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  • The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

    This album is such an underrated gem. How can it NOT be when you really have an 80s "supergroup" as the band lineup?:

    Tony Iommi- (of course!) The riffs he put on this album are some of the freshest he's come up with since the Dio years.

    Geoff Nicholls- no one could have fit Sabbath any better. He adds great texture to the songs of the album.

    Bob Daisley- one of the best bassists of the 1980s; also a highly skilled lyricist.

    Eric Singer- he plays the drums with such force and precision. He's no Bill Ward, but he fits in perfect on this album!

    Tony Martin- originally recruited as a "nobody", who was asked to recreate another vocalists parts in a very short amount of time. It must have been a lot of pressure on the poor guy! But he pulled it off with excellence. He also gave some of the best performances of his career on this album.

    I really like the production on the album too. Its clean, clear, and not overly polished.

    Its really a shame that there wasn't much of a tour for this album. Also a shame that one song from it only lasted in the Sabbath setlists on other tours!

  • #2
    Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

    Indeed, I love this album. Undoubtedly the best from the Martin era.
    The dog's name is Pete. If he tries to mount you in the middle of the night, say "no" sternly. But don't look him in the eye.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

      This is my second favourite Tony Martin era album and because this era is my favourite, that fact would make this my second favourite Sabbath album. This was the first Martin Era album I heard and fell in love with it the second I did, mainly because of Tony's vocals. I wrote a review on this album elsewhere and I will post it here:

      The Shining:

      An excellent opener, it's entire intro is very haunting in the way that it is played. I also love Tony's use of blank verse which was not common in Sabbath before him. The chorus is extremely catchy with it's rebellious type of nature. That haunting intro returns before what comes my favourite part of the song, Tony's voice is so majestic when he sings "All your life your on your own". This is one of Sabbath's most historic songs with it's use of poetic terms and retrospective lyrics. The song does not have much of a solo but it does fade out with that superb chorus before ending on a brilliant climax, overall my favourite song on the album.

      Ancient Warrior:

      Another song with a superb intro and poetic lyrics. The lyrics here are driven by a brilliantly crafted progressive guitar riff, that seems to ring note for note with Martin's voice. The keyboard effects during the chorus gives it a very haunting atmosphere and the solo is great. But like most of the songs on this album and the whole Martin era, it is his voice that makes the song gold. Overall I think this song has alot of "Hit Potential" mainly by it's simplicity.

      Hard Life to Love:

      Yet another song with metophoric lyrics and excellent fill, the verses pludge along with a very etheral guitar-driven power riff. I think what stands out about this song is it's lack of a traditional chorus, unless you count the "I'm simply refusing a part in your world" section as one, but I dont feel it needs one. At the time of this album's release Metal had become very predictable in the way the songs were constructed, so songs like this that are different is what makes Sabbath always stand out. Overall one my favourite songs on the album.

      Glory Ride:

      This song has a great beat, and that's the first thing that will grab the listener on this song. There's a lot of reverb and echo on Tony's vocals here that give this song a sound unique on the album, but soundwise, other than that, it sounds a lot like all the other rockers on this album. The main riff itself is pure fun, and Bob Daisley's thunkety-sounding bass is great. The homey feel of this song is relaxing after the frenzy of "Hard Life", even though the riff is still fast and heavy. Another good one.


      Born to Lose:

      I don't know why, but this song makes me think of kids hanging out in a basement, getting high and just jamming out. Unlike the other songs, there isn't the same reverby, larger than life sound. Instead, this tale of what appears to me as war sounds like it was recorded a carpeted bedroom. The backing vocals combine with the opening riff to create a chorus that seems to scream, "Make me into a single for the radio! Now, goddamnit!"

      Nightmare:

      What Can One Say About This Song? Simple And Dark.
      The intro sounds like something from a chasing-woods-horror-movie scene, with it's haunting keyboards. From the moment I first heard this song I wanted to dance, and everytime I hear it now it still gives me that urge. Sabbath is one of the VERY few "Heavy Metal" bands that are capable of incorporating RYTHYM in their music and that can be seen here in a huge way. The middle section is as haunting as the intro with sinister laughing and what sounds like someone screaming while falling down a hole, maybe it is just the reverb but that is what it sounds like to me. The verses after that middle section are some of my favourite on the album as the music is very driven but yet do not stray from the rythymical dancing capability. This song would've made a GREAT video I think, because of it's use of drastic evil imagery. Despite this song's pop potential, or maybe even due to it, "Nightmare" is one of my favorite songs off this album, and would've stood out on hard rock airwaves dominated at that time by hair bands had it recieved more publicity.

      Scarlet Pimpernel:

      This fairly quiet and haunting instrumental bit I've thought was meant to be the intro to the next song, but remains to me as one of Sabbath's most fun and well crafted instrumentals.....

      Lost Forever:

      A speed-metalesque number, this song speeds along at a breakneck pace, which seems fitting due to the subject matter of the song. The lyrics are brilliant as is Tony's voice, but like most of the album the meaning behind them are very hard to decipher. This one goes by quickly, and is a show of the band's energy as well as Iommi's brilliant soloing. However, it isn't one of my favorites for some reason.

