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Ranking the Martin Era Albums!

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  • Daistoh
    replied
    Originally posted by Ashley Dalby View Post
    Hell if Brian May offered to jam with me, he'd be granted before he even finished asking. I wouldn't put him in my top ten category but simply due to the fact that I could say I jammed with a legend would be enough. Hell I'd jam with a Gangsta Rapper..
    Hell if i could ever jam with Brian May i could die a happy man... if i could even shake his hand i would die a happy man.. Mr's May and Iommi are my two guitarplaying heroes.. May for his singing multilayered style of playing thats easily recognisable.. and Iommi for his brickwall of sound that is equally easily recognisable...

    kinda funny that both of these guitar gods have been performing one of their best performances(if not saying THE BEST)) with the same drummer..(Cozy Powell)

    Brian May Band - Resurrection
    Black Sabbath - Anno Mundi

    also one of the greatest tpny iommi experiences ever for me was him playing "i want it all" with Brian May at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, same as one of the greatest Brian May performances ever to me is the solo on "When Death Calls"..

    amazing how it crosses each other like that

    Leave a comment:


  • Atlantean Sword
    replied
    1. Headless Cross
    2. TYR
    3. Cross Purposes
    4. The Eternal Idol
    5. Forbidden

    Leave a comment:


  • Ashley Dalby
    replied
    Originally posted by MichaelWayne View Post
    Sorry to the Ozzy fans, but when I hear the name "Black Sabbath" I think of a band that churches wouldn't want me listening to. And with all the "drug", "prostitution" and various other types of songs we saw with the Ozzy period (esp towards the ends) hearing things like "Heaven In Black", "Headless Cross" and "When Death Calls", just has me believing that THIS is what a band with this name should sound like.
    Exactly! Which is why I say that Headless Cross is the LOGICAL final product of a band that had been approaching this sound their entire career...

    Leave a comment:


  • MichaelWayne
    replied
    Originally posted by J Hillenburg View Post
    One of my favorite songs in the entire Sabbath catalog. Just gorgeous.




    When Headless Cross was released and articles about the new Sabbath began to crop up in metal publications at the time, I was extremely happy. I knew Cozy Powell from Rainbow and thought that was a great choice for a drummer. I was open-minded about Martin. Hell, they even cropped up on MTV a few times, unheard of for Sabbath in recent years. After a few years in the wilderness, Sabbath came back with a strong record with good songwriting and musicianship.

    It was the Sabbath sound sonically updated to appeal to contemporary music fans. However, the trademarks were still there and the album was quite heavy. It's not
    my favorite album in the world, but it is an interesting and significant album in the
    band's history.

    Great summary of your thoughts, Ashley.
    part of what I love about the album is the awesome keys that give tracks like Nightwing that sort of mystical sound.. The sort of music you'd picture if you walked into one of those kinds of stores with the dragon statues, the tarot cards and the sort of "gypsy" things. If you remember the Greg Hildebrandt fantasy cards that non sports card shops were carrying "like back during the early 90's", you could connect the great fantasy images with music like that. I just find it very cool.

    The wonderful thing about olden music is that you can listen to it and it can take you so far back in time that you can remember what you were doing when that album was out. Iommi's riffs just pull you right in, and the album as a whole is just so dark on so many levels. If it weren't for this album, and the albums other bands were putting out of the same concept, we wouldn't have the kinds of sub-genres and bands within the metal category that we have now. This album, and the albums like it of it's time are the reasons we have the bands that we have today.

    Sorry to the Ozzy fans, but when I hear the name "Black Sabbath" I think of a band that churches wouldn't want me listening to. And with all the "drug", "prostitution" and various other types of songs we saw with the Ozzy period (esp towards the ends) hearing things like "Heaven In Black", "Headless Cross" and "When Death Calls", just has me believing that THIS is what a band with this name should sound like.

    Leave a comment:


  • J Hillenburg
    replied
    Originally posted by Ashley Dalby View Post
    Nightwing = A blood-thirsty creature of the fictitious standard presented as something good only to trick it's victims into spilling their blood, pun intended. Things presented as a game when in reality it is allowing evil things to infect the soul and conscience.
    One of my favorite songs in the entire Sabbath catalog. Just gorgeous.


