Seventh Star - Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath's twelfth album, their fourth singer, the third of which having previously worked for metal guitar god Ritchie Blackmore. Unlike the previous Deep Purple singer joining the Black Sabbath family this album featuring Glenn Hughes was originally supposed to be a solo album for Tony Iommi. However the powers that be made certain it became a Black Sabbath album. One of the bands shorter albums in length although looking over their discography the band doesn't have any truely long albums instead staying at relatively reasonable lengths which with the general quality of their work would leave fans wanting more music from the british metal gods.
In For The Kill opens with a furious drum beat introduction and very quickly Glenn comes in screaming up a storm, the man's vocals are just as strong as they were on his purple debut of Burn which is the only album I've heard him on ever. A short upbeat rocking introduction much like what the band had done on both of the Dio albums of the time. I haven't heard/acquired Born Again So I cannot comment on the comparrision to that albums opening. Tony lets loose an extended solo section and the track fits really well as the opening track. The song itself sounds a little more lighter than your typical Black Sabbath track, but it works and seeing as the intention was to not be a Sabbath album it makes sense that the sound is a little different. No Stranger To Love opens with keyboards from Geoff Nichols whom has become an official member at this point, and Black Sabbath performs a power ballad this is honestly far more of a shift than I was expecting. Eric Singer a future Kiss member sits behind the drum kit and he performs quite well on these first two tracks. Honestly I'm still taken aback by hearing a full blown power ballad from the band seeing as the last one that I recall in the bands timeline was Changes way back on Vol 4. Iommi performs soulfully.
Turn To Stone features another drum introduction, and the tempo is picked right back up as Iommi begins to shred away. Glenn returns to his more powerful wailing approach. The feeling this album is giving me thus far is a lot like 80s Rainbow, tracks which have potential to be really brutal and heavy, but the production and approach taken creates a more accessible experience and I think it would be quite helpful for the band as a whole in terms of keeping people interested at the time seeing as the band is on their 3rd singer in this decade alone. But by the same token, it feels like a pretty big departure compared to the Dio years, and the Ozzy era before them. Sphinx (The Guardian) is a keyboard introduction towards the albums Title track it is a little longer than necessary, but seeing as the album isn't even 35 minutes with it, I can see why they kept it in. Seventh Star has an epic feel to it when the proper track begins, everything comes together here for this mini-epic, the track takes a moodier approach. It doesn't live up to some of the bands later epics from Headless Cross or to the mighty Sign Of The Southern Cross nor Warpigs, but it is a strong track.
In For The Kill - 9/10
No Stranger To Love - 8/10
Turn To Stone - 8/10
Sphinx (The Guardian)/Seventh Star - 9/10
Danger Zone comes up next, it is introduced by Tony. The track features some really strong vocals from Glenn his tone is powerful even while he sings incredibly high. I believe I read somewhere that this period was the height of his drug use and well it isn't showing in his vocal performance another upbeat and punchier track, I think that Sabbath for the most part does a great job with their variety, but I do also believe they need more short accessible rockers on some of their albums. This album has the right balance thus far. Heart Like A Wheel fades in this track takes a slow burning epic feel, the longest track on the album. Tony takes a rather lenghty solo break on this track, the bass work thunders in conjunction with the drums this eventually ends and Glenn comes in to close out the track which leads to some bluesier guitar work from Tony as the track begins to close out.
Angry Heart is the one of the shortest tracks on the album, clocking in at just over 3 minutes this track feels incredibly epic, it really doesn't feel like the track is only 3 minutes it sounds like it should continue onwards to become a massive sprawling epic. However it has it all in a nice short package. The strongest track thus far. In Memory... closes out the album, segueing in from the previous track, it is the shortest song on the album, it feels like a continuation of the previous track, and it severes as a stronger ballad of sorts than the previous one on the album. A really nice way to close out the album.
I think the production and the lighter approach is what causes this album to be less talked about (aside from being a non-Ozzy and Dio album that is).
Danger Zone - 9/10
Heart Like A Wheel - 9/10
Angry Heart - 10/10
In Memory - 9/10