Seventh Star is a real anomaly in the Black Sabbath album catalogue. The first thing that makes this album stand out as odd is the long title. The name “Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi” made more than a few Sabbath fans raise an eyebrow. The cover itself is less than extraordinary with a very blah photo of Tony in a leather jacket. At first glace, this album looks like it’s going to be bad…but thankfully it isn’t.
Apparently after the disappointing release of 1983’s Born Again the band went their separate ways and began to work on solo projects. Iommi got a new group together (including ex-Deep Purple vocalist Glen Hughes) and began working on a solo project. Sadly due to studio pressure, Iommi was force to release his solo album under the Black Sabbath name. I guess he got back at the studio by adding the moniker “featuring Tony Iommi” under the Sabbath name. This could also be a way to warn fans that this isn’t a true Sabbath album.
Because this technically is Tony Iommi’s first solo album it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this does not sound exactly like Black Sabbath. So it doesn’t sound like Sabbath…but does that make it bad? Oh hell no as this album is actually quit good. The music is far from the doomy style Sabbath material and is more upbeat straight ahead 80’s heavy metal.
The album opens with the fast paced rocker In for the Kill. I will admit I am not familiar with Glenn Hughes’s vocals when he sang for Deep Purple but he fits the music well. A dang fine voice if you ask me. No Stranger to Love is a power ballad and the albums one single. For a ballad this isn’t bad and I actually like it quit a bit. Turn to Stone is another power rocker that has a wonderful 80’s style metal ring to it.
Sphinx is one of those passable “atmospheric” intros into a song and the Song Seventh Star is a slower, more melodic song. Danger Zone isn’t bad, but don’t worry it’s not a cover of the popular Kenny Loggin’s song from the movie Top Gun. The last three songs are rather passable but the first half is top rate.
Some people frown on this release because it doesn’t sound like Sabbath but it again it was never meant to. If you go into this album knowing it was supposed to be a Tony Iommi solo album I think more people will find it to their liking.
Though I like this album, I am glad Iommi would reform the Sabbath band for the next album The Eternal Idol and return to more of a doomy (with 80’s style flavor) Sabbath musical mold.