Rainbow, etc. Maybe some day... Feel free to copy it and/or publicize it in any form for uncommercial use, as long as my credits are visible, preferably also with a link back to me (this page, my home page or e-mail).

I also made this curve, reflecting, on a linear quality scale from 1-10, the value of their albums in the face of all music ever recorded, as I see it. As this is a LINEAR scale (not based on the usual Gauss distribution), don't expect 5 to be an AVERAGE album. On this scale I will consider the average of the albums you can find in your local CD-store to be at around 3. That way, you can see that I will not put ANY Sabbath album yet released down as being BELOW the average of the multitudes of albums that are being produced out there. Just keep that in mind, if you think some of the scores are a bit low. Did I mention that this is HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE? The score of each album is recorded in each album entry, e.g 8 of 10 reads "8(10)". I also have a few links to other reviews of Black Sabbath material, just be warned that many records are heavily (another pun!) overrated, as these are mostly fan statements without even trying to take other things into account. Also these fan statements may only deem a special period of the band's history relevant, disposing 20 years or so of good craftsmanship in the process. Of course, I would never fall into traps like that...

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In addition to all the regular albums that I have reviewed and rated below, there is also a few live albums and of course numerous collections. You can find reviews of some of these on the net. But I have not seen anybody that has waded through all 25 years of the band's record history (1970-1998 so far...), and tried to evaluate every single studio album. As time goes on I will review at least some of the other albums as well.

If you are missing any of these albums in your own personal collection (oh noooooooh!!!), you can remedy that situation by just clicking on the album cover(s) below to do a purchase from (phew, close call). Even if you are not interested in buying anything, these links will provide track listings etc. for your reference.


Black Sabbath (1970)

Over the bleak landscape the slow toll of the bell is heard, thunder sets in, and then... This is history in the making. A classic album, in the true sense of the word. As I have stated above, I consider it to be the debut of Heavy Metal as such. It is very gloomy and very heavy, with mysticist lyrics from Butler. It also has a lot of Blues influence, which is not surprising, as the band is a continuation of "Polka Tulk" and "Earth". These were mainly Blues bands. So there is no doubt here which genre these musicians came crawling out of: "Out of the blue and into the black", so to speak (but I don't think that is what Neil Young meant, the phrase and his song also immortalized by Dennis Hopper in his film "Out of The Blue")... One of the tracks even features harmonica. It is for the most part some pieces of really tough Electric Blues just taken that important step further (and then another one...). So it's a classic, but is it really any good? It's not bad, that's for sure, and it captures Ozzy before most of the dope and stuff... A great performance! It's recorded in just three days (actually they only used two of the three studio days scheduled, and had 100 pounds to spare...) in a pure and straightforward manner, and it shows real innovation and inspiration, but perhaps not divine...;-) If you are annoyed by too many overdubs, this could certainly be the record for you... But I feel the material doesn't quite live up to its pretensions, it's very heavy, but it certainly ain't humble... Anyway a very brave effort from a band debuting their record career. As you might expect, it is a bit overrated by most fans, but there's no doubt about its place in music history. And it has not, after approximately 30 years, lost its bite. The album cover is also classic. One of the most significant album covers ever produced.

Paranoid (1970)

Later, the same year as "Black Sabbath" was released, they try to make a hit single. And, more or less unintended, they succeed! And with the sudden success of "Paranoid" (the single) the forthcoming album was suddenly renamed and hurried out into the streets. It was originally going to be named "War Pigs", which makes the cover art understandable... I tend to agree with the initial thoughts of band itself: "Paranoid" (the single) was really too commercial for Sabbath... But the sudden success gave the band the opportunity to grow into a real monster, so it turned out great anyway. The music this time has a more direct head-on rock'n'roll approach, with simpler tracks than the debut. And Ozzy is of course still in his ace. The sound production has something more to be desired, but a recent upgrade of headphones (together with the newly remastered edition of the album, of course) revealed more in the initially rather thin sound (Ok, so it's 30 years old). This added a great deal of life to the music, and I find much more pleasure in listening to it now. But it's a pity if 300£ worth of headphones is needed to dig something useful out of it. The main difference from their debut is that band sounds tighter, and with most of the pretentiousness stripped off. This way the album more or less defines the core of Heavy Metal, so historically it is of great importance. For Sabbath it is a step forward, but it is also a step backwards, to a more simplistic approach. But it does move the band as such ahead, preparing both themselves (and the audience) for what will soon come. I still find this record largely overrated by most fans. So much greater stuff is to follow on, shortly... But "Iron Man" (and to a large extent also "War Pigs") does not disappoint! And it is possibly the most accessible beginners introduction to the music of Black Sabbath you can find (much like Glenfiddich is described as the perfect "Beginners Malt"? We all have to start somewhere, unfortunately it seems like some people never get any further...).

