"Thunderrrrrrr Shattered the Dawn!" is what Glen Hughes sings out opening this record with one rigorous punch of aggression with "In for the Kill,"
where the title itself hints the mood of what's to come within this record.
Released as "Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi
," obviously due to the fact that Iommi
was the last man standing of the original lineup and that the band had been through several front men, not to mention all of the other members that had come and went, Iommi
at this point had a vision on a solo record where apparently rumored that Rob Halford, Dio, and Hughes would all have appearances singing certain songs, but shortly after Iommi
decided on using Hughes for the whole record, Warner Bros. decided that they were not going to allow the album to be released under just the Iommi
moniker, and the Sabbath name had to stick. No big deal at all, at least to metalheads, although it was odd to see Iommi
on the cover standing alone; symbolic maybe?
By this point in time many critics had dibbed Sabbath as "Deep Sabbath" due to the fact that this was the second record to incorporate yet another former Purple vocalist (Born Again
featured Ian Gillan), but Sabbath had changed, the ever since Ozzy's ousting, the music got more technical, production more slick, proving that the times were changing for this band, and all for, well, some might say better occurrences, they defiantly were not getting weaker.
So with that said, Seventh Star
offered one of the eighties most intriguing albums, way beyond the commercial wayside of "hair metal." The cuts on the record represent a 50/50 mix of the slick production brought forth with the overall dark vibe that was brought to the table with this record's predecessors. Cts like "In for the Kill,"
with the churning aggression of Iommi
's guitar work, driven with the churning vibe of some of the faster cuts on the early Sabbath records, "Turn to Stone"
which you can hear this song influence on, say, a Savatage
album, and the riff driven "Danger Zone,"
with a near anthem vibe, offer the records more straight ahead driving cuts. The emotionally laden cuts such as the blues tinged "Heart Like a Wheel,"
the ethereal "In Memory.,"
and the extremely dark and moody title cut are representative of the records haunting attitude. The only cut that really made it to the radio airwaves and MTV is one of the best power ballads of all time, "No Stranger to Love,"
which is one of the most soulful metal songs of all time.
No short of being a perfect record, with a backup band that brought even more technicality to the Sabbath aura, featuring Eric Singer (Kiss, Alice Cooper, Brian May, etc.) on drums, Dave Spitz on Bass, and Geoff Nichols on Keys; lets not of course forget Hughes pipes being at the same center point as Iommi
's axe attack, which Hughes range and Iommi
's extra headroom to solo brought Sabbath to another dimension.
Although for years rumors have circulated about an "Eighth Star" album that was apparently recorded with Hughes in the wake of this record, this would be the only official release with both Hughes and Iommi
together (regardless of all the bootleg MP3's of those sessions that surfaced on Napster years ago). Shortly after this record, Hughes decided to rid himself of all self destructive drug use, and pursued a solo career, setting the standard for R&B/Blues tinged Metal, and Sabbath would continue with new vocalist Tony Martin, releasing even more records, close to Seventh Star's Stature.
This is the record that would set the precedent for later albums like Headless Cross
and The Eternal Idol
, as well as many metal bands that would add more technical elements to their sound, Seventh Star's influence reigns, listen to the record, back to front, it is phenomenal.
Written by Hashman
Monday, April 5, 2004Show all reviews by HashmanRatingsHashman: 9/10
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