TONY IOMMI with GLENN HUGHES
Release Date: July 12th, 2005 [Worldwide]
Label: Sanctuary Records
Catalogue No.: SANCD372
Where to start The new album from Tony Iommi featuring GLENN on Vocals & Bass, along with Kenny Aronoff pounding the skins, and Bob Marlette featured on keys (also Executive Producer), is everything Glenn promised it would be and then some!!
It's HUGE and I've never felt Glenn's bass shake my bones as hard as on these 10 brand new songs! I can only imagine what it's going to be like when they bring this to us all live on stage....hopefully not too long from now!
Dopamine (4:09), the opening track kicks things off with Glenn in full metal bass mode with Aronoff laying down the crashing beat which will follow us throughout the entire album. A wonderful rockin' chorus makes this song standout and was a good choice to begin the onslaught! Tony's solo is brief but deafening, and it sets you up nicely for what's about to follow!!
Next up is one of my favourites, Wasted Again (3:56) - Glenn's vocals are right up my street on this song ("how does it feel" and the perfect screams in all the right places)! A heavy chorus takes us to Iommi, who kicks in with a short, but classic fretwork display, reminiscent of something that might be found on Technical Ecstasy. Perfection - can't wait to hear this one live. Maybe this should even be the opener onstage?
Saviour Of The Real (4:08) starts with some more of those thumping bass lines from Glenn that I eluded to at the beginning of this review, with Kenny Aronoff pounding hard right along side! Tony's riffing is ever present, while Glenn takes charge with another monster vocal delivery. There's a great lyrical passage that proceeds the chorus, that only Glenn can deliver. Tony's solo starts layered over Glenn's vocal wizardary which works really well. Can it get any better I ask myself....you better read on to find out
Resolution Song (4:56) fades right in and has a wonderfully rymthmic vocal from Glenn that leads us right into the thunderous chorus. Again Glenn shines on this song, there's even a nod and a wink to Ozzy passing through the delivery of the chorus! Tony gives us a quick shot of his trademark solo work as the song comes to a conclusion. This is another I'd like to hear live.
Grace (5:14) - not a person but a state of mind....has the heaviest intro yet, but quickly changes pace into a lyric that Glenn carries off as only he can. The duo of Hughes/Aronoff is taken to the next level on this song, there's no words to describe it, other than thunderous - they've out done themselves on this one! Iommi quickly changes the pace with an onslaught of Metallica-style rhythm and metal guitar prowess, closing with a trademark solo, I hope we have the chance to hear live.
Deep Inside A Shell (3:43) - a not often heard vocal for Glenn on this one, with the chorus almost Oasis in places - I like it, but might surprise some. Both acoustic and electric guitar are present here and works well. There's a nice laid back (for Iommi) guitar solo that kicks-in midway, that then carries the song to the chorus and out.
What You're Living For (4:38) - absolutely love this one, with classic 80's NWOBHM riffs kicking it off, we're soon hearing an opening guitar break, followed by the introductory 100-mph vocal! This is similar in vein to what might be found on the last Voodoo Hill album, but it's taken to the next level by the pumping vocals, Aronoff's thumping powerhouse drum work and huge chorus. Tony really makes his mark on this with a brief, but effective, trademark classic metal guitar solo and so it's a must play in the live set. Headbangers rejoice!
Face Your Fear (4:36), if this one doesn't make it live, knock me down with a feather Another sonic laden vocal from Glenn and the chorus has "hit" written all over it - this is another of my personal favourites. If radio doesn't pick this one up, I'll be very surprised. (Well, not really, you know how they are)! Lovin' this one!!
The Spell (4:58) - whoa, now this is HEAVY! I've never heard Glenn in this light before, again it's got to be played live! Things slow for the initial lyrical passages, but soon pick up steam for yet another classic riffing vocal delivery. Some might say it's a 'kinda run-of-the mill outing, but for me, this is the sort of song that pushes all the right buttons! Great delivery from all.
I Go Insane (9:14) - the crème de la crème - what can you say, this is IOMMI/HUGHES at their absolute best. I would like it to have carried on for an extra few minutes, as I felt Tony's guitar solo was cut short a little or at the very least, would of enjoyed more of an extended outing - but clocking in at 9+ minutes, it's one of the best songs they have ever worked on together. Oh yes, and of course, I demand it's played live!! Starts slow, builds, peaks with soaring guitar and is rounded out with another pounding vocal, then another final twist and turn takes the song to it's conclusion with subtle outro keyboards.
So in summary, an absolute classic! But be sure to turn the volume knob to 10. Very different from the The 1996 DEP Sessions, and as much as it might sound more like Iommi than Hughes material, Glenn stamps his mark all over it - from the lyrics & vocals to the unusually HEAVY bass work. Another standout, is Kenny Aronoff on drums, I was pleasantly surprised how he kept up with the other two masters! Special mention to Bob Marlette, although the keyboards are not present that often, where they are used, they're very effective, especially on I Go Insane.
In closing, I really hope they can find room for at least Wasted Again, Saviour Of The Real, Resolution Song, Grace, What Your're Living For, Face Your Fear, The Spell and I Go Insane in the live set, with perhaps 3 or 4 from Seventh Star and The 1996 DEP Sessions. They've said they'd like to play for 2 hours, so that should be enough time, don't you think But I do think it would be mistake to play Sabbath/Purple material - people attending these shows will know Glenn & Tony's past collaborations, so I would highly recommend they focus on only the material they have worked on together. We can see them solo for anything else....right?! Anyway, thats just my 2 cents!!
A classic album - 5 stars, 10 out of 10, numero uno - GET IT