Sabbath Crosses

Back in late July, Blackstar Productions in Argentina sent me a copy of their Black Sabbath tribute CD called “Sabbath Crosses”. I haven’t had a chance to give it a proper listen until now (for that Fernando, I’m sorry). I shouldn’t have waited so long, it’s a wonderful CD! I’m here with a track by track review of the CD, plus a giveaway! Here’s my review:
In writing this review, it didn’t occur to me how much a cover song being close to the original is to me. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of a cover straying too far from the original. Having said that, this CD is a good tribute CD, and worth your attention. I think my all time favorite Sab tribute is the original NIB tribute, but this one is very close. I rather like the deviations for the most part on this tribute. It is a cool tribute CD in that it has songs from every (released) vocalist Sabbath has had: Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, & Tony Martin. For that alone, it’s worth checking out, as most tributes only do Ozzy only material. I can’t say I’m familiar with the bands, as they’re all Argentinean, and I personally haven’t heard any of them before.
The CD has a video file on it of Glenn Hughes with Rata Blanca performing No Stranger to Love, as the CD is a CD Extra disc. The booklet that comes with the CD is very nice, with some really good looking use of color and photography – it’s got a nice striking look and layout. Additionally, there’s website and email information for each of the bands in here, a nice touch. I also saw my name in the thank you section as well (which was totally unnecessary, but cool nonetheless).
As of the writing of this in October 2004, there is no US distribution. If you’d like a copy (and you should have one), you can buy it from Blackstar here:
I heartily recommend this to every Sabbath fan. Plus, if you’re one of those fans who think that Sabbath stopped after Ozzy left in 1979, you should check it out, you might discover some songs you wouldn’t normally listen to. :)
A breakdown of the songs on the CD:

  1. War Pigs – Fairly standard cover, obvious English isn’t the native lanugage of the singer, though. I’m also fairly bored with this song as a fan, though. I’ve heard it way too many times. :)
  2. Heaven & Hell – Not in English, so couldn’t directly understand it, but a cover that doesn’t stray too far from the original yet still sounds slightly different. It was interesting “singing” the song in my head with it to follow along to vocals I couldn’t understand.
  3. TV Crimes – Well, it’s awfully close to that gravelly “Death Metal” sound in it’s vocals. It does make the original song heavier though, and that’s pretty cool, could have done without the death growl vocals, though.
  4. Anno Mundi – Very faithful replica, in my opinion. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s awfully close, one of my favorites, as it was a surprise choice to see on a tribute CD.
  5. No Stranger to Love – As Glenn Hughes signs it, it’s hard to describe this as a true cover, since he was the original vocalist. Anyway, it is a very good recording of the song, very faithful – a definite high point on the disc. Glenn does scream more than any other recording of this song than I’ve heard before. ;)
  6. Zero the Hero – Seems to be the most covered song of the non Ozzy material on tributes for some reason. They got the main riff right, but the surrounding instruments sound off for some reason. The vocals are in the “Death Metal growl” area, but not as harsh as they normally are. This was probably my least favourite on the CD.
  7. Children of the Grave – Sounds a bit like the cover that White Zombie did of this song a few years back on the NIB tribute CD. This isn’t bad, I liked that, and I like this. Has an interesting vocal dynamic in a few spots, as there’s two singers on this, and one sings in English, and the other does not during certain verses.
  8. Supernaut – Loved the crowd interacting with the song. This is such a cool song, it’s hard to screw up the cover. :) And O’Connor didn’t, it’s a great cover, one of the better ones on the CD for me.
  9. Die Young – What makes the original work for me is the atmospheric keyboards in the song. They keyboards aren’t properly matched here, they add a vocal chorus to the keyboard intro too which sounds odd. Once we get by the extended intro, the main part of the song is also changed a little, but musically is a lot more close to the original than the intro is. Despite these remarks of mine, I liked the song.
  10. Paranoid – Well, when this started I was ready to blast the cover. There’s an intro to the song in this cover which isn’t necessary. It kind of sounded like the totally unlistenable cover that Type O Negative did of Sabbath a few years ago. Anyway, once the main part of the song gets going, it’s a pretty decent cover, it’s pretty authentic until the end when they add an outro and a repeat verse that isn’t normally there.

Anyway, Fernando Serani over at Blackstar in Argentina was kind enough to send along five copies of the CD for me to use as a giveaway.
If you are interested in being in the drawing for these CDs, pease submit your name and address for this giveaway to with your name and address (if you don’t include your name and address, you’re disqualified). Please note that ANY EMAILS SENT ANYWHERE ELSE THAN SABBATHCROSSES@BLACK-SABBATH.COM WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GVIEAWAY, AND WILL BE DELETED. The contest will run through Wednesday October 20th, 2004.
For further information (including an mp3 download sample of No Stranger to Live), please visit my discography page for this album.