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Black Sabbath Tyr album cover
3.17 | 258 ratings | 14 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Anno Mundi (The Vision) (6:12)
2. The Law Maker (3:47)
3. Jerusalem (3:53)
4. The Sabbath Stones (6:35)
5. The Battle of Tyr (1:08)
6. Odin's Court (2:21)
7. Valhalla (4:53)
8. Feels Good to Me (5:36)
9. Heaven in Black (3:57)

Total Time 39:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Martin / lead & backing vocals
- Tony Iommi / lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, co-producer
- Neil Murray / bass
- Cozy Powell / drums, percussion, co-producer

- Geoff Nicholls / keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Satori

CD I.R.S. Metal ‎- 24 1070 2 (1990, Europe)

Thanks to the icon of sin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BLACK SABBATH Tyr ratings distribution

(258 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars "Sabbath" couldn' t go lower than their previous and infect "Headless Cross". At least, I hope so.

When "Anno Mundi" starts, you know instantly where "Dream Theater" got the inspiration for most of their riffs. From the master. Mr. Iommi.

It seems that the band (almost) turned their back to the poor AOR-ish style and were fully heading the metal sound. Much better. Tony Iommi has almost risen from the dead. Just listen to his great performance during "The Law Maker". But in terms of poor AOR, there are still some residues : "Jerusalem" is very, very weak.

"Tyr" is a condensed version of "Sabbath" music. A bit of AOR, a bit of metal, a little of hard-rock and some bits of heavy stuff like in the good old days with "The Sabbath Stones" which is my fave and combines heavy with acoustic passages like on their debut album and the song "Black Sabbath".

Some very short intrumental as usual with "The Battle Of Tyr" : a strange and very short "philarmonic" song. Almost making one and only track with "Odin's Court". Another short acoustic song. Flavourless and dull. The worst being achieved with the awful "Valhalla". Some rock ballad of course with the unevitable great guitar solo ("Feels Good To Me").

Another of my (two) fave is the closing number "Heaven In Black". A fully hard-rock song starting on a drum solo completely borrowed to "Pictures Of Home" (Machine Head). Great rhythm, veery powerful number.

This album is not as bad as its predecessor. But it is far to be a good album. Two stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Anno Mundi rules!

[Background vocals: Spiritu Sanctus Anno Anno Mundi]

Can you see me, are you near me? Can you hear me crying out for life? Can you tell me, where's the glory? Ride the days and sail the nights When it's over you'll find the answer Running in the whispering rain Anno Mundi? Can you wonder! Truth or thunder, life or blame

Another album with Tony Martin on vocals and Cozy Powell on drums! Well, because I had been familiar with Tony Martin's vocal quality and the music of Black Sabbath, I finally realized that this album is an excellent match between the two. You may call that this album is not like early Black Sabbath, but I really like this album. The opening track "Anno Mundi (The Vision)" is really a masterpiece of hard rock music. It does have great melody, powerful riffs by Iommi and inspiring lyrics. Play this opening track outloud in the morning when you wake up, it will blow you away for sure. Well, at least you will notice how great and powerful the guitar riffs using power chords produced by Iommi and augmented by Neil Murray's bass guitar. Awesome!

With Geoff Nichols back on keyboards, this lineup made Tyr (August 1990), which charted in the Top 40 in the U.K. but became Black Sabbath's first regular album to miss the U.S. charts. As compared to "Headless Cross" this album is much matured musically. And I think mainly was due to better chemistry between Tony Martin and the Black Sabbath's music. The following tracks are excellent as well: "The Law Maker" (3:47), "Jerusalem" (3:53). Especially with fourth track "The Sabbath Stones" (6:35) the band has put its solid foothold in the new style of music post Ozzy Osbourne. This track reminds me to "Nightwing" of "Headless Cross" album where the acoustic guitar work is used excellently.

