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Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes Live  CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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2.81 | 12 ratings

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2 stars I've always had a keen interest in Black Sabbath's back pages, the days without Ozzy or Dio, when it was a chaotic line-up from album to album with Tony Iommi at the eye of the storm. For awhile, Iommi found a stable presence in the form of singer Tony Martin, who served behind the mic during many thankless years. It's true that Martin was a bit of a poor man's Ronnie James Dio, but the guy was a good singer. He cleaned up well on "Eternal Idol" and "Tyr" went on to be unexpectedly influential in Nordic metal circles.

What the "Cross Purposes" live video reveals, though, is how deficient he was as a stage presence with Sabbath. Dio always looked a bit silly in his medieval elf outfits, but he had such a way of owning it that his charisma won out and made us love him as he pointed the horns at the audience. Martin just doesn't seem to know what to do, and his hair makes matters worse.

Still, I always enjoy seeing how Sabbath's rogues gallery of singers handle the classic songs over the years (Ian Gillan in particular was a scream). Getting to hear Martin handle the classic material is what makes this a "fans only" affair. He's best, though, when handling his own songs, like "Anno Mundi" and "Psychophobia," which are both fantastic tunes. In the end this video may have been better with more of his material, but you can't do a night of deep cuts from "Eternal Idol" and "Headless Cross" at a Sabbath show without expecting to incite a riot. The book has been shut for awhile now on this era, and some of the records are tough to come by these days, but it's an interesting look at a show during Sabbath's lean years, which judging by the crowd, would probably make most bands fat.

HunterD | 2/5 |


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