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Black Sabbath


Review by Greg Olma

This disc was released in 1990, and by all accounts, Black Sabbath was at their lowest commercial point.  Tony Iommi was the only original member at this point and he had a revolving door of singers for many years.  The band finally settled on Tony Martin for 1987’s The Eternal Idol and they were attempting to rebuild the brand during a time when many other bands took up the top spots.  While the Martin-era records get overlooked, I found them still worthy releases.  I especially enjoyed this album, in particular because it had great riffs throughout and I felt that Martin had finally come into his own here.  I remembering being disappointed that they were ignoring the US market for touring.  The previous year’s tour for the Headless Cross record was abruptly canceled due to poor ticket sales.  With a dire climate for their brand of metal, it speaks volumes that they were still able to put together this great collection of tunes.  I recommend any Sabbath fan to revisit Tyr, as I feel it is the best of the Martin years.

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Track by Track Review
Anno Mundi

The disc starts off with some mellow guitar work and almost church-like vocals singing the title.  Not quite a minute passes before the full band joins in, and then that unmistakable riffing starts.  Although this was not the single from the record, it was the only track the band performed past this tour.

The Law Maker
I’m reminded of “Die Young” when this song starts.  It’s not exactly a copy of the song but it has many similarities.  This is a fast-paced metal tune that showcases the late Cozy Powell’s drumming abilities.
A nice drum intro ushers in this cut, which I thought would have been the single off the disc.  Martin must have really liked this track because he re-recorded it for his first solo album Back Where I Belong.  This piece has a catchy chorus and, while most Black Sabbath songs have a dirge-like quality, this one is more upbeat.
The Sabbath Stones
I find this to be the epic on Tyr because it is not only the longest track, but it has many different parts that create a journey for the listener.  The band does revisit certain parts during the song, but many of the sections almost stand on their own.  This would have been a great track to see performed live.
The Battle Of Tyr
This is a short keyboard intro for the next tune.  Geoff Nicholls creates a bit of a soundtrack-styled instrumental that flows right into “Odin’s Court.”
Odin’s Court
Acoustic guitars are the main instrument here, but listen to the background as Iommi adds some nice lead work to fill out the sound.  Martin also shines as his voice cuts through loud and clear.  This tune  acts as an intro to the next track because they flow together seamlessly.
The thunderous riffing comes back right off the bat, and the chorus is quite catchy.  Iommi has always been a riff master supreme, and his lead work on this track is superb, as well.
Feels Good To Me
If Black Sabbath wrote power ballads, they would be like “Feels Good To Me.”  This one reminds me of "No Stranger to Love" from Seventh Star.  This was also the single (and video) from the disc, which makes sense, but I think they would have capitalized more on a rocker like “Jerusalem.” When you listen to the record as a whole, this track fits and works well, but I don’t think it is hit single material.  However,  I will say this, Iommi does a great guitar solo reminiscent of the one he did in "Lonely Is the Word" on Heaven and Hell.
Heaven In Black
Powell starts off this last piece with some thundering drum rolls.  It is a competent rocker, but it doesn’t stand out when compared to other songs on the record. Still, a mediocre Sabbath tune is better than most bands can muster up, so it is definitely worth inclusion on Tyr.
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