Master of Reality (1971)

This is Sabbath's second attempt at producing tight and powerful Heavy Rock. It now proves to be a lot more mature effort from the boys in black than its predecessor. This is something that stays with the band, whatever they try they need at least two attempts to get it all right. I must say that THIS album reflects the ULTIMATE of what Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath has to offer in terms of slow death by guitar. And I mean that as a compliment. If a black mire of distorted guitar riffs are your game, this should be heaven! And what guitar riffs! The tracks "After Forever" and "Into the Void" (especially!) are about as good as music gets. The tunes are still "simple" but they are as powerful as anything recorded, as pure a distillate of Heavy Metal as it is possible to make. This way you can call it a "minimalistic" (less is more) album, where the musicians have full control of what they are doing, and does not have to anything but the absolute necessary to make it all work. Ozzy also does some of his most brilliant stuff. The best Heavy Rock album ever? An eternal classic. No more needs to be said. Except, Hallelujah... Especially those who consider Sabbath some kind of Satanist band should be knocked to ground by the semi-Christian lyrics on this one. I would say Sabbath's angle is more towards mysticism, at most... By the way, it was Butler who brought this "Horror" image into the band, and who came up with a name to match...

Vol 4 (1972)

Now it's turn for the more pretentious angles from their debut to get into gear. This is the album where Black Sabbath tries to be a progressive rock band, but does not ENTIRELY succeed. So this time it one step forward and several backwards for the band. The shear "progressiveness" is accentuated by the presence of a mellotron, something most people would never expect in a Heavy Rock album. You also get the impression that the echo box was just invented... Too much is just too much. It is by no means a bad effort, but it will always be overshadowed by "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" in every respect. Ozzy is good on the best tracks, but sounds less interested on others. This is not quite his game. Or maybe it was just all that cocaine... But he does manage to sound a bit like Roger Daltrey (which is not a bad thing, on one track). By the way, the album itself was originally intended to be titled "Snowblind", which should tell you a lot... "Supernaut" and "St. Vitus Dance" are the true greats on this album.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)

This is the album where Black Sabbath tries to be a progressive rock band, and succeeds! This time the progressiveness is accentuated by the presence of nobody but Rick Wakeman (Yes) on piano and synth. Should tell you something about the position the band now has reached. The album features lots of acoustic guitars, as well! It is extremely pretentious, considering the Heavy Rock genre, but does that matter when it all works as well as it does here? And it does rock too. They even invent Grunge on the way (in "Killing Yourself to Live"). And "Sabbra Cadabra" is one of the best packages of heavy guitar riffs to be found. And talk about pretensions: The guitar arrangements sounds like they were written more for a small chamber orchestra or string quartet than for a rock group! Ozzy is once again up there he belongs. An excellent album, but I will perhaps rate it slightly below "Master of Reality". And then it's the (excellent) cover: Again they seem to encourage the demonic image more or less imposed on them by their record company in their first days. But both the title and the cover art indeed has another side to it...

Sabotage (1975)

A year in the making, you might say that the band is culminating with this album. It sees Sabbath in a blaze of glory, at the peeks of their careers trying to make the ULTIMATE Heavy Rock album. They escape that by a margin, but it is very impressive stuff anyway. What they try to do is to collect all the threads from their previous albums and make an album which is both progressive and "artistic" on one hand, and really powerful Heavy Rock with megatons of energy on the other. I will rate this record slightly below their previous album, as it does leave me a little cold, despite (or because of?) all its impressiveness. Maybe it just goes too far, hiring the "The English Chamber Choir" and all?

Technical Ecstasy (1976)

What is this? A Black Sabbath "White Album"? With a Hipgnosis cover and a new wall-to-wall sound production (nice effort by the band itself, by the way) this album is trying to break new ground, trying out new musical directions, mainly focused on making simpler and more straightforward tunes with more conventional lyrics. I would not exactly call it Pop Music, but it strays in that direction. A White Sabbath perhaps? They succeed pretty much with the music, but Ozzy is clearly unhappy in this new context, and is kept more in the background than usual. The lyrics are also pretty lousy. As it is, the record is not BAD. Most of the tunes are quite decent, some take the band into quite surprising landscapes, like "All Moving Parts". It is just that it is so hopelessly incoherent (maybe the analogy with The Beatles "White Album" was not so far off...), and sometimes plain weird.