    Originally posted by Ashley Dalby View Post
    Finally, I'll conclude by saying Headless Cross is one of those rare albums that is made by a band who had already achieved commercial status in the metal scene, and yet managed to release an album that not only held its own in its current day and age, but was easily as good as anything in the band's back catalogue. While Headless Cross is somewhat of a dinosaur now, let us not forget that Sabbath had been around for twenty years when they released this metal monster, their fourteenth studio album. Very few bands make greatness on their fourteenth album. Even fewer manage to be relevant at that time. Only one has actually managed to release their career-defining album at that point, and that band is Black Sabbath. Whether this sudden stroke of genius after so many years was a result of anger by past results, the addition of new blood with extraordinaire backing musicians and get this, A RETURNING VOCALIST. Or an outstanding production team, or simply the logical final product of a band that had been approaching this sound their entire career, I don't know.

    Whatever the reason for this album, however, it is simply beyond amazing, mind blowing, an utter masterpiece. Never again would the band ever even come close to this greatness, and I doubt they ever will as long as Tony Martin is not singing for them.
    When Headless Cross was released and articles about the new Sabbath began to crop up in metal publications at the time, I was extremely happy. I knew Cozy Powell from Rainbow and thought that was a great choice for a drummer. I was open-minded about Martin. Hell, they even cropped up on MTV a few times, unheard of for Sabbath in recent years. After a few years in the wilderness, Sabbath came back with a strong record with good songwriting and musicianship.

    It was the Sabbath sound sonically updated to appeal to contemporary music fans. However, the trademarks were still there and the album was quite heavy. It's not
    my favorite album in the world, but it is an interesting and significant album in the
    band's history.

    Great summary of your thoughts, Ashley.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ashley Dalby
    replied
    Though I already ranked the albums and my opinions remain as they are, I must admit I fail to see what is so bad about Headless Cross. Rather the band wishes to refute it or not, their namesake does not and never will conjure up thoughts of flower, love and/or peace. They were not practicing devil worshipers, they chose to write songs about the darker themes of life. Their name as well, when interpreted the only way it can be, it is summed up in only one word. DEATH!

    Sure Headless Cross is dark and heavy, but what Sabbath song/album is not?

    Every Sabbath ballad has been Heavy, since they all have a heavy depressing topic. Seriously, could you ever see Dying For Love, Solitude, Changes or She's Gone being used in a porno or as a wedding song? Even Laguna Sunrise, which appears on the surface as 'light', is very haunting and does not leave you with a sense of peace.

    Everything works on Headless Cross, because it was the best lineup they had. When had the core line-up returned for consecutive albums before this? The Dio years. So this time around the band is more confident than before.

    They had their best ever all-around percussionist in Cozy Powell(No offense Bill Ward) replacing Eric Singer, which was good but not in the same ballpark as Cozy. Though Bob Daisley on Eternal Idol was a better bassist, at least Laurence Cottle did decently here when heard. Plus Neil Murray was a brilliant replacement. Geoff Nicholls was, just like both Tony's, himself, ALWAYS reliable.

    You know the lineup had to at least be respected amongst their peers. A lot of musicians/bands are cautious of where they put their names once they become successful. Critics and us fans are sometimes very unacceptably to music failures, or people coming in to an established act. Then hall of fame legend, Brian May, who could of played with Sabbath at any other time during their years sought out to play with this lineup. That has to say something about the command of the line-up and their talent.

    Hell if Brian May offered to jam with me, he'd be granted before he even finished asking. I wouldn't put him in my top ten category but simply due to the fact that I could say I jammed with a legend would be enough. Hell I'd jam with a Gangsta Rapper.

    Besides people complain the lyrics are too demonic, but there are moments when it has nothing to do with Satan or Demons, or mysticism, etc... I heard Devil And Daughter is about $haron and her 'big fat daddy' who was a 'money machine who made a fortune' You get the point

    Besides Death Metal, which was gaining considerable ground by the time Headless Cross was released, had a ton of lyrics even if not talking about the Devil would use the metaphor. So why can't Sabbath do something similar, when in an essence, they gave all those others bands the right to breathe in the Metal world?

    As far as I am concerned the only two Metal bands who have the right to rest on their laurels would be Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. Interestingly though very seldom does either one do that, which is why they have that status.

    Now I know all art is 50% creation and 50% fan interpretation, but I fail to see the Satanic overuse in the lyrical content. Just because they mention it does not mean it is actually meaning that, as said before. You can talk about Drugs, Domestic Abuse, Greed, Drugs and Corporations, or anything else negative and call it the devil. Those things are EVIL, no matter how you slice it, and what happens if you subtract the D from Devil? Simple as that

    Besides Headless Cross seems drenched in real life situations, that had been gotten away from in the Dio era. Some are easy to identify with, like Cloak And Dagger for instance, but what about the others, minus of course The Gate of Hell, which is just an intro.

