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Underrated with a big U - 90%

HawkMoon, September 28th, 2003

For once I actually agree with UltraBoris, while this is one of Sabbath's most "forgotten" albums, it is certainly one of their best, no matter how odd that may sound. Ok, it doesn't sound a bit like old Sabbath - but honestly, so fucking what? That's REALLY not the issue here.

Judging from the song quality, musicianship, vocals and so on, this is top-notch. Sure, some of the lyrics in the hands of let's say Jon Bon Jovi or Joey Demaio would be a nightmare (ie. Glory ride), but here it doesn't matter thanks to heavy-as-fuck riffs and vocal lines that makes you go "whoah". In fact, I've always been a fan of Tony Martin ever since I got into Sabbath 9 years ago (actually, Cross purposes was one of the first albums purchased, and then it was brand new). The problem with being a fan of his is that the albums he participates in doesn't really make him justice. Except this. He's capable of some really high screaming, without taking it too far so to say. When I think about it, he's the perfect power metal singer.

Anyhow, my point is that there is no such thing as bad tracks on here, no soft glam songs which many times destroy the Sabbath albums he does vocals for. The only soft touch here is "Scarlet pimpernel", it's a nice little acoustic instrumental and serves as intro to the fast rocker "Lost forever", which makes me wanna grab my air-guitar and thrash the fuck around.

This album's eliteness is because of a already named reason. It doesn't suffer from inconsistency like most other late(r) Sabbath albums, take Headless cross for example - it has like one great track, the rest sucks ass.
But all songs here are more or less great. You got heaviness, little doses of speed here and there, awesome vocals.. what else do you need?

Finally I'm gonna admit that I'm ashamed - I had this album for a long time, then I sold it. Recently I bought it again though. Don't repeat my mistake. Buy this and fucking keep it.