Review Summary: Aim: Sabbath power metal. Result: Utter failure.The Eternal Idol
may not have been the comeback Black Sabbath needed after a few major srewups called Born Again
and Seventh Star
, but at least it was a step in the right direction for a change. Expectations for it's follow-up Headless Cross
must've been slightly higher again, but Iommi & co. (which the band can be easily referred to at this point, because he is the only part of the original group left) completely failed to keep up the momentum. With this release, Black Sabbath treads the dangerous paths of power metal. Whilst listening, the term 'worst case scenario' is the first that comes to mind.
The two major strengths that made The Eternal Idol
quite an enjoyable record were Iommi's renewed riffing power, and new vocalist Tony Martin's refreshing and determinded performance. Headless Cross
takes these strengths, and smashes them to bits and pieces. Every single riff you'll encounter on this album is a recycled product of what Sabbath and the metal groups that followed in their wake have long done before. The word generic has never been more fitting. Apparently, Brian May of Queen
fame even does a solo on the track When Death Calls
. Was that rather noticable? Not really.
If that wasn't worse enough, Martin decides to abandon his pleasant singing style on Sabbath's previous album and switch to a dramatic power metal style. The vocalist completely does away with any sense of distinction in his singing, and sounds like a half-baked cross between the late Ronnie James Dio and Symphony X
's Russell Allen. Oh well, at least it works better with the music than the terrible chemistry displayed on Born Again
is quite easy to describe overall: following the pointless and boring intro track The Gates of Hell
, we get treated with 7 tracks that sound exactly the same, all based around generic choruses and bland riffs. As such, there is not even something come close to a standout. This album is among Sabbath's very worst, and although not their ultimate low point (Forbidden
takes the cake for that), it is still quite a horrible metal record. Forgiving factors? Well, it is at least consistent in tone.
Headless Cross' Black Sabbath was:
- Frank Anthony 'Tony' Iommi ~ Lead Guitar
- Anthony Martin Harford ~ Vocals
- Laurence Cottle ~ Bass Guitar
- Geoff Nichols ~ Keyboards
- Colin 'Cozy Powell' Flooks ~ Drums
TO BE CONTINUED…