Overall, this is a solid album by Black Sabbath. Highly recommended. Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I bought this album from a discount campaign shelf, but I sold it later forward as I really didn't like the boasting macho style of the music. The only short decent musical moments for me here were the intro "The Battle of Tyr" which sounded little like a movie soundtrack, leading to "Odin's Court", a short acoustic piece preceding (in my opinion) disgusting "Valhalla", a straightforward head banger in vein of the poorest Rainbow songs. The other tunes did not exceed this quality description from my perspective. If this musical style is your cup of tea, I'm not sure if there is not technically anything wrong with the record. The album covers were pretty enough to fool me buy it, but had to put it to the loop available for being discovered from the flea market boxes by a new owner appreciating it more.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Another Sabbath Stone

Here we have the third consecutive record featuring the great Tony Martin on vocals and the second to feature drum god Cozy Powell and it is indeed another excellent Black Sabbath album, not quite as good as Headless Cross, but definitely a nice part of the Martin-era. We have here also Neil Murray on bass, Geoff Nicholls on keyboards and, of course, Mr. Black Sabbath himself Tony Iommi. This makes up what I consider to be the definitive post-Ozzy line up of the band! It is sad that this version of Black Sabbath is not better remembered. They ought to be!

TYR is the first and only explicitly conceptual album by Black Sabbath and is also the most progressive album by the band since Sabotage from 1975. The progressive tendencies in Black Sabbath's music had been there all along, but in the early 80's they were almost extinct. The progressive side of the band again began to swell from Seventh Star onwards and it culminated with this album. The concept is inspired by Scandinavian mythology and I initially had serious worries about this before I listened to the album. I was scarred that it would turn out to be a Spinal Tap kind of thing, embarrassing the history of the band that I loved. Fortunately, the concept doesn't take over the music. TYR is only loosely based around its concept. Personally I think that the concept enhances the music without controlling it. The music controls the concept and not the other way around which is a common mistake with concept albums.

There are many great riffs on this album with Anno Mundi (The Vision), Jerusalem and The Lawmaker being as good as, or better than, anything from the Headless Cross album. The style here is similar to those of The Eternal Idol and Headless Cross albums, but here it works even better. The Sabbath Stones has a symphonic sound with quieter passages with acoustic guitar alternating with some heavy passages. Excellent music!

Three of the album's tracks are connected to form a kind of suite starting with the short, strongly symphonic instrumental The Battle Of Tyr, this then leading into the haunting ballad Odin's Court, which in turn leads into the rousing Valhalla. I wouldn't call this a Prog epic, but it is very effective. Feels Good To Me is a typical AOR power ballad that doesn't really fit into the theme of the album. However, it does not distract too much and it's not horrible at all. Indeed, it lends a bit of diversity to the album and represents a type of song that was very rarely made by the band.

If you want to discover post-Ozzy Black Sabbath, the much underrated Tony Martin-era is an excellent place to start. And in terms of Prog, TYR is the richest of these albums. Sadly this album would be the end of this interesting period of the band's history. The next album would again feature Ronnie James Dio and a much more contemporary and 'trashy' sound in a very misguided attempt to achieve greater commercial success again.

Highly recommended for any fan of the heavier side of Prog Related music!

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Last Black Sabbath album with Tony Marin named Tyr from 1990, 'till his return to sing on Cross purposes from 1994 and Forbidden from 1995. While this album is not bad at all, really, some great moments like Anno Mundi, Jerusalem, the excellent The Sabbath Stones shows that Black Sabbath is still alive and doing well, because the competitions in the '80's and early '90's worth mentioning, bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Scorpions, overshadow bands reputation, who for some reason never gain that big aplauses from Ozzy era or Dio. Neverthe less some good to great albums were release by the band in the'80's like The iternal idol and Headless cross, two great works with a lot to offer for Sabbath fans and not only. Now this album brings nothing new in bands career, nighter the sound or manner of intepration, still the same, but not bad, really. A pleasent alvum, well not better than headless cross for sure and not better than Cross purposess but still enjoyble most of the time. Iommy use to change the line -up on every record released, on this one he kkep the members like on previous album, and to tell the truth , a strong and damn good musicians. All in all a 3 star album for me, good one no doubt, but not really special, I prefer with Tony Martin albums like Headless cross or Cross purpossess. After this one Martin leaves the band or better said he takes a vacantion, replaced by anothe monster vocalist Dio, he will return in fall of 1993 to record another great one with this legendary band Cross purposess.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Tyr is the fifteenth full-length studio album by British heavy metal act Black Sabbath. The album was recorded between january 1990 and June 1990 at Rockfield and Woodcray Studios and saw a release through the I.R.S. label on the 20th of August 1990 in the UK and on the 31of August in the US. Itīs now the third album in a row with vocalist Tony Martin fronting the band.

