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Holy shit, this album took me by complete surprise. I used to believe that all Black Sabbath's post-Dio albums were complete failures, but this album has forever altered that viewpoint. Eternal Idol mixes Sabbath's classic doom metal glory with a distinct 80's power metal sound, a combination that clearly is capable of producing the best in Black Sabbath's creative genius since Heaven and Hell.
First of all, new vocalist Tony Martin is not just a capable singer and worthy addition to the band's lineup, he fucking rules. His voice is somewhat reminiscent of Dio at times, but with his own distinct tone. His performance on "Ancient Warrior" is justification enough to purchase this album. The absolute greatest moments on The Eternal Idol are created in the harmony between Martin's vocal melody and Iommi's signature riffing, which has evolved and perfected further. "The Shining" and "Ancient Warrior" are prime examples of magnificent rhythm work and every song has a killer solo, as would be expected. Whatever hair metal-like influences managed to corrupt the Seventh Star album are long gone; this album is pure Sabbath bliss from start to finish. Not a single weak song. Even the bonus track has its merits. The synthesizer effects are also notable. All the synth work is very tasteful and adds immensely to the atmospheric quality of the album. The songs very in tempo and mood, so the application is quite different for each. It really adds some much appreciated variety.
I'm not going to wax intellectual on the lyrical awesomeness and the instrumental creativity. Rest assured, this album is quality, top shelf metal, even if it's a little different than what Sabbath usually does. Considering the relative shittiness of the albums immediately before this one, that's a damn good sort of different. Naysayers be silenced: Tony Martin is a great singer and The Eternal Idol is a great album. Highly recommended.