Never Say Die (1978)

More Hipgnosis cover art is proudly presented. After one slight miss, Sabbath (again!) gets it right in their second attempt (second album produced by the band itself too, excellent effort on this one). Here they pull out of the box one incredibly good Rock tune after another. They really get into a groove and keep it going and going, with hardly a break between the tracks. Compare that to the last album, where they had to put up towards ten seconds pause between them, to let the listener be able to get out of one tune and into another. It was necessary too! This may seem like a silly detail, but it shows that this time they know everything is working, last time they knew it did not! The lyrics are good too. After this one it's good-bye to Ozzy (he does not even sing on all the tracks here, which repeats what happened on the previous album). Some harmonica (again, finally!) is put in for the occasion. The end of an era.

Heaven and Hell (1980)

Exit Ozzy, enter Dio... After a few uninspired efforts from Ozzy, this actually kicks a bit of new life into the band, and puts it back on a (although more mainstream) Heavy Metal track. It's surely good-bye to "White Sabbath", and the cover art is also back in style... Dio, in his first attempt at writing Sabbath lyrics, does not quite match the real Sabbath spirit of old (which was Butler's work), but it's not unusual to need a few attempts to get it right... Nothing too catchy at first, but do give it some time. And it does contain "Heaven and Hell" (the title track) which is a true Sabbath classic. It does lack a bit of the creativity of old perhaps, but the boys make up for that by providing real excellent craftsmanship. The sound production is likewise excellent.

Mob Rules (1981)

Resembles "Heaven and Hell", but I think Dio succeeds more with his lyrics this time. Another true classic song "The Sign Of The Southern Cross" can be found on this album. The sound production is ENORMOUS.

Born Again (1983)

Dio and Iommi are no longer friends, enter Ian Gillan. And he really gives it his all. No mistake, he has absolute control of what he his doing. Black smoke will surely emerge from your stereo set when you play this record. The sound is as hard and thick as rock, and the atmosphere is extremely "electric", to say the least. And HEAVY it is. Fancy being run over by a steamroller on the loose? The guitar solos are really smokin' too. Dynamic range is here being sacrificed for a true Rock'n'Roll sound. No mistake, this is NOT a symphonic record! One person has even considered this album as "both one of the worst-produced albums ever released by a major label, and also the best heavy metal album ever made, nevertheless." (Ref.: vSilence #28: Black Sabbath from The War Against Silence; Sorry, I can't find this one on the web anymore) My view is that the production is right to the point, but it is still hardly the ultimate Heavy Metal album. Because, on the con side, we have the lyrics, which at their worst are really awful. And there are no true Black Sabbath CLASSICS among these songs either, but they are mostly ok. There is still material enough to make big such names as "Guns'n'Roses" (guitar riff from "Zero the Hero" on "Paradise City", it should maybe be renamed "Paradise Lost" for Black Sabbath...) and "The Beastie Boys" (guitar riff from "Hot Line" on "...Fight for Your Right to Party". All in all I give it a "6", although I have to admit, it's a weak one. Then it's the cover: Black Sabbath has always switched between toning down and encouraging the kind of demonic image (more or less) imposed on them. This cover art was really "Designed to be Refused (tm)", but Iommi found it so hilarious that he insisted...

Seventh Star (1986)

And then the story was about to end, the band breaks up and Iommi starts his solo career. This was supposed to be Iommi's first solo album... Hence the cover. And some more direct Blues influence. But the record company didn't let him get away with that, and the name of "Black Sabbath" had to reappear as "Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi". After all, it may have been for the best of it, as this band soon forms the rise of a "new" Black Sabbath. The singer (Glenn Hughes, I must say he's rather extraordinary, I would really have liked to hear some more from him) is lost at once, due to problems with his drug abuse. This makes way for the new talents of Tony Martin, see next record. As it is, this record is a very polished one, with the slick ballad of "No Stranger To Love" as perhaps the low point of all Sabbath songs, but also with an eternal classic in the shape of the title track. So even if these songs are very uneven and with rather uninteresting lyrics, some are still excellent, which pinpoints the key issue: Iommi is the only ESSENTIAL ingredient in any version of Black Sabbath. Without him, no Black Sabbath, with him, anything can happen. And the story goes on...

The Eternal Idol (1987)

Another extremely polished record, with Tony Martin as the new singer, digged up in a local kindergarten in Birmingham. What Martin lacks in terms of personality and charisma, he partly makes up for with a good diction (which I always like in a vocalist) and by actually being able to sing in tune. As it turns out, he has also been a very reliable and loyal member of the band, not a walking disaster area like most other Sabbath vocalists... Martin does not seem to be very popular with a certain crowd of old school Black Sabbath fans, but I find that they make him (and the band as well) great injustice. As this new Black Sabbath forms, the music is a rather commercial version of Heavy Metal, but we should appreciate the high level of craftsmanship found. And again, this record contains a really classic title track. All the other tracks are on a pretty high level as well, making this a much more even effort than their last.. The lyrics work well too. Again a step forward (what should we say, a small step for Black Sabbath, but a big step for humanity?).