The musical style is pretty much the same as on the previous two albums The Eternal Idol (1987) and Headless Cross (1989). Heavy metal with an epic edge. The music is heavy but the keyboard backing by Geoff Nicholls means that the music has a softer edge at times. As always ( well almost always) the compositional level is high and the musicianship is excellent. Tony Martin is an outstanding vocalist and Tony Iommiīs heavy riffs define Black Sabbathīs sound. This isnīt the most revolutionizing music in the world but itīs certainly enjoyable.

The production is the best production on the three late eighties Tony Martin led Black Sabbath albums IMO.

Tyr is a good Black Sabbath album and I must admit that Iīm a bit of a Tony Martin fan. Tyr is not my favorite album by the band ( Iīll always prefer the Ozzy and the Dio led albums) but itīs a sure 3 star rating in my book.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Tyr is possibly the best album Sabbath made with Tony Martin. It's not really my kind of music but when it comes to power metal this is the real thing. Just like the Dio-fronted Sabbath albums, this is a mix of vintage Rainbow with Sabbath heaviness. It's heavier then Rainbow Rising but it's more slick, melodic and commercial then Heaven and Hell.

Most songs are really good. Again, not as good as Rainbow Rising or Heaven and Hell but quite a treat if you're a fan of this style I guess. For me, there are still too many traces of AOR left, as can be heard in the nasty break 2.15 minutes into Jerusalem. Other songs like Anno Mundi and The Sabbath Stones are true heavy metal monoliths.

The production is professional but very polished and gated (= 80's reverbed drums alert!). It makes the epic music a bit too bombastic for me and knocks off a star. With a more organic and rougher edge this could be 4 stars. Recommended for power and sympho metallers.

Review by GruvanDahlman
3 stars There are not many friends of mine who would agree when I say that "Tyr" is a really enjoyable album. Maybe there are not many people whatsoever who'd agree but it's true: "Tyr" is quite an album. Upon release I was truly delighted. Now not so few years later I'm pleased with it and that's quite enough.

"Tyr" is not as heavy as "Headless cross" but it holds it's own. There's a majestic feel about several songs. "Jerusalem" is a great song, which takes the breath out of me every time I listen to it. Then there's the epic highlights of "The sabbathstones","The battle of Tyr" and "Valhalla". For me theseare truly enjoyable songs which proves that Sabbath ALWAYS are able to deliver quality stuff. ("Forbidden" excluded.) "The law maker", "Anno mundi" and the ballad "Feels good to me" are songs of quality but sooner forgotten than the rest on the album. The only real bomber is "Heaven in black" which is an appaling song.

"Tyr" is an album worth exploring.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have never been a fan of Black Sabbath for a multitude of reasons, never really impressed with Osbourne's average vocal prowess to start but that means little because I really admired both Dio and Gillan so perhaps it was never really getting into their sledge hammer style (Iommi is a riffer and not a maestro soloist by his own admission). So I never really took the plunge except for one measly album which BS fans are not particularly fond of and which remains the hardest Sabbath album to find. "Tyr" has a special Nordic tinge that is hard to describe, as well as some damn fine musicians with Neil Murray (the Canterbury guy), the legendary Cozy Powell and unknown keysman Geoff Nichols helping Iommi and lead lung Tony Martin, the George Lazenby of Sabbath vocalists (ah, look it up!). The artwork is phenomenal, one of my very favorite album covers of all time, giving a new meaning to the term 'Dark Ages'. I have the vinyl since 1990 but finding the CD has been a harrowing experience and way too expensive for my war chest. So I just burned a copy and uploaded it to my PC. Nine tracks that are all imbued with a Viking feel, you can almost feel the 'fjordic' air blowing through the grooves but it's really more about the Crusaders going to free Jerusalem from the Ottoman yoke and sending its meanest Norse warriors , fresh from Odin's banquet. I guess it's all the Middle Ages history part that hooked me, but whatever it is, it worked!

