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Black Sabbath - Seventh Star CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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2.62 | 229 ratings

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3 stars Black Sabbath featuring only Tony Iommi

Seventh Star was originally intended to be Tony Iommi's first solo album rather than another Black Sabbath album. But pressure from the record company forced Iommi to release this under the name of 'Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi'. 'Black Sabbath featuring only Tony Iommi' would perhaps have been more appropriate since he was the only remaining member (not counting the very loyal keyboard player Geoff Nicholls who appeared on all Black Sabbath albums throughout the whole 80's and the early 90's). The line up here is thus completely different from all earlier (and all later) Black Sabbath albums.

The vocals here are handled by ex-Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes which is ironic given the disastrous, previous album with Ian Gillan! But Seventh Star is very much better than Born Again; I really must stress how much better this music is compared with the abomination that was Born Again. However, the music here is more Hard Rock than Heavy Metal and due to the singer involved this is more bluesy and soulful than other Black Sabbath albums. But it still has some distinct Black Sabbath trademarks, Iommi's great guitar playing and his great riffs are still here. The most similar other albums are probably the from the Dio- and the (upcoming) Tony Martin-eras, but these references also do not do justice to this music. I am well aware that this might be an acquired taste, but I personally enjoy this music.

The songs are all well-written and memorable, with the title track standing out as particularly effective! Introduced by an atmospheric keyboard instrumental called Sphinx (The Guardian), Seventh Star has a strong riff and an Egyptian-sounding middle section that for me is the highlight of the album. This song features great guitar work and some interesting choirs and keyboards lines.

In terms of progressive rock, this album has little to offer apart perhaps from the previously mentioned, very good Sphinx (The Guardian)/Seventh Star, and even that is at best only slightly progressive. The rest is pretty straightforward, but high quality, sophisticated Hard Rock with several great Iommi guitar riffs and wonderful soulful vocals by Hughes and nice discrete keyboards by Nicholls.

I like this album and would recommend it to anyone who is a follower of either Iommi or Glenn Hughes. For everyone else it is just a good, but non-essential album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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