BLACK SABBATH — Seventh Star

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BLACK SABBATH - Seventh Star cover
2.92 | 56 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1986

Filed under Heavy Metal
By BLACK SABBATH

Tracklist

1. In For The Kill (3:42)
2. No Stranger To Love (4:29)
3. Turn To Stone (3:30)
4. Sphinx (The Guardian) (1:11)
5. Seventh Star (5:21)
6. Danger Zone (4:25)
7. Heart Like A Wheel (6:38)
8. Angry Heart (3:06)
9. In Memory... (2:35)

Total Time 35:00

Line-up/Musicians

- Glenn Hughes / vocals
- Tony Iommi / guitar
- Dave Spitz / bass guitar
- Eric Singer / drums

- Geoff Nicholls / keyboards
- Gordon Copley / bass guitar (track 2)
- Ray Gillen / vocals (disc 2)

About this release

28 January 1986
Vertigo, Warner

Released under the name Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi.

Reissued as Deluxe Edition in 2011 with the following tracklist:

Disc 1: Original Album (with bonus track)

1. In For The Kill (3:42)
2. No Stranger To Love (4:29)
3. Turn To Stone (3:30)
4. Sphinx (The Guardian) (1:11)
5. Seventh Star (5:21)
6. Danger Zone (4:25)
7. Heart Like A Wheel (6:38)
8. Angry Heart (3:06)
9. In Memory... (2:35)
10. No Stranger To Love (alternative version) (4:01)

Disc 2: Live At Hammersmith Odeon, London, June, 2, 1986

1. Mob Rules (2:59)
2. Danger Zone (4:44)
3. War Pigs (8:11)
4. Seventh Star (5:03)
5. Die Young (3:58)
6. Black Sabbath (9:33)
7. N.I.B. (1:38)
8. Neon Knights (4:37)
9. Paranoid (3:29)

Total Time 83:13

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

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BLACK SABBATH SEVENTH STAR reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Conor Fynes
'Seventh Star' - Black Sabbath (4/10)

Although guitarist Tony Iommi has always been the heart of Black Sabbath, an album with three quarters of the band missing doesn't quite qualify as a Sabbath album. Of course, the band had not suddenly split up. Rather, "Seventh Star" was supposed to be a solo album from Tony, not the latest disappointment from the masters that once brought us some of metal's best records. Even looking past this obvious oversight, "Seventh Star" is an undercooked piece of melodic hard rock. With weak production, generic riffs, and only a handful of decent songs, Black Sabbath have another bland album to their name.

This certainly isn't the first time I have found Black Sabbath short of quality, but "Seventh Star" feels even moreso out-of-place than other weaker albums like "Never Say Die!" or the more recent "Born Again". Of course, Iommi never intended for this to sound like his flagship band. Instead of their trademark doom or metal grit, this incarnation of 'Sabbath' emphasizes melody and bluesy soloing over anything. If I had to compare it to anything else in the band's discography, I might point the finger at the more streamlined sounds of "Technical Ecstasy", or perhaps even a de-clawed, anaesthetized "Mob Rules". After Ian Gillan's tenure with the band passed on as a failed experiment, we are introduced to Glenn Hughes, who- like Gillan- is better known for his work with Deep Purple. Compared to the vocalists who have contributed under the Sabbath banner before him, Hughes' voice feels like a vanilla, run-of-the-mill hard rock vocalist. His higher register is admirable, but he lacks both the distinctive charisma of Ozzy, and the acrobatic precision of Gillan and Dio.

As far as songwriting goes, the title track is quite good, enjoying soulful guitar leads and a memorable chorus. Uninspired composition is more of the rule here however; very rarely does it ever go beyond the call of duty. By-the-numbers song structures, flat melodies and average riffs are what define "Seventh Star". Even the rhythm section (performed here by bassist Dave Spitz and drummer Eric Singer) seem to do the acceptable minimum. Thankfully, Iommi has given himself some good room to work his guitar, and this is what saves "Seventh Star" from a final resting place as a coffee coaster in metalhead living rooms around the world. Of course, the 'riffs' themselves are bland and simple, but his lead work brings the feeling that the rest of the album seems to miss entirely. Unlike a regular Black Sabbath release, Iommi can ideally take all the time he wants to play leads, and though it still doesn't happen nearly enough on "Seventh Star", it makes me think that a pure Iommi guitar album would have been something great. As it stands, we have another chapter in Black Sabbath's history that is best left alone.
UMUR
"Seventh Star" is the 12th full-length studio album by UK heavy rock/metal act Black Sabbath. The album was originally intended to be a Tony Iommi solo album but due to pressure from Warner Bros. Records, Iommi was forced to release the album as a Black Sabbath album or rather, Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi, as it says on the front cover of the album. The reason why Tony Iommi wanted "Seventh Star" to be a solo album is rather obvious when you look at the lineup who recorded the album. The only original member left in the band after "Born Again (1983)" is Tony himself. Both Bill Ward and Geezer Butler left the band after "Born Again (1983)" as well as Ian Gillan. New vocalist on "Seventh Star" is Glenn Hughes. Another ex-Deep Purple singer. Dave Spitz (Brother of Dan Spitz from Anthrax) plays the bass. Keyboard player Geoff Nicholls who had played with Black Sabbath since the Dio days was finally credited as a member of the lineup instead of the role as a session musician he had up until then. Eric Singer (KISS, Alice Cooper) is the new drummer on the album.

This is the first album by Black Sabbath where I´m not instantly reminded that I´m listening to an album by the band. The music on "Seventh Star" has a soft AOR feel to it and new singer Glenn Hughes bluesy vocal style gives the music a very different sound from what we´re used to from the band. Some of the riffs on the album of course sound like Black Sabbath. This is Tony Iommi after all. The riff meister. The riffs do sound a bit uninspired though and the excessive use of keyboards give the music an AOR heavy rock feel. This is generally not a very heavy album. Only a few of the tracks are partially acceptable. Most are way below standard and the worst example is without a doubt "No Stranger to Love".

The musicianship should be of high class with the musicians involved but everything seem weak and played without conviction. Just listen to those drums. Terribly simple and tame. Glenn Hughes inclusion in the lineup is a near catastrophy. His performance is uninspired and weak. He was fired a few shows into the tour supporting the album. Alledgedly because of his cocaine abuse and inability to sing proberly live. If that´s true it puts his performance on "Seventh Star" in perspective.

The sound production is pretty awful to my ears. That snare drum sound is an abomination. If you ever need an example of bad 80s production values you could easily use this album as an example. Lifeless and without punch.

I thought Black Sabbath had hit rock bottom with "Born Again (1983)