Black Sabbath had to recruit a new singer after Dio and Ozzy had quit the band, they got Ian Gillan of Deep Purple fame. Critiques were weary that it would be Deep Sabbath/Black purple. This was not entirely true but there were some reminiscence of Deep Purple in this record.
It starts of with ‘Trashed’ which describes a man that gets drunk consistently and then vows to stop. However, he knows this is a lie and will never keep this promise. It has some soloing by Iommi which does get a bit tedious but is a nice change to the vocals of Ian Gillan. It moves on the instrumental piece ‘Stonehenge’ which moves slowly and never really seems to go anywhere. It could have easily been left out as it is only filler. Although, Black Sabbath do this will with nearly all of their albums so this shouldn’t be a surprise.
The next track ‘Disturbing the priest’ is an epic which shows off Ian Gillans ‘satanic’ shrills. It describes how religion contradicts itself. Ward uses some nice fills throughout the song but Iommi never really impresses me as he doesn’t seem to do anything complicated. This does fit the song as it really orientates around Gillans vocals. It then moves on the other instrumental which serves no other purpose other then to keeping the tradition.
‘Zero the hero’ is another 7 minute track which is somewhat reminiscent to Deep Purple. Iommi’s guitar playing is similar to Blackmore. The lyrics are nonsensical really and the instruments aren’t really anything special as they aren’t that heavy. Iommi does break into a solo which lasts most of the song, this does add some variation but could have easily been shorter. ‘Digital bitch’ talks about a snobby, rich lady which got famous due to her smile and how he despises whenever she’s on the TV. The instruments provide some nice contrast but don’t really heighten how much his dislike for the ‘digital bitch’ is. It’s a pretty mediocre song.
It then moves onto the title track. It starts very slowly which is nice. Gillans vocals aren’t the greatest which are a bit like most of the record. The production is quite sloppy but it isn’t that bad. The song could have been a lot better by being a bit shorter. ‘Hot line’ sounds a like a variation from ‘Smoke on the water’, and Gillan just talks about how he wants someone to call him on the ‘hot line’. The lyrics are mediocre and Iommi uses another solo in this song. His solos are getting pretty tedious and don’t really improve any of the songs.
The ninth and final song ‘Keep it warm’ just talks about sex and how he liked it last night. He wishes that she could keep the bed warm for him every night but apparently the husband is coming back soon. The lyrics aren’t very good as they don’t really make much sense. The solo in this song seems a bit better then previous solos. However, as Iommi does solo in most of the songs, it gets tedious after a while.
Overall, its not a disappointment but could have been improved a lot. Gillans short stay proved that they were getting a bit lack-luster and needed some more variation. Iommi soloed a bit too much which got tedious as did the lyrics. It could have been a lot better but it wasn’t too bad.
Born again = 3 stars outta 5.