    Headless Cross = A loosely-based conceptual song about A DOCUMENTED REAL LIFE SITUATION!

    Devil And Daughter = $haron Osbourne I hear. But even if that is not it, the song seems to spout of in general about the immoral love for money. Those who will DO ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING, for the all-mighty dollar!

    When Death Calls = Dying And Judgment!

    Kill In The Spirit World = I wont touch this greatly due to Joe's demand of no religion talk, but it's obviously about False Religion and it's monopoly on society. I will leave it as that!

    Call Of The Wild = Armageddon drenched in the fantasy overtones a lot like Dio. Just without the over-indulgence!

    Black Moon = Coming to the realization that one is immorally wrong but either not knowing how to go about stopping or it is just too late to do so. "Oh the devil is rising with the moon, He cries and my blood runs cold. Oh no never was the darkness so black, No light and nowhere to go."

    Nightwing = A blood-thirsty creature of the fictitious standard presented as something good only to trick it's victims into spilling their blood, pun intended. Things presented as a game when in reality it is allowing evil things to infect the soul and conscience.


    The production is the best it has been since Heaven And Hell, every instrument is accounted for and well balanced. The rhythm is profound and moves you in ways unlike most Sabbath material. Tony's licks are as sharp as ever and thanks to the production are crisp and grabbing, much like the ones from Heaven And Hell. Though if anyone can accuse of IommI of ever aimlessly soling and going nowhere, that is NOT here. His solos are precise and all appear to have a purpose. Take Nightwing for example, the song goes through phases, the soft classical solo is meant to represent something. Peace being corrupted by the beautifully done contrast of the creature coming and ruining their sense of peace. Much like Kill In The Spirit World, deception by higher ranking meant to corrupt the blood of the innocent and make them easy prey. No matter how much one human wishes to deny it evil is all around us and only continues due to blatant stupidity and laziness shoved down our throats by high ranking officials. They say INSIDE EACH MAN THERE'S A SINNER, so maybe the Devil referred to is you or me, or him or her, all of us as nameless as an evil person deserves to be.

    Last but not least is the immortal Tony Martin, due to his youthful vigor and in more command of what he is was singing, he makes each moment he speaks on this record a moment to remember. This man could say, "The Flowers Are Growing, How Beautiful. Now Let's Kiss, Have Tea And Crumpets Everyone" and make it sound anyway he wants to. Just listen to that third chorus in Nightwing right before the two solos , when he sings, "Nightwing Flies Again", no other Sabbath singer, or many others, could match the intensity and emotional depth than that.


    Finally, I'll conclude by saying Headless Cross is one of those rare albums that is made by a band who had already achieved commercial status in the metal scene, and yet managed to release an album that not only held its own in its current day and age, but was easily as good as anything in the band's back catalogue. While Headless Cross is somewhat of a dinosaur now, let us not forget that Sabbath had been around for twenty years when they released this metal monster, their fourteenth studio album. Very few bands make greatness on their fourteenth album. Even fewer manage to be relevant at that time. Only one has actually managed to release their career-defining album at that point, and that band is Black Sabbath. Whether this sudden stroke of genius after so many years was a result of anger by past results, the addition of new blood with extraordinaire backing musicians and get this, A RETURNING VOCALIST. Or an outstanding production team, or simply the logical final product of a band that had been approaching this sound their entire career, I don't know.

    Whatever the reason for this album, however, it is simply beyond amazing, mind blowing, an utter masterpiece. Never again would the band ever even come close to this greatness, and I doubt they ever will as long as Tony Martin is not singing for them.
    Last edited by Ashley Dalby; 04-01-2009, 02:02 AM. Reason: Errors

    Leave a comment:


  • danmac
    replied
    I think, like most Sabbath fans, the Martin era just didn't seem like Black Sabbath, not to say there wasn't some good material to come out of that era, just not Sabbath-like. Here's my picks though-

    1. TYR-- I love this album, it's so easy to get into. Every song is melodic, uptempo, memorable riffs. (Feels Good to Me is the weakest track). And I for one love the Norse mythology theme. Great album.

    2. Headless Cross-- I know, I know, most of the lyrics come directly from a huge block of cheese. But I love this album. This was my first martin era cassette, bought it in 89. Yes I have updated to the CD.

