Black Sabbath



by Windows USER (4 Reviews)
February 28th, 2008 | 44 replies

Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A new installment of Black Sabbath delivers an excellent album that boldly stands on its own against other classics of previous Black Sabbath eras.

In Norse mythology Tyr was the god of war and patron god of justice until Odin came along. He was also regarded as being the boldest of the gods which is something he and Black Sabbath’s fifteenth studio release have in common. Tyr was released in the United Kingdom and United States in late August of 1990. This album is filled with many hits and few misses as well as more references to Norse mythology, Latin lyrics, and yet another new band lineup.

Who the Heaven & Hell is still in Black Sabbath" Well fortunately for us lead guitarist and sole surviving Black Sabbath member Tony Iommi has remained with the band from day one. Also returning on Tyr from the Headless Cross album are Cozy Powell on drums, vocalist Tony Martin and Geoff Nicholls on keyboards. Laurence Cottle however did not return to play on Tyr and was replaced with former Whitesnake bassist Neil Murray.

Tyr starts off on a rather poor note in Anno Mundi. It is one of the longer tracks on the album at 6 minutes and 13 seconds and is extremely boring. At the time I bet it seemed like a good idea, but I found the chanting of "Spiritus Sanctus Anno Anno Mundi" to be very cheesy and not in a good way. Throughout the song it seemed like things were slowly building up to a big climax, but that moment never came and the track just dragged until the end. I also noticed that the guitar intro for this song sounded extremely reminiscent of the intro to Children of the Sea off the Heaven & Hell album only stripped of all its beauty. Don’t stop listening yet though because this album is about to get a much needed kick start from The Law Maker. Immediately we are bombarded with thundering drums from Cozy Powell and one hell of a vicious riff from Tony Iommi. This fast paced song is sure to wake you up if you happened to fall asleep during Anno Mundi. Finally in this song we get the first orgasmic Tony Iommi guitar solo and it was worth the wait.

Next is one of the best tracks on the album, Jerusalem. Tony Martin really shows off his range here especially when singing the chorus line “Jerusalem.” With consistent drumming, nice guitar and vocal work all around, and a dark yet somehow hopeful atmosphere created by Geoff Nicholls on his keyboards make this by far the catchiest song on Tyr. The Sabbath Stones starts off with brooding lyrics and a vision of doom created by the rest of the band. You can tell right away this is building up to be something good and the Black Sabbath does not disappoint. This in my opinion is the best song on the album lyrically.

“Fire and water, wind and rain
wings that carry hell in every vein
World possessions, endless tears
truth and knowledge stolen all their years”

Now usually I’m a fan of “filler”, but to me the instrumental track “The Battle of Tyr” was just a pointless waste of time. At 1 minute and 9 seconds it did not really add to the album and takes away from the overall flow and momentum of Tyr. I think this might have possibly worked a little better if it was the first track or just not be on the album at all. Next Geoff Nicholls creates a much mellower atmosphere on Odin’s Court than on the previous ones while Tony Iommi lightly plucks away at his guitar in this beautifully composed song.

The last three tracks include more top notch material from this installment of Black Sabbath. Valhalla is another in your face track right from the beginning and is a good way to pick up the pace again after Odin’s Court has finished. Feels Good To Me is the single off Tyr and is the closest thing to a power ballad you will find on this release. You can also find a music video for it if you look hard enough. Now we finally come to Heaven in Black. This was the perfect song to end the album and could have easily been released as the first single to help promote the album as it is very catchy and fun song to rock out to.

Overall this is a very enjoyable album to listen to. Cozy Powell, Tony Iommi, Tony Martin and Geoff Nicholls really did an outstanding job taking the next step up from Headless Cross. One complaint though is that Neil Murray seemed to be drowned out on the majority of the songs. At times when some of the songs start to get heavier he seems almost nonexistent. I would recommend this album to any Black Sabbath fan, but I have a feeling Die hard Ozzy Osbourne or Dio fans might not enjoy this.

*Fun Fact* When translated to English Anno Mundi means “Year of the World.” While “Spiritus Sanctus” means Holy Spirit.

user ratings (499)
other reviews of this album
Nagrarok (1.5)
Iommi and company are not done proving Black Sabbath officialy failed to exist past 1982....

matthew36 (3.5)
Iommi in Valhalla...

