Tony Iommi’s Fused comes out next week – My review & a giveaway are up!

Next week Tony Iommi’s third solo album, “Fused” comes out. This is a masterful work, and I’m here to discuss a few things about the album.
ALBUM PRE-ORDER: First are some links you can use to pre-order the album.

WIN A FREE COPY OF FUSED: Second is a giveaway I’m doing. As per my contests in the past, you’ll need to answer a few trivia questions about Tony Iommi. If you get them all right, you’ll be put into a drawing for a copy of Fused. Here are the questions you need to answer:

  1. What is Tony’s real first name?
  2. What rock star was Tony engaged to in the mid 80’s?
  3. What other famous band was Tony briefly a member of in 1968?
  4. What band was Tony in during the mid 60’s that was named after an American car?
  5. How many members of Deep Purple have played with Tony in Black Sabbath and who are they?

You need to send your answers and your name and address to fused@black-sabbath.com. There’s two important things here. First the email must go to this address. Second, you have to include your name and address. If you don’t do either of these, your submission won’t be considered. The contest will run through Monday the 11th of July at noon (my time, which is the Central Time Zone in the US). You don’t have to be in the US to be eligible to win.
MY REVIEW OF FUSED: Thirdly is my review of Fused, and here it is:
Tony Iommi, the man behind Black Sabbath for so many years (that didn’t stop in 1979, folks) has a new album out. It’s brilliant – but that should be no surprise to anyone who is a fan of his. Fused is the name of the new one, and it’s the third collaboration between Tony & former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath singer Glenn Hughes (the others being the 1986 Sabbath album “Seventh Star” and 2004’s “The 1996 DEP Sessions”). Fused is probably the best of the lot; Here’s my track by track summary of “Fused”.

  1. Dopamine – The opening of a new album of Tony Iommi riffs. It’s like the needle going into the vein (not that I know what that means, I’m just using a metaphor). Interesting that the subject of the lyrics is a “drug” produced by one’s own body. Anyway, it very much sounds like a traditional Tony Iommi riff and song. Good way to open the album, even if it’s not my favorite track on the album.

  2. Wasted Again – Hmm.. Based solely on the titles, this is an interesting one to follow “Dopamine”. This is a slower song, although not “slow” – slower in comparison to Dopamine. It does feature some good “screaming vocals” by Glenn Hughes. It’s one of those tracks I like, but I can’t give you a concrete reason as to why. Just liked it.
  3. Saviour of the Real – This is one of the few songs on the album that doesn’t stick out to me. It’s not bad, but there’s no killer riff, no killer vocal hook on this one. Sometimes with songs that don’t stick out to me, I want to skip them, but I keep this in here because it is decent, it’s just not great.
  4. Resolution Song – This one starts out slow like some of the good moodier Sabbath tracks from the past. There’s a interesting vocal hook in this one. Not sure how to describe it except it comes in at about 1:44 for the first time, and sounds like “Ah-yee-ah”. It’s one of those good Iommi tracks that’s mostly mellow, has a big powerful guitar sound behind the chorus.
  5. Grace – The first few times I listened to this album, I felt Grace was just ore of Resolution Song. The starting riff of this song sounds a lot like the end of the last song. Grace is one of the best songs on the album. Great lyrics, great riffs, great vocals. About halfway through the song there’s a guitar bit (starting around 2:51, runs for about 15 seconds)) that sounds a whole lot like a classic Sabbath riff from the Dio era (Southern Cross?). Anyway, after that, the big fast meaty part of the song really kicks in, and it’s just awesome till the end of the song. One of the album’s highlights.
  6. Deep Inside a Shell – This is the other one that doesn’t really leap out to me. As with Saviour, there’s nothing wrong with the song. It’s good. But it doesn’t just have that killer hook for me. The guitar solo midway through the song isn’t a standard Iommi power solo. From that aspect it’s something different – but this doesn’t leap out as a real highlight.
  7. What You’re Living For – This one is another of my favorites. It’s to me is a classic Iommi song, as it leads off with nothing but a cool riff, and just keeps going. It’s fast, it’s catchy, and is a great song. When I first started listening to the album, this was one of my favorites because it’s immediately accessible. I love the solo in this one, it’s one of those “Dual solos” where Tony’s playing more than one riff at a time. Really nice sound to this one.
  8. Face Your Fears – A nice crunchy Tony riff is at the heart of this song. This one seems more geared towards Glenn’s vocals than Tony’s playing. Nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t the “busiest” song in terms of Tony’s playing.
  9. The Spell – Nice heavy doom sounding riff to start off this song, like some of the classic early Sabbath stuff. The slowest song on the album.
  10. I Go Insane – I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy! This is by far and away the best thing on the album. A 9 minute and 30 second spectacular piece of music. The vocals, the… aw hell. This is the best song on the album. It’s so good, I can’t think of any good words to describe it. The best song Tony’s recorded in ages. In terms of “feel” it reminds me of the track “Kiss of Death” off of Sabbath’s last studio album from 1995, Forbidden. Both of these tracks have a sweeping majestic feel to them that outclass anything else on the disc they appear on.
  11. Let it Down Easy – Glenn’s vocals sound different than on the other tracks on the album. This is more of a fast driving song, yet still has a very bluesy feel to it. The guitar solo is quite cool, has some “wah-wah” in it that I rather like. Will probably be a shame most people don’t get to hear it, as it’s the song that’s only on the Japanese version of the album.

Summary..
When this album was being recorded, there were some quotes by Tony Iommi saying he was really excited about the material on the album, and I can see why. This is probably the strongest of the three albums he’s recorded with Glenn Hughes, and I think this is his best solo album by far (over DEP Sessions which I thought was fabulous, & the decent if not awesome “Iommi”).
If you’re a fan of Black Sabbath, the number one complaint fans have is that Black Sabbath hasn’t put out a new album in the last 10 years. The last Sabbath album was released June 8, 1995, it’s been far too long. In all that time and all the albums released by the various members, this one is the one that has that feel of carrying the Sabbath banner best. “Fused” flies the legacy of Black Sabbath and the mastery that Tony Iommi has over the fret board magnificently. There’s little weakness on this album, it’s strong from start to finish.
If you have ever considered yourself a Black Sabbath fan, you owe it to yourself to buy this album. What’s unfortunate is that the “pseudo fans” who know Sabbath only as Ozzy’s backing band (or only know Oz from his MTV show) won’t buy this because it doesn’t have Ozzy on it, and doesn’t have the name Black Sabbath on it, and that’s a crime. Buy this. Buy two, and give one to a friend. This album deserves all the attention it can get.
I have more information on the album available on my discography page for Fused. Check it out.

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