    3. Eternal Idol-- Not a bad album, but not as immediately likable to me. I love The Shining. Bought this CD version at the Virgin records store in Orlando long after it was out of print in the US.

    4. Cross Purposes--Always found it hard to get into, esp. after Dehumanizer.

    5. Forbidden--argh!! Well, the cover art is entertaining.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scar
    replied
    Here's mine:

    1) Tyr

    So many strong tunes on this one including my favourite Tony Martin track of all times which is "Anno Mundi". What an intense song with such a great riff and feeling.
    Other Highlights are "The Lawmaker", "The Sabbath Stones" and "Heaven in black".
    You can say that Tyr is kind of an overlooked diamond in Sabbath history.

    2) Headless cross

    Another classic one. "Headless cross", "Devil & daughter" and "Black moon" are among the best tracks of the Martin - era.

    3) Cross purposes

    Very intense and "warm" mixing. Not really sinister but with a dark touch in all the compositions. When I listen to this album, I always see this beautiful angels' wings on the Cover burning. Like the athmospere. My favourites are "I witness", "Dying for love", "Immaculate deception" and "The hand that rocks the Cradle".

    4) The Eternal Idol

    Good debut of Tony Martin. "The Shining" really is a classic tune. Highlights including "Ancient Warrior" and "Born to lose".

    5) Forbidden

    Sorry about that, but I have to say that "Forbidden" for me is the weakest Black Sabbath record ever released. Sounds like they had no time for composing great songs. Also don't like the "heavy" mixing of the Drums.
    I like "Rusty Angels", "Forbidden" and "Can't get close enough".

    Leave a comment:


  • AngryHeart
    replied
    Eternal Idol



    (big gap)

    Headless Cross
    Tyr

    (gap)

    Cross Purposes


    (big gap)

    Forbidden

    Leave a comment:


  • DiosSword
    replied
    Originally posted by sabbozzy
    All of the Tony Martin records suck, and Glen Hughes.
    I'm sure you'd tell them that to their face, and I'm sure they'd really care.

    Leave a comment:


  • Charliep
    replied
    Cross Purposes
    Eternal Idol
    Headless Cross
    Tyr
    Frobidden

    Leave a comment:


  • cwilder86
    replied
    Headless Cross
    Cross Purposes
    Tyr
    The Eternal Idol
    Forbidden

    Leave a comment:


  • J Hillenburg
    replied
    I fucking love Cross Purposes. Fantastic album from start to finish. A total band performance.

    Tyr comes in a close second. There's not one misstep on this album except for "Feels Good To Me", a needless attempt to score a power ballad hit. It's not an awful song, but it's not what I'd ever want to hear this band doing.

    The Eternal Idol comes next for me. Martin's performances on songs like "Hard Life To Love" and the title track are simply outstanding. It also contains some of Iommi's best riffs and solos from Sabbath's later era.

    Headless Cross is next. Regardless of how low I might rank this album in comparison to the others, I'll never doubt its importance in the band's history. This recording established that this band was still a viable recording and touring entity and began a period of much needed stability for the band. Musically, the album is very strong; "When Death Calls", "Kill in the Spirit World", and "Nightwing" are exceptional songs musically. In particular, "Nightwing" is one of the most underrated songs in the Sabbath discography. That being said, I find Martin's lyrics on this album to be a collection of ham-fisted, Spinal Tapish drivel that makes Dio look like Wordsworth in comparison.

    Forbidden has some moments of genuine glory, but overall, I hear it as a tired and uninspired effort.

    Leave a comment:


  • juutas pappi
    replied
    This is quite easy to me:
    1. Headless Cross - Great sound and even greater songs!
    2. Eternal Idol - What an introduce for a new singer!
    3. TYR - Anno Mundi!
    4. Forbidden - Cozy Powell!
    5. Cross Purposes - ?

    Leave a comment:


  • Ashley Dalby
    replied
    01. Headless Cross
    My favorite Sabbath album and two favorite Sabbath songs: CLOAK AND DAGGER & NIGHTWING

    02. The Eternal Idol
    Sabbath finds it's best singer

    03. Tyr
    Sabbath learns to be conceptual

    04. Cross Purposes
    Evil Eye and Dying For Love are great, the others "Meh"

    05 Forbidden
    "Rusty Angels" and "Loser Gets it All " are great, the others "Meh"

    Leave a comment:

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