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 28th 2008


Setting the word "Tyr" in caps every time you use it isn't needed really. Other then that good review.This Message Edited On 02.28.08

February 28th 2008


Nice review.

I am strongly familiar with the early era of Sabbath featuring Ozzy and some of Dio (which is generally regarded as their prime, despite most hardcore Sabbath fans claiming later eras such as Tony Martin as personal faves) but this is a complete mystery to me apart from some clips I have seen from The Black Sabbath Story. I'm tempted to investigate.

February 28th 2008


Wow I truthfully didn't even know that Sabbath was still around at this point (in some way, at least). Ridiculous.

February 28th 2008


I got a vinyl copy of this yesterday, at the moment I'd say its my favourite post-Ozzy-era Black Sabbath album.

If you can track down an original cd/vinyl release of this album Neil Murray's bass is a bit higher in the mix.

February 28th 2008


Good review, makes me want to check out the rest of the cd since I've only heard Jerusalem.

May 18th 2010


Album Rating: 2.0

Good album, not as good as Heaven and Hell, although.

October 1st 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

TYR is the highlight of the Tony Martin fronted Black Sabbath. Hands down their best album (Martin-era).

June 26th 2011


Album Rating: 2.5

The Sabbath Stones is indeed the best song here.

The rest of the album a little bit boring

February 18th 2012


I'm digging this album. Martin does little that Dio hasn't already done. That's a mayor limitation.

*heard it*

It's an okay record, but nothing above the Ozzy Era, and certainly not above the Dio Era. I think Martin's major flaw is that he is a Dio wannabe, and lacks his own style.

May 11th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

Anno Mundi is one of the best non-Ozzy era songs, i desagree with you there.

Despite that, I liked the review, Tyr is a solid effort

Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

This is certainly an enjoyable listen. It doesn't have the doomy sound of the Ozzy-period as its sound is closer to what they did with Dio.

Digging: Arch/Matheos - Winter Ethereal

Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

The sound on this album is interestingly different from the last album, 'Headless Cross', in which the guitar appears much more melodic and the songwriting being more focused on than ever before. It also concentrates on Norse mythology, which I always like learning about, so I guess that's a bonus. The vocals for me however are a little weak, compared to the instrumentation of the other band members.

January 27th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

I still like the album

March 11th 2014


Album Rating: 2.5

The songs overall are very mediocre in my opinion maybe 1 or 2 of them has some sense of enjoyment to them.Perhaps this was one album too many away from the more classic lineups of Ozzy and Dio and funny enough their next album was with Dio LOL.

March 17th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

It was a rather enjoyable album, it ended somewhat abruptly though.

March 17th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

i like this one more than dehumanizer

Green Baron
March 17th 2014


Album name sounds like Burzum

Digging: Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation

July 27th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Underrated album. Has some great atmosphere

Digging: Arch/Matheos - Winter Ethereal

August 6th 2014


Headless Cross >

September 14th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

Well, here in Portugal, Headless cross and tyr was the best black sabbath albuns ever. For most of us, anyway. Tony Martin hads the melodic ingredient that most of the other albuns you can't hear. He was very young and inexperient, but got a very unique melodic voice, and brings a new era of black sabbath music, made many fans... Besides that, these 2 works and i can include also Cross Purposes, got very technical and talented musicians, and the production was supreme. The criticism given to these works were much bad, unjust, because it was expected to hear again something like ozzy or dio or something else near by old BS, but everyone knows that the journey of a band, is always sought to innovate, do not want to keep forever on the same line, and this is general. In almost all the bands that caught my attention and that later came to follow its path, rare was the one that followed the same path, either in the composition, atmosphere, production / sound, you name it. Most of them have released their best work early in their careers, and then disillusioned with the consequent transformations, in a general way. Well, the Tony Martin era, was one if not the biggest example that this changed my perspective completely and many European fans of these 3 or 4 albums that you see TM in black sabbath, consider these true classic albums, and the best BS ever. Like always, it's only one opinion only, but i'm pretty sure i'm speaking for many others.

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