Headless Cross (1989)

Ugly songs about Satan and his like. Martin, in his first attempt to write Sabbath lyrics, tries to capture the classic Sabbath spirit, but misses by far... The music is pretty alright, although the somewhat rougher sound on this one can get a bit tiring after a while. Because you really have to PLAY IT LOUD! As if you didn't know... Well, it is fairly powerful, and it proves that Black Sabbath can still dig up some really spooky sounding music, after all these years. But all in all it's one step forward and two steps back.

TYR (1990)

Another album with EXTREMELY polished sound, even a CONCEPT album from Martin this time! A kind of Rock Opera approach, based on the Norse Gods... But it's not a failure, and some of the songs are actually very good. Nothing can quite compete with the best of the pre-Martin days, but "Sabbath Stones" (from which the title of this web page is "derived", another hopeless pun... I hope you guys have a sense of humor...) and "Valhalla" are pretty awesome! For what it's worth, it has the most slick song arrangements in the history of Black Sabbath. Some might find the poodle-factor is rising to ALARMING heights on this one... It's very entertaining at least, but I am not sure how long that will last. I still miss some real content here.

Dehumanizer (1992)

A reunion album, featuring an extremely angry (?) sounding Dio. It's Martin who should be angry, pushed aside like this... It sounds like Dio's attempt at recreating Gillan's "Born Alive". Not bad, but it takes some time getting used to. No truly great songs, but everything is of a pretty even and fair quality. I also like the sound production of this album more and more as I keep listening to it. Clear and razor-sharp. Look out, or you will cut yourself bleeding! It is a power package, and there is lots of good craftsmanship in here.

Cross Purposes (1994)

Martin is back, still no great songs. The lyrics work OK. The music is even this time of a pretty even and fair quality. Some rather good guitar riffs, including some really slow sticky stuff (in "Virtual Death") that most of all resembles "Master of Reality", which is not a bad thing... As they usually do, the boys in black manages to smuggle some decent melodies into their work, and when they really get into a groove, it seems to never end. It's fairly powerful too, although at first I found that the effect was to a large extent ruined by a rather dull sound. But one has to really crank up the volume to make it fly for real.

Forbidden (1995)

A pretty mixed bag this... And I do not like the sound production very much. It will make your ears bleed, thanks to the heavy distortion. Many alright tunes, though. And again, even if it fails to recreate something like "Born Alive" it has certainly got power. Unfortunately it may very well become a rather fatiguing experience to take this one for a real ride. Some of the heavily distorted guitar is pretty neat, but all in all the sound is just a bit too rough. Then the cover art: At first glance it looks like a typical Heavy Metal cliché type of artwork, but once you unfold it... It's hilarious! Does humor belong in Music? Is this game called The End?

The Devil You Know (2009) (As "Heaven & Hell")

Although technically released under another name, this is one of the better Black Sabbath albums in some thirty odd years. As well as Dio's swan song of course. R.I.P.

13 (2013)

An extremely competent album that brings back the 70s for sure. I pre-ordered this album months before its release, maybe it was the long wait that left me slightly disappointed from the start. It felt a little bit too engineered to sound like the past. However, the album has grown on me. If someone had told me back when I was around thirteen and Black Sabbath was my favorite band that I would be enjoying a brand new album on this level from the same guys some forty years later, then I would have... found that a bit unlikely...



Live At Last (1980)

These recordings (probably from late 1972 or early 1973) was finally made available to the public in 1980, without asking for permission from the band itself. Although the sound quality is no more than that of an advanced bootleg, it cannot hide the quality of the material. Since this is the only live presentation of this band from its first era, it is certainly an important record. And although Ozzy sounds like Mickey Mouse at times and the bass is often booming and the drums are occasionally like tin cans, the guitar is always magnificent in its heavy distorted glory. All in all it's like being trapped with Black Sabbath inside a very small box... By the way, it seems they have done a very decent job remastering this album, there is actually very little NOISE here. Unintended noise that is...

Live Evil (1982)

From Geezer/Iommi Productions Ltd.: A live album that kicks ass... A near-mono experience, this album trades musical sophistication and production subtlety for sheer power and weight. Very effectively done. But the quality is uneven. Dio sounds at times as he is trying to punch his way out of a paper bag. He is good when he is singing his own material, but often hopeless when he is attempting Ozzy's. But for some reason "Iron Man" is rather good, when "War Pigs" is more or less ruined. Anyway, at 80 mins (approx. 10 cents a minute), it is a small bargain.