I loved it then and I treasure it now, my only Black Sabbath album! It kicks off with the ice- cold steamroller "Anno Mundi" where a sweet voice and acoustic guitar suddenly evolves into a merciless assault, very grandiose and bombastic, gritty and chilly, laden with doom and some mystical air of chivalrous adventure. Martin wails like a man possessed "As the wind in the night blows cold Your eyes are burning, As the sands of our time grow old, Anno Mundi". Resonating track that just sets the table perfectly for the entire album. A couple of 4 minute ditties are next. "The Law Maker" is reckless, energetic and maddening, a short basher, a Rock 'n Roller as the Brits called it at the time, Iommi lashing out with some serious zest in his elaborate solo, all tortuous and swerving. A fun piece. Next up, "Jerusalem" , one of the highlights for me but knowing Sabbath purists hate it , a rather simple but howling chorus, thrash/slash rapier-like guitar battering and battering ram rhythms (the sadly departed Powell sure could drum, eh?). "The Sabbath Stones" is a more epic track, clocking in near 7 minutes, featuring Tony Martin gregariously fueled by a slow avalanche, this poor guy got little love but still could outscreech Ozzy but not Dio , so why the cold shoulder? Maybe he was hard to get along with (LOL). This is a whopping piece that just muscles along until Tommy decides it's time for a little gentle interlude, showcasing 'contrastual' obligations, Murray shuffling brilliantly on the 4 string bruiser and Powell powering along. "Battle of Tyr" is the highly orchestral keyboard interlude that truly gives the impression of a symphonic orchestra, something The Enid would conjure up. It introduces nicely the brief "Odin's Court", more a typical bluesy guitar driven ballad in the Scorpions vein, Martin once again showing off his manly pipes, as it segues into the my preferred track, the very windy and ultra-Scandinavian "Valhalla", chugging guitars 6 and 4 strings ablaze, intense drumming, all in the cause of a massive melody. The Iommi solos are sudden, stark and to the point, while the Powell rumble is outright stupendous. My favorite BS track, by far. Yeah, so what do I know? "Feels Good to Me" is the one track that somehow does not fit with the concept, a hot bluesy guitar foray that precedes a simple lilt and relatively puerile lyrics and also happens to be , by far, the most recognized song here, I even heard this on the radio a few times way back when. It has a slight Whitesnake feel as Martin sounds a lot like Coverdale but what do I know? The axe solo is restrained and glittering in a way, stinging notes and a hectic outcome that is not the cooler norm. I enjoy the tune but not as much as the other icier songs. "Heaven in Black" is probably a classic Sabbath style rocker, nothing too fancy, just plain old fashioned heavy metal formula, certainly not as progressively-tinged as the previous material. Again, it's utterly pleasant.

I bought their next album "Dehumanizer" and, sorry Day of Rest folks, had absolutely no connection to the music within, in fact, it was unlistenable to these ears. Over the years I have heard all the classic songs, know them well but not enough to buy albums and include them within my collection. I am simply not a fan but respectful . Hey I only have one Iron Maiden record ("Brave New World"), so leave me alone!

4 Shadowy Pebbles

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "Tyr" is the 15th studio album from Black Sabbath which was released in August, 1990. During this phase of the band, Tommi Iommi was still the lead guitarist and the only original member of the band, but was backed up by lead singer and lyricist Tony Martin, who would end up being the 2nd longest running vocalist behind Ozzy Osbourne. He has contributed to 5 studio albums, but not in sequence. Cozy Powell was the drummer and in charge of production on this album. He would contribute to 3 studio albums, however not in sequence. Of course, Powell's name was well known in prog circles as having been the drummer for "Emerson, Lake & Powell" "Rainbow" and several other hard rock and heavy metal bands. Geoff Nicholls was the band's keyboardist and had been for a long time, from 1979 to 2004 (he passed away in 2017). Neil Murray was the bassist, and this would be his first time recording a studio album with the band having replaced Laurence Cottle. The line up is the same as it was for "The Headless Cross" released previously in 1989, except for Murray who is the only new member in the line up for this album and would return for the recording of "Forbidden" in 1995.

All of the lyrics on this album were written by Tony Martin. Iommi said in his biography that he didn't want to have dark lyrics as was the case in "Headless Cross" and wanted them to be more subltle, not so dependent upon evil and the devil. The band decided on naming the album after Tyr, the god of single combat and heroic glory in Norse mythology. This influenced fans to call this a concept album, but bassist Murray said this was not the case as the lyrics are only loosely connected and not always about mythology.

