BLACK SABBATH — Cross Purposes

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BLACK SABBATH - Cross Purposes cover
3.34 | 47 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1994

Filed under Heavy Metal
By BLACK SABBATH

Tracklist

1. I Witness (4:58)
2. Cross Of Thorns (4:34)
3. Psychophobia (3:14)
4. Virtual Death (5:49)
5. Immaculate Deception (4:15)
6. Dying For Love (5:53)
7. Back To Eden (3:57)
8. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (4:30)
9. Cardinal Sin (4:21)
10. Evil Eye (5:59)

Total Time 47:34

Line-up/Musicians

- Tony Martin / vocals
- Tony Iommi / guitar
- Geezer Butler / bass
- Bobby Rondinelli / drums

- Geoff Nicholls / keyboards

About this release

31 January 1994
I.R.S.

Japanese Edition has the following bonus track:

11. What's The Use? (3:03)

Thanks to Raff, Time Signature, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates

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BLACK SABBATH CROSS PURPOSES reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

bonnek
On this Cross album, the sound has been stripped of most of its overblown 80s production values. Unfortunately Sabbath was stripped of Dio again as well, and the excellent Dehumanizer comeback remained without proper follow-up.

But I always liked the Tony Martin period, or rather, I like many songs from it. Cross Purposes is no exception and offers plenty of classic moments, but it is too uneven and inconsistent again to be called excellent. The songs that really work well are I Witness, Cross of Thorns, Virtual Death, Dying for Your Love and the beautiful verses of Immaculate Deception (not so much the awkward tempo change).

That’s about half of the album so 3 stars will have to do. Not essential nor excellent, even though I believe every serious Sabbath fan should have at least one Martin album in his Sabbath section. This Cross is a decent candidate for that.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
Back to Eden? Well, not quite…

After three very musically (though not necessarily commercially) successful albums with Tony Martin on vocals (The Eternal Idol, Headless Cross and TYR), Tony Iommi decided to kick Martin as well as bassist Neal Murray and later also drummer Cozy Powell out of the band to make room for the reunion of the Mob Rules-line up with Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice. This was, in my opinion, a very bad move that gave rise to the disastrous Dehumanizer album. After this one-off reunion with Ronnie Dio, however, Black Sabbath once again found themselves without a singer and Martin was asked to rejoin the band which he agreed to. Dio took drummer Vinnie Appice with him, so there was also a need for a new drummer. I don’t know if Cozy Powell was asked to return or not at this point, but if he was he must have declined since Bobby Rondinelli was brought in here to fill the drum slot. Powell did however return to the band for the next album, Forbidden. Original member Geezer Butler remained from the Dio-reunion and keyboards are as usual handled by Geoff Nichols.

This resulted in Cross Purposes. While this is a good album and a major improvement over Dehumanizer, they never managed to recapture the magic of earlier Tony Martin-fronted albums. About what would have happened had the Dio-reunion never materialized and Martin had been allowed to stay in the band, we can only speculate. But maybe it was the changing musical trends of the 90’s rather than the rapid changes of vocalists that shaped the sound of Cross Purposes? You might describe it as a meeting half-way between the excellent Headless Cross and the disappointing Dehumanizer both in terms of quality and in terms of style. Like on Dehumanizer, they once again try to sound contemporary and adapt somewhat to the musical climate of the early 90’s but on Cross Purposes they do this without leaving behind too much of their musical history. Given that this was in fact their goal this album is a success, but I can’t help feel that some of the magic of the late 80’s albums was lost here. Thus I do not see Cross Purposes as a return to the form of TYR and Headless Cross.

While there are no bad songs as such here, it is not always easy to identify the stand-out tracks. Cross Of Thorns is one of the highlights for sure, however, with its acoustic passages alternating with a melodic vocal over a heavy riff. Dying For Love is something of a power ballad very similar to Feels Good To Me from the TYR album but less good in my opinion. The rest of the songs are rather typical Black Sabbath songs based on rather paradigm Iommi guitar riffs. Had this been released by another band I might have been more impressed, but I require more of Sabbath.

This album is a recommended addition to any Black Sabbath collection that already holds the much better The Eternal Idol, Headless Cross and TYR albums.

Ratings only

  • Purple Haze
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  • Alex
  • Unitron
  • Seven Moons
  • MetalArea
  • michelandrade
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
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  • powermetal2000
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  • jsorigar
  • fisciletti
  • Jan
  • Pintos
  • IMPF2112
  • Lampyridae94
  • jose carlos
  • Khabarov
  • Lynx33
  • bassgeezer
  • miguellangell
  • 666sharon666
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  • luanpedi
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  • ollischr
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  • mr.gonzoss
  • Colt
  • snowman1980
  • Reed Lover
  • abdulbashur
  • slow man
  • Hagbard Celine
  • Mirsset

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