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Black Sabbath - Seventh Star CD (album) cover

SEVENTH STAR

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

2.52 | 141 ratings

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hasheten
1 stars Gaynor E.H. Ritchwright III

The problem with this 1986 LP is that it lacks that naughty feeling, so quintessential to the Sabbath experience. Axeman Tony Iommi is the sole holdover from the original lineup, thus meaning the new lineup obviously didn't have much time to gel, and it shows itself in spades. My first impressions of this album were that Mr. Iommi was in a mid-life crisis of sorts, and feeling obsolescence rearing it's ugly head, must have felt the urge to modernize the Sabbath sound (not that Sabbath were terribly prehistoric with the Dio-era lineup, which was essentially '80s power metal with some trite fantasy lyrics thrown in for added camp), and in so doing has stripped the band of it's only remaining strength: the Blues. At least with Dio, love him or hate him, he brought an honest, down-to-earth Blues expression in his voice (along with a vocal range Ozzy could only dream to possess one-tenth of), heck, even with Gillen the band still retained humbleness even during the most over-the-top Gillen moments.

Thus 'Seventh Star' chugs on and on, seemingly with no end in sight, as singer Glenn Hughes (meant to sing guest vocals on a Tony Iommi solo LP the suits relabeled as Black Sabbath feat. Tony Iommi) screams and wails soullessly through one Journey knockoff after another. Iommi's guitar itself is relegated to near-session player levels of transparency, with his trademark solos being ushered in place of an increased keyboard presence and a party-hardy vibe in an ill-advised move to compete for Glam Metal recognition and/or acceptance. It is this concession to pop-culture, which once seemed an impossible option for the band ten, even fifteen years prior, that ultimately robs the LP of it's spooky, schlocky appeal. The LP didn't perform terribly well on the charts (no surprise), and in a poetic twist-of-fate, Sabbath were viewed as out-of-touch with teen America, and began a downward spiral that included many more lineup-changes and ultimately their status as Ozzy Osbourne's circus band, waiting around for when Sharon Osbourne might feel the need to employ their presence on the Ozzfest stage to bolster sales from teenagers starving for the live Sabbath experience. Sad indeed.

hasheten | 1/5 |

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