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Alistair Tait Profile
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Registered: 04-2004
Posts: 930
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Tyr - a review


Black Sabbath – Tyr (1990)

This was the third Black Sabbath album to feature the vocal talents of Mr Tony Martin who replaced the late Ray Gillen in1987. This was also the album that the Martin/Iommi partnership really began to blossom in all its glory. Joined here by bassist Neil Murray, keyboardist Geoff Nicholls and drummer extraordinaire, Cozy Powell, the band help introduce some desperately needed credibility to the already tarnished Sabbath name. This line up had originally came together on the eve of the release of the Headless Cross album from the previous year. The band had obviously gelled well on that tour as this album definitely sounds like a band in control.

The CD starts of with a Spiral Architect-ish type intro riff in the form of Anno Mundi. This is definitely one of the strongest Martin-era songs in my opinion. There is some serious Iommi riffing, balanced with some strong singing. A good opening number is always a good start for an album, and although this may not be your typical Sabbath intro like Neon Knights or Never Say Die for instance, it does the trick nicely.

The Law Maker and Jerusalem are the songs that follow and they are equally good in quality with some heavy riffing from the riffmeister general himself. The Sabbath Stones is however, the first clunker on the album! It’s not a bad song, it’s just not a particularly good song either! I think this may have something to do with the way Martin sings. He’s trying to sound demonic and evil (for references to demonic and evil singing, please look under Dio), and this does not work for him. He has a very strong voice, but I cannot help feeling that he is trying to emulate some of his predecessors (Ronnie James Dio and Ray Gillen being the main two).

The next song is something that appears on nearly every post-Ozzy Sabbath album – a pointless two minute keyboard instrumental! We had it with E5150 on Mob Rules, The Dark on Born Again, The Gates Of Hell on Headless Cross and finally, The Battle Of Tyr on Tyr. Could they not just write another song!?

Odin’s Court is a somewhat different Sabbath song in that Tony Iommi is using a rather indistinctive guitar sound. A nice song all the same which leads directly into the rocky Valhalla. This is song that Iommi should really be very proud of as it magic! Some cool Cozy drumming here as well.

Feels Good To Me is Black Sabbath trying to emulate latter day Whitesnake and although it’s not a bad song, it kind of made my head turn! Overall, not a bad song though. This leads to the last song - Heaven In Black. For some reason, this song sounds like a heavy version of Deep Purple. There is a distinct hammond organ riffing throughout and that’s where the DP connection comes from I suppose. A good powerful sound to the end this powerful album.

Final thoughts? A very good album from a very promising line up. The stand out tracks here are without a doubt Anno Mundi, Jerusalem, Valhalla and Heaven In Black. Four strong tracks which would and should be appreciated by most fans of heavy rock. The not so good tracks, which in all honesty only amount to two, are The Sabbath Stones and the pointless Battle Of Tyr. One thing that really comes through well on this album is the influence of keyboardist Geoff Nicholls. He stamps his mark all over this album unlike any other record he’s been involved in with the band.

Unfortunately, Tony Iommi decided after the tour that he didn’t want to continue with this line up and proceeded to undo all the good work and get back together with Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler. A real shame as the potential was certainly there for this line up, and although they did eventually get back together for 1995’s Forbidden album, the momentum was sadly gone.
9/6/2004, 14:12 Link to this post Send Email to Alistair Tait   Send PM to Alistair Tait
 
wormdp Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


I have to agree with you, this is one of my favourite Black Sabbath discs. Very well crafted, great musicanship, I think I will listen to it again on my way to work !!

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Today is yesterdays tommorow
9/6/2004, 17:20 Link to this post Send Email to wormdp   Send PM to wormdp
 
emmaretta Profile
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Registered: 10-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


Yes, I like Tyr very much and also Headless Cross, but in my opinion, Tony didn't fit to Sabbath very well with a singing-voice like that. I still like him very much, though... emoticon

(Like many have already heard, Bill Ward joined Sabbath again. Now the original Sabbath is up, time to make a new album... emoticon)

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Some days come with a vengeance, some days I feel so bad
The mirror holds no secrets, I lost the best thing that I had
9/6/2004, 18:53 Link to this post Send Email to emmaretta   Send PM to emmaretta
 
RJD Profile
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Registered: 10-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


I caught the video for Feels Good To Me on VH1 Classic a few days back... what an awful song. A complete formulatic pop metal ballad. I thought it was Warrant or Trixter until the camera panned to Mr. Iommi.

