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Interesting, but not really Black Sabbath - 75%

Satanwolf, May 17th, 2007

"Seventh Star" was initially to be a Tony Iommi solo album, before pressure from the record company forced it's release under the Black Sabbath name. Musically it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the Sabbath catalog, and the album has somewhat of a bad reputation with some fans. Certainly not the best representation of Black Sabbath, but there are some decent tracks.

After a few false starts, 1986 finds guitarist Tony Iommi the sole original member of Black Sabbath. Iommi, along with longtime keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, recruited some impressive musicians for the album: drummer Eric Singer (later of Kiss), bassist Dave Spitz, and former Deep Purple bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes. The album itself shows some diversity, with typical heavy numbers such as opener "In For The Kill," "Turn to Stone," and "Danger Zone," the mysterious title track and instrumental "Sphinx," the bluesy "Heart Like a Wheel" (which shows that Hughes was a logical follow-up to ex-vocalist Ian Gillan), and ballads "No Stranger to Love" and "In Memory."

Sadly, it seems that the heavier songs lack some punch in comparison with previous Sabbath efforts, or at least aren't as groundbreaking. And "No Stranger to Love," for which a video was made, is probably why this album sometimes gets lumped in with the "hair metal" genre, although I'd hardly call the album "hair metal." So the strong points of the album are the title track, "Heart Like a Wheel," and album closer "In Memory," featuring a fine vocal performance from Hughes.

I've always liked "Seventh Star;" there are some good songs, and the album featured a competent if unstable band lineup. If we compare this to the heaviness of previous Sabbath albums then we set ourselves up for disappointment. Yet if we can listen to this as the Tony Iommi solo album which it truly is it can be enjoyable. The fact that Iommi and Hughes have recorded two fine albums since this album's release says something about their working chemistry. Ozzy purists will probably forever revile "Seventh Star," but rather than dismissing it because of what you may have been told, give the album a chance. Listen with an open mind and you may be pleasantly surprised by the album's diversity and strong musical performances by the band members.