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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Out Of The Beyond 18

I'm going to concentrate on the Tony Iommi solo albums due to his recent fight with lymphoma as they show that the man is more than Black Sabbath.

Tony Iommi: Iommi

This is the album that took 5 years to make and features Iommi with guest vocalists. the album is mainly written by Iommi, producer Bob Marlette and the vocalists themselves. There is variation between the tracks, but all of them have Iommi's spectacular guitar work which contributed to the classic Sabbath style. The most Sabbath-like track is Who's Fooling Who which features Ozzy on vocals and has the bells and slow dirge doom riff that early Sabbath perfected. Many of the tracks share similarities with their respective vocalist's day jobs. Time Is Mine with Phillip Anselmo has all the hallmarks of Pantera, Patters with Serj Tankian has SOAD tendencies and the incredibly doomy Just Say No To Love is pure Type O Negative due to Peter Steele's unmistakeable vocals. As I have said this is a great album that mixes the legendary guitar of Iommi with guest turns from friends Bill Ward and Brian May with a fantastic collection of vocalists all of whom fit the songs (some of whom also provide instrumentation on the tracks Dave Grohl drums on his track, Peter Steele bass on his and so on). This is a great start to a solo career from a legend. 8/10

Tony Iommi: The 1996 DEP Sessions

Despite the title this album was released in 2004 with re-recorded drums as original drummer Dave Holland (formally of Judas Priest) was scrubbed from the album due to his conviction on child porn charges. The album is collaboration between Iommi and the "Voice Of Rock" Glen Hughes (who also handles the bass). It was Tony's demo sessions with an old friend and the result is a somewhat experimental album. Opener Gone is Dio-era Sabbath but the rest of the album is very hard-rock with Glen's soulful vocals taking the pride of place, however the album seems quite reserved with three ballads on an 8-track album being a bit too much. Time Is A Healer is a doom-riff heavy track and Don't Drag The River is a perfect song for Hughes vocals but it is a bit folky and psychedelic for what many would associate with Iommi. This is a very experimental album as I have said but is shows sides to the "Iron Man" that many would have not seen. 7/10

Tony Iommi: Fused

This is probably what Tony was aiming for with the DEP Sessions it is a full on power-trio metal album featuring Iommi shredding, Glen Hughes in full 'Rock God' mode on vocals and bass with Kenny Arnoff drums. The album is produced by Bob Marlette who also provides some keys. This is by far a heavier album than its predecessor and is probably what would have happened if Hughes had stayed in Sabbath after the Seventh Star album. Opening with the fantastic Dopamine which is a heavy metal lament to both men's misspent youth, as is the second track Wasted Again (which features a killer solo). The ballad Living Deep Inside A Shell is both dark and melancholic which gives it an atmospheric vibe. What Your Living For is an almost thrash shredder. This is brilliant album from three (four) immensely talented men, mixing classic song writing and legacy with crisp modern touches. 9/10

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