Reunion (1998)

As I write this on Ozzy's 50th birthday (I am not kidding, December, 3rd, 1998), I cannot help myself thinking that this album, described as the most notable awakening since Lazarus, contains music by some very vital 50 year olds! Live albums have a tendency to get somewhat one-dimensional, and that goes for this one too, but at least you cannot criticize it for being one-sided ;-). Some relief is given by the two good new studio tracks at the end of the second CD. Everything centers around the original fab four, and Geoff Nicholls, who is also present, has not a lot to do. He does provide some sonic relief at certain points (hats off for Nicholls, who has put up with this band for nearly twenty years, in spite of not always getting the credits he deserves). Although something close to an overdose, the album IS an awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping demonstration of weight and power, which should give much younger bands something to think about. And almost everything they play dates from 1970-1973, so most of Sabbath's best material is included. Just one song ("Dirty Women", no idea why they insist on including that one...) is from 1976. The playing is, if not ace, rather good, and Ozzy, if not always right in tune, gives "crowd control" a new meaning.



Ward One: Along the Way (1990)

The first official solo album from any of the founding members of Black Sabbath. Good songwriting, but a dull "eighties" sound production ruins much of the experience for me.

Plastic Planet (1995)

10 years old now (2005), this first effort by GZR, but not showing its age. It still sounds vital and fresh. And very heavy. Even with overtones of semi-industrial and extreme-metal flavor. Good sound.

When the Bough Breaks (1997)

Again very good songwriting from Bill Ward. Nothing much to do with Heavy Metal, though. A time machine back to seventies rock and blues.

Black Science (1997)

One helluva record this from Geezer Butler and friends! More variation than on their latest (2005) album. Inventive and melodic, but still heavy enough. Good sound.

Iommi (2000)

To call this one a "long awaited" album would be quite an understatement... Was it worth waiting for? The answer is yes! A very nice effort this, at least extremely entertaining. As I write this the disc has still not left my CD-player once, about two weeks after purchase! This beast really hits sparks, it's very heavy, very groovy, and does not sound old-fashioned in any way, as the beat is spiced up with more contemporary rhythms than previous releases (although there was some RAP on Forbidden). Great guitar from the Master and excellent vocal efforts from all his friends (from Henry Rollins to Billy Idol).

The Cage 2 (2002)

A new album by Tony Martin and his Italian guitar player friend Dario Mollo. After all the undeserved flak Martin got when joining Black Sabbath, there must still be someone who would love to hear his voice again. Those who would should check this one out. Some of the songs might resemble things he has done in the past a little too much, but it is still so pleasing to hear him again that it is really not a big issue. As guitarists go, Mollo is almost omnipotent in his technical brilliance. And fortunately he uses that excellence as a vehicle for making fairly rich and imaginative music. Virtuosity is a word that springs to mind. The album is both melodic and heavy at the same time (what did you expect from an Italian?), and a lot of work has gone into making a first class production, everything done by Mollo himself in his own studio. A real class act!

Fused (2005)

Tony Iommi now fused with old chum Glenn Hughes. Another good solo effort, a very coherent album that perhaps would have been even better with more variation.

Ohmwork (2005)

Good new album by Geezer and friends. Sounds modern and not in a bad way. Very aggressive stuff, resembling more their first album than the second.

Scream (2005)

Musically and lyrically there is little new here, but it is saved by Tony's excellent voice. Useful additions are organ and violin.

BILL WARD'S NEW ALBUM Beyond Aston (201?)

Ever to be released???


Test equipment used for this omnious task:

- Integrated Amplifier: Audiolab 8000A
- CD-Player: Musical Fidelity FCD
- Headphones: Sennheiser HD-600
- Where available, CDs were the new digitally remastered editions [Get those babies NOW!!!]
- Comfortable seating by Stokke

These are some of my favorite Norwegian Heavy Metal bands:

Another (also Scandinavian!) favorite:

You must of course visit Black Sabbath Online!

In case you wondered, the band's name is from a Boris Karloff horror movie!

Other places you can find reviews of Black Sabbath albums and/or other interesting Black Sabbath stuff:

Black Sabbath Fan Club Deutschland
Black Sabbath reviews
Geezer Butler
Tony Iommi
Bill Ward
Prindle Record Reviews - Black Sabbath
Wilson & Alroy's RECORD REVIEWS
Backstage Auctions



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