Τετάρτη, 13 Ιουνίου 2012

BLACK SABBATH-TONY MARTIN ERA (1987-1995)

    Tony Martin...a little god!!
  Sometimes the bands that we love and the bands that they are considered to be rock standards,they tend to change their line up through the years and the poor listener (in some cases follower of the band) has to get used to the new faces,sounds etc..
  If you change the whole band (musicians) most of the listeners might not notice (ok the spark will be lost especially if you start to use only session musicians because they don't care about the songs,they just do their job) but if you change the singer you create a completely different face of expression of the band.
  I'm not saying that the musicians are less important than the singer,all i'm saying is that the voice is what gives a band it's personality (can you imagine MOTORHEAD without Lemmy or METALLICA without Hetfield?I don't think so!) 
  One of these cases are the allmighty BLACK SABBATH a band who set the foundations of Heavy Metal music at the beginning of the 70's.The story of SABBATH and Ozzy is known and also the story of SABBATH and Dio is known and even the two "one night stands" of the band are known with Ian Gillan (BORN AGAIN) and Glenn Hughes (SEVENTH STAR) both of them former DEEP PURPLE singers.But what about Tony Martin?


  Tony Martin,a fantastic musician (he plays a lot of instruments) and not only a fantastic singer entered the world of BLACK SABBATH in 1987 a period that SABBATH were more like a Tony Iommi project than a real band, with members changing all the time something that faded the musical value of the band for a while.
  The first album that was recorded with him behind the microphone was "THE ETERNAL IDOL" with a sound closer to what the band did with Dio,that mixture of epic metal and the rock virus of SABBATH sound,but more friendly to the radio.
  The guitars are not as heavy as they used to be  and it's more like 80's Heavy Metal stuff,but the voice of the man is fantastic,strong,full of expression and melodic.It's one of the band's most illfated albums but it's the beginning of a new era.


  Two years after the release of "...IDOL" in 1989 Tony Iommi awakens the demon inside of him and with Cozy Powel (fuckin' beast) on drums and of course the voice of Tony Martin manages to release their best record in years "HEADLESS CROSS".
  The tittle track has one of the best riffs Iommi ever written and Martin just takes the whole album to a higher level with his singing.Songs like "Devil & Daughter" and "When Death Calls" are simply huge rock monuments!!The SABBATH of the 80's owe a huge respect to the voice of this man who took a ship that was sinking and pulled it back to the surface.


   The 80's are gone ,the 90's are here and BLACK SABBATH go epic!The year 1990 they release the album "TYR" a record with songs inspired by the Norse mythology,more aggressive, but still noble, than the other two with huge riffing and a Tony Martin making rock singing sound like a Viking warcry.Songs: "Valhalla","The Law Maker","Jerusalem","The Sabbath Stones" and the super ballad "Feels good to me" shows that a band can transform it's sound through the years without changing the quality of their songwriting as long as inspiration is boilling in the musicians mind.
  From the drug oriented doom rock of the 70's to the heights of Valhalla at the 90's with Tony Martin "spreading his magic" upon us.

  But history is never fair when bussiness rule the game.In 1992 Tony Martin is kicked out of the band and R.J. Dio along with the whole line up of "MOB RULES"(Geezer Butler-Bass and Vinnie Appice -Drums) returns and BLACK SABBATH release the most dark and heavy album of their career, "DEHUMANIZER".
  A true masterpiece indeed,a record that is not popular among rock fans,only metallheads love it,that says a lot about it.
  But Dio and Iommi couldn't make their egos work together so after the tour they split again and guess what.Tony Martin is back in!!!
  1994.Geezer Butler on bass,Bobby Rondinelly on drums and "CROSS PURPOSES" is aiming straight to our hearts.I'll tell you what,i'm in love with this album.
  The sound is heavy, the riffs are rock/metal perfection,the voice rocks and the songs are made to be rememberd.I'm listening to it since i was a kid and it still rocks me every time i hear it!!
  "I Witness","Evil eye" and "Immaculate Deception" are some of my favourite metal songs ever but it's not only those songs the whole album is just perfect.
  After the tour and a recorded live album that came along with a VHS capturing the magic of that band on stage named "CROSS PURPOSES LIVE" we all realised that Martin wasn't only a good singer but a great performer too.
  The footage on the VHS is great but the biggest trap of the SABBATH material are the songs of Ozzy.All the singers that passed from SABBATH couldn't sing those songs properly no matter how they tried, because the voice of Ozzy is unique and raw and the artistic touch of all the others didn't ever ,ever fit.Iommi should never put his frontmen thtough that test!

   
In 1995 the line up changes once again,Neil Murray on bass guitar and Cozy Powel behind the drum kit for one more time.The album "FORBIDDEN" is released and it was meant to be the last album with Tony Martin on vocals and the last studio  album carrying the name of BLACK SABBATH until now since the record "THE DEVIL YOU KNOW "with R.J.Dio that was released just before Dio's death in 2010 came out carrying the name of HEAVEN & HELL and not the name of BLACK SABBATH.
  Now, "FORBIDDEN" seems to be the most unlucky album this band ever made,the critics never liked it ,they kinda burried it but the truth is somewhere in the middle.Ok it's not the best album this band ever made and it's not carrying the high standards of their discography 
but it has it's moments.
  "Illusion of power" with the contribution of BODYCOUNT'S Ice-t on rhyming upon an Iommi gloomy riff  makes this song the strangest song of their discography but songs like "Get a grip","Rusty Angels","Kiss of Death" and the title track are just perfect.
  It's a love it or hate it album and it's a shame that the Tony Martin chapter closed like this and not in a blaze of glory as it should have.


  This BLACK SABBATH period always left me with a bitter taste because i'm among those who believe that Tony Martin should've been treated better from the "boss" Tony Iommi and not just to be used to cover the gaps between high class reunions.
  When the records weren't selling enough Martin wasn't needed anymore even though he helped Iommi's career not to fade and there's something else that we shouldn't forget.He is the second vocalist after Ozzy that stayed for such a long time with SABBATH than anyone alse.
 It was a tribute to a great artist!!
Listen to his records,there's tons of great music in there!
CHEERS!!!

                           

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