I'm guessing, based on Alistair's review, that the rest of the album isn't as utterly embarrassing as this cut???? I'm honestly not at all familiar with this disc.
10/6/2004, 21:58 Link to this post Send Email to RJD   Send PM to RJD
 
Gillans micstand Profile
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Registered: 11-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


It's a good album,especially for those who like their Sabbath a bit augmented for a lighter overall approach,as opposed to pitch dark.
I don't put it up there with the rest of the Sabbath classics like I do Headless Cross though.
I call this one White Sabbath. emoticon
10/6/2004, 22:30 Link to this post Send Email to Gillans micstand
 
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Registered: 10-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


A weak effort IMHO from a band that has produced some of the best HM songs of all time.
10/6/2004, 23:54 Link to this post Send Email to bluetuna   Send PM to bluetuna
 
Shadowcast Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


This one has a special place in my heart. It is the first regular studio album of Black Sabbath's that I ever owned (the first Sabbath recording I ever had was We Sold Our Souls for Rock & Roll). So in that case I am a little bias. I feel that it is one of Sabbath's best albums and it is one of the few albums that I can sit down to and listen from beginning to end without wanting to skip a track. Overall it sounds like a performance that one would expect from a current day European power metal group. The atmosphere in the album is unique to my ears. The closest I have ever come to is Bathory's Twilight Of The Gods.

Tony Martin - One of the best performances of his career. Probably the best record he ever made.
Tony Iommi - Still going strong as usual.
Geoff Nicholls - Very prominant in this album when compared to the other 10 he his on. Many people criticise keyboards in heavy metal, but he made them fit in with and add to the songs
Neil Murray - Great work. While he will always end up #2 in Sabbath to Geezer, he is puts on a compitant performance.
Cozy Powell - The guy is a drum god and it shows in this album. His presence, along with the subject matter of the songs, makes me think of Dio-era Rainbow at times.

Anno Mundi (The Vision) - My favorite Black Sabbath song. I don't know why but to me it just rocks.
The Law Maker - Maybe the fastest Black Sabbath song ever. I may need to do some double checking. The double bass with the guitar solo is uncharacteristic for Sabbath. I have wondered if the line "No silver mountains can save you from him" is a reference to Rainbow or Dio.
Jerusalem - Better then the version on Tony Martin's solo album (I think Cozy and Tony made it that way). Road to Galilee from Tony's solo album would have been a welcome inclusion to Tyr though.
The Sabbath Stones - This album's song of doom. Only Black Sabbath could make a song about a part of the Bible (outside of Revelations) and have it sound so dark and desparing.
The Battle of Tyr/Odin's Court/Valhalla - I don't think that I can put the trilogy into worlds. It is very well written and peformed.
Feels Good To Be Me - Tony Martin said that this one was for the radio, well it shows. While it is a popish power ballad, it is not a bad one, just not the type of ballad Black Sabbath does though.
Heaven In Black - A subject in history that someone beat Steve Harris to in writting. Cozy and Tony Iommi seem to go into overdrive with this one. While I prefer my closing tracks to be more epic in feel, this one closes the album alright.

Review made by Shadowcast on Tony Iommi's Message Board on 5/23/04

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"Heavy isn't about being loud, heavy is an attitude." Roger Glover
11/6/2004, 18:15 Link to this post Send Email to Shadowcast
 
REAL JOHNMCCOY Profile
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Registered: 06-2004
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Re: Tyr - a review


An amazing record! It was my favourite record of 1990 along with Naked Thunder until I heard Painkiller of course! emoticon Sabbath Stones is probably the strongest track (along with Anno Mundi), epic and powerful while Feel's Good to Me is no way a hair metal ballad. The only thing that's common with hair metal is the cheesy storyline in the video. If they edited it out and just kept Sabbath's footage in the theatre then everybody would view the song in a different way - as a true hard rock ballad of spiritual quest, like let's say Whitesnake's "Blindman". Still a great record with lots of awesome performances by both Tonys and, of course, Cozy! His first drum fill in "Feels good" is simply immortal! The comparison with Bathory (R.I.P. Quorthon ) is very true. I should recommend some Manowar if you want to get that special Tyr atmosphere as well.
11/6/2004, 22:04 Link to this post Send Email to REAL JOHNMCCOY   Send PM to REAL JOHNMCCOY
 
jagdeep Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


strange Alistair!! if i remember correctly, back in 90-91 when i bought this cassette, Sabbath Stones was my favourite......but i haven't really heard the album since....u're review brought back good memories ;-)
9/8/2004, 2:21 Link to this post Send Email to jagdeep   Send PM to jagdeep
 
Christos Gatzidis Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Tyr - a review


quote:

RJD wrote:

I'm guessing, based on Alistair's review, that the rest of the album isn't as utterly embarrassing as this cut????




Feels Good To Me is by far the weakest track on this particular album, clearly an attempt to get some airplay. It's a decent enough power ballad for sure (far better than some others put out around that time) but comparing it to stuff like Law Maker, Anno Mundi, Sabbath Stones, Heaven In Black or Jerusalem is like comparing Love Conquers All to Hard Lovin' Man or Speed King. emoticon
9/8/2004, 21:06 Link to this post Send Email to Christos Gatzidis   Send PM to Christos Gatzidis
 


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