      Eternal Idol:

      The last song on the album is also the most depressing one on it. A heavy riff sends the song thudding along in a way that only Black Sabbath can do. Martin rants about the foolishness of mankind as well as the government. Like "Hard Life To Love" this song features no traditional chorus and just like that song this one does not need one. This tital track is as dark and similar as Sabbath's self-titled song, simple 3 note riff that is dark and blistering. One note about the two songs are the drumming, they are pretty much songs that show the respective drummers talent(Ward on Black Sabbath & Eric Singer on This One). Despite the depressing overtone of the song, it's hard not to start singing along with the song. This remains Tony Martin's most grandoise performance on the album and that mainly comes from one line, where he yells, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh we are his spirit". Everytime I hear him sing this part I find myself envying the man's vocal talent and range, it is truly remarkable. All of the elements that make Black Sabbath who they are shows on this song and make this one of the darkest songs ever recorded.

      Some Kind of Woman:

      The first time I heard this song I thought it was Tony Martin singing for Van Halen, because of it's surreal VH influence. Iommi's riffs are very precised and crafted in the same vein as Eddie Van Halen's are and the solo here is one of his best. It is a shame that this song never made it as it features more "Hit Potential" than any other song from the album. The lyrics here are sung in a very breakneck speed and the doubling of vocals in the chorus make for a superb etheral head-banging expierience. This remains one of my favourite Sabbath songs I've ever heard, even after the very first time, and is one of their most surprising.

      This album for me is one every metal fan should have in their collection, a true work of art by the masters of all Heavy Metal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

        Great review, Ashley!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

          [ QUOTE ]
          Great review, Ashley!

          [/ QUOTE ]
          Well thanks Niklas

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

            After reading your review of Some Kind of Woman (copied below), I just have to hear this song. Where would one find this?




            Some Kind of Woman:

            The first time I heard this song I thought it was Tony Martin singing for Van Halen, because of it's surreal VH influence. Iommi's riffs are very precised and crafted in the same vein as Eddie Van Halen's are and the solo here is one of his best. It is a shame that this song never made it as it features more "Hit Potential" than any other song from the album. The lyrics here are sung in a very breakneck speed and the doubling of vocals in the chorus make for a superb etheral head-banging expierience. This remains one of my favourite Sabbath songs I've ever heard, even after the very first time, and is one of their most surprising.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

              [ QUOTE ]
              After reading your review of Some Kind of Woman (copied below), I just have to hear this song. Where would one find this?

              [/ QUOTE ]
              I'd imagine the "you know where" MIGHT have it, or you could download it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                [ QUOTE ]
                I'd imagine the "you know where" MIGHT have it, or you could download it.

                [/ QUOTE ]

                You are right Ashley. This song is "you know where".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                  [ QUOTE ]
                  [ QUOTE ]
                  I'd imagine the "you know where" MIGHT have it, or you could download it.

                  [/ QUOTE ]
                  You are right Ashley. This song is "you know where".

                  [/ QUOTE ]
                  I figured it'd be "There" because the famous repitoire of "There".

                  Is "There"'s version clear?

                  Because mine is but has sort of low volume

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                    Yes, the version there is very clear, if I recall it correctly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                      Great review Ashley made, I really have nothing to add. The Shining, Scarlet Pimpernel and Eternal Idol clearly rate among Sabbath's best, even despite the circumstances under which they were made. I wonder why the song Eternal Idol was never played live, the band could have easily ditched their s/t song for this one!
                      "There's only one Black Sabbath... I like to call him Tony Iommi" - racer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                        the only thing I don't agree with is allowing Martin too much credit for this record. He didn't write lyrics, he didn't write melodies. He had very little to do with the "band" chemistry (even though there's hardly any there to begin with).

                        the record suffered from many, many things...material wasn't one of them. Possibly Iommi's best effort post BA and considering the circumstances...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                          Both killer albums. With Martin and Gillen!
                          Can't you see what I see
                          You and I victims of Their word
                          As the master of power
                          Try to poison our world
                          ----- Eternal Idol ~ 1987

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                            [ QUOTE ]
                            Yes, the version there is very clear, if I recall it correctly.

                            [/ QUOTE ]

                            And where exactly is there? I presume it is the ftp Los send me but I think it needs to be activated? All help gratefully received!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The Eternal Idol appreciation thread

                              [ QUOTE ]
                              the only thing I don't agree with is allowing Martin too much credit for this record. He didn't write lyrics, he didn't write melodies. He had very little to do with the "band" chemistry (even though there's hardly any there to begin with).


                              [/ QUOTE ]
                              Who cares? It's the end result that matters, and that was a very cool album. There are a few songs I don't like, but then again, there's hardly ever an album that I like from start to finish. There was no internet back in the day so the details of this period's history were hardly known to the public. I think the band should be doubly commended for coming up with a great record under such circumstances.

                              The "chemistry" remark is supposed to bring us to the old argument again, isn't it? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

                              [ QUOTE ]

                              the record suffered from many, many things...material wasn't one of them. Possibly Iommi's best effort post BA and considering the circumstances...

                              [/ QUOTE ]
                              I believe Eternal Idol was a grab bag of stuff material-wise. The Shining is from 1984, a couple other tunes were around during the Seventh Star days (Nightmare, Born to Lose), the rest was fresh. We all know that Iommi keeps recycling old riffs that didn't make it once (Get a Grip on Dehumanizer demos, the one from I on Headless Cross tour etc.)
                              "There's only one Black Sabbath... I like to call him Tony Iommi" - racer

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