Friday, November 14, 2014

Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes (1994)

The reunion of the "Mob Rules" line up was short and sweet for Black Sabbath, because after the tour that followed the release of "Dehumanizer", Ronnie James Dio and Vinnie Appice left the band, and was replaced by another new old singer (Tony Martin Harford) and a former Rainbow drummer (Bobby Rondinelli). Since Harford was back, I sort of hoped that the band would go back to what they had build up during the time he was the front man.

And sure enough, "Cross Purposes" does have a lot in common with the other records in the Harford era ("The Eternal Idol", "Headless Cross", "Tyr"). It is a dark album that does have its share of 80's rock music, but enough good riffing and brute force to make it feel like a Sabbath record. So yeah, you could say that "Cross Purposes" is just like its ancestors. I could definitely see songs like "I Witness", "Cross of Thorns" and "Immaculate Deception" in any of the other Harford records.

What I find strange over this album is that it seems like the band has several grunge influences in this record. Take the track "Virtual Death" for example, where Harford sounds exactly like the Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley and the main riff is just as slow and gloomy as a grunge riff should be. One of my favourite things with Black Sabbath is that they are not afraid to take the music to new, strange places, but the band have had some miss fires over the years. This is just one of them.

The overall set list is good, but nothing mind blowing. Only a few songs, like the hard rocking "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and the groovy "Evil Eye" (whom includes a guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen), sticks nicely to your mind. There is one song however that just sweeps in and crushes the opposition. "Cardinal Sin" is a classic Sabbath song that starts off dark and slow, but evolves the further it goes. The tempo steps up, the intensity rises, and you just cannot do anything else besides just rocking out. Could be the best song Sabbath has done during this era

There is no denying that the quality is mighty fine in this album. Not as good as it was on "Tyr" or "Headless Cross", but still pretty darn nice. "Cross Purposes" does have a couple of songs that derails into some weird territory, making it the worst out of the Black Sabbath albums that includes Tony Martin Harford. It is still an enjoyable album that should not be over looked, a album that stands good in the Sabbath discography.

Songs worthy of recognition: Cardinal Sin, Cross of Thorns, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

Rating: 7/10 Psychophobias

No comments:

Post a Comment