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Riffmeester Iommi in Valhalla - 86%

MetalReaper, September 24th, 2004

From the half of the 80's and to end of it, Sabbath was stormed by numerous line-up changes. The line-up had been varied from album to album since 1978's Never say die, except the Dio-era albums Mob rules and Live evil, which had the same line-up. Men have entered and left Sabbath too many times to no-one to remember actually how many. But that hasn't stopped Iommi (only original member) to make good music. The post-Dio albums have always been persecuted by the glorious albums of the early 70's and that is a shame.

Black Sabbath's two previous albums with vocalist Tony Martin are musically similar to Tyr. But the band has made a concept album this time. Christianity is still an important subject for Sabbath to handle, but it has also added themes from Norse mythology to the soup.

Tyr's first track is entitled "Anno Mundi". The start is dim and cold, then the cold but infernal guitar riff fills the air. Riffmeester Iommi has done it again! If someone thought that Iommi couldn't build clever riffs and combide them to crushing songs, Iommi's raunchy guitar will make the suspicious bastard so little that he could fit into keyhole. Martin's too many times under-rated vocals are clear and loud, backing Iommi's guitar. The storm behind the drums makes this sound even more massive than it was alongside with raging bass sound.

"The law maker" speeds the tempo up. It is probably the fastest Sabbath song. The songs in this speed are usual to other bands, not the band like the doomy Sabbath. Fast songs in Sabbath's back catalogue are rare, that is what makes this track special and awesome. "Jerusalem" explodes and reveals great riff, what is actually commonplace to Black Sabbath songs. Ordinary Sabbath song, which isn't a bad thing at all. "The Sabbath stones" is a classic later-Sabbath song. It is more peaceful and darker song, but the hellhammer blows shatter the silence.

The next three tracks could be named as "The Valhalla-trilogy". "The battle of Tyr" is silent ambient track, which could be from any Lord of the Rings-movie. The silence continues with "Odin's court", which includes acoustic guitar, a silent electric guitar solos in the back and Tony Martin's vocals. In the middle of the Martin's vocals, the song "Valhalla" suddenly starts. The listener doesn't even notice the transition between the three songs. For you who doesn't know what the "Valhalla" means, here's some info. The word "Valhalla" means the warriors's heaven where warriors fought eternally in Norse mythology. The song, not surprisingly tells about that.

The album changes course during the song "Feels good to me", both musically and lyrically. It could be regarded as an album's mandatory ballad. It doesn't make you cry, the guitar attack prevents it. It's better not to say anymore about this. "Heaven in black" is same as the first tracks of the album. The drumming sounds like a groundfall, bass is loud and guitar cries and howls. It's a perfect ending. The album ends fast in complete silence. Was that it?

Yes it was. The album is powerful Sabbath stuff packed with good guitar riffs, which are the Sabbath's and especially Iommi's trademark. If you don't buy this album after reading a review mocking this album, burn that review! It's foul! If you belong to those who say that Iommi couldn't have written any good riffs after Mob Rules, I have something to say to you: Fuck you!