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Every inch of Black Sabbath’s 1990 classic “Tyr” was dripping with majesty, from the long winded epics to the shorter rockers. Many in the so called critical realm have panned it as being lightweight and uncharacteristic of Sabbath’s dark variant of rock, which paved the way for what we now know as heavy metal. But what they fail to realize that the album in question wasn’t attempting to capture the darkness apparent in Sabbath’s 70s work or on the various 80s albums that reached back to that character, but rather the melodic and forward looking metal that was heard on “Heaven And Hell”. Anyone who doubts this can take time to make comparisons between the intro to “Anno Mundi” and that of “Children Of The Sea”, the shallow love story gone wrong in “Feels Good To Me” and its somewhat equally lighthearted equivalent in “Walk Away”, among several others and you’ll find that this is definitely what Tony Iommi had in mind when he put the album together.
This is important to note because these same parallels can be readily observed on “The Law Maker”, which holds a host of commonalities with famed first song composed for the first Dio era album known as “Die Young”. The principle riff is fairly similar, the several brief lead bursts and the one elongated solo in the middle also point towards the shred happy pentatonic blazing that Iommi started utilizing in 1980 as well. Hell, even the keyboard section during the bridge before the solo out of Geoff Nichols is a dead ringer for the blurred arpeggio pattern used on his synthesizer during the intro and post-solo interlude section of “Die Young”. The only thing that is really massively different between the two is that Cozy Powell goes the route of a relentless speed beat with zero stops or starts, quite similar to what he pulled off on Rainbow’s “Kill The King”, a song cut from an era that probably also influenced the “Tyr” album to an extent.
I’ve always been one to disagree with the critics just for the privilege of doing so, but in the case of “Tyr”, I think I have a very good reason to as the panning of that album by so many has likely caused many to not bother with it, which is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Although it isn’t as dark and forbidding as “Headless Cross” or as heavy as “Cross Purposes”, it is an album from the Tony Martin era that I’d call essential, and also something that will bode well with those who liked the early Dio era albums. “The Law Maker” is one of the simpler songs from what is a very impressive album, one that should not be left to linger on the record store shelf, I don’t care how bad the economy is right now.