"Anno Mundi" starts off the album with a somewhat mellow sound with processed harmonies in Latin and a simple guitar arpeggio. After a verse, the first guitar riff kicks in supported by synths and Martin's vocals. Tony's voice is similar to Whitesnake's lead singer David Coverdale, and the music is somewhat similar to that style, except for a bit heavier. That influence could come from Murray, who also played for Whitesnake during their most popular years. There is a bit more of a progressive element to this track and it has been said that this was probably Black Sabbath's most progressive album.

"The Law Maker" has a much faster tempo and sounds almost like something from the years that Ronnie James Dio was lead singer. In fact the vocals sound similar to Dio. It is standard fare. "Jerusalem" has a marching style rhythm to it but continues with the same style of popular heavy metal as the previous track.

Next is the longest track on the album, "The Sabbath Stones". This one starts with a slow, repeating guitar and drum riff and Martin begins singing over it. Percussion and bass join later with a darker and heavier sound in this slower track which soon mellows out when the 2nd theme starts. The pattern of interchanging themes is established: heavy, then mellow. Martin's singing is more believable on this track. A new theme with a faster tempo comes in later with more vocals which lead into a good guitar solo. This track, like the first one, is progressive lite.

Next is the short, atmospheric, mostly synthesized track "The Battle of Tyr". I'm not sure what it's trying to accomplish other than being a set of synthesized chords. This kind of flows into "Odin's Court", as a thematic suite of sorts continues. This one is also somewhat short, but features vocals and stays quite mellow all the way through. It's a nice melody that could have developed into something, but it is too short to do so. This also flows into the last part of this "suite" in the heavier, yet quite standard "Valhalla". This one again reminds me of the Dio years. These are the only interconnected songs on the album. So much for the concept album theory.

"Feels Good to Me" was only included on this album because it was intended to be the single. It is a slow ballad in the style of most heavy metal ballads. The band has recognized that it has nothing to do in relation to the style of the other tracks saying it sounds out of place. To me it sounds quite typical, just a track to be forgotten along with the other intended hits in the "heavy metal ballad junk yard of Bon Jovi copycats".

The album ends on "Heaven in Black". It starts with a rolling drum solo before quickly kicking in with a forgettable riff. This one is more up tempo, but again is reminiscent of RJD years.

I don't know where people get the idea that this is Black Sabbath's most progressive album, as there are only two tracks here that could be mildly considered progressive, but they are so lite when it comes to progressive elements that you really have to pay attention or they will slide right by you. It's true that they are the better tracks on the album, but the bar for being unique is set quite low. To me, this doesn't sound very different from any of the other heavy metal bands out there trying to popularize heavy metal which only end up sounding a slight notch above the hair bands of the 80s. I don't really hear anything special about this album that would make it stand out from the many other typical metal bands. And this is definitely very far away from being Progressive metal. Move along folks, nothing to hear here.

Latest members reviews

2 stars This is an average hard-rock album that will please the fans of 70's hard-rock elements updated with the 80's sounds such as synths. Vocals are very good and melodic, delivered by Tony Martin and is, together by guitar riffing and colour, the highlight here. Melodies oscillate between quite go ... (read more)

Report this review (#2281749) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, November 16, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the most closest to prog albums by Sabbath. The central concept compostion consits of 3 parts - "The Battle of Tyr" (short Wagnerian instrumental for keyboards), "Odin's Court" (ballad), "Valhalla" (heavy epic). It is devoted to Scandinavian mythology and to the beliefs of the Vikings. Alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#1528096) | Posted by Sergey Slenkoff | Thursday, February 11, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A further step ahead for the band in its new incarnation - I've always seen it as Sabbath's Viking album. Easily the best of the Tony Martin fronted albums up to that time. This version of Black Sabbath was in no way ground breaking as the early Sabbath albums were but it's definitely worth a ... (read more)

Report this review (#940046) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, April 6, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Black Sabbath goes Nordic mythology. Their sudden embrace of the Nordic mythology seems a bit hollow to me. But who cares.... In any case, this album were the forerunners of the power and black metal overcrowding of Odin's bedroom a decade later. A band from Faroe Islands even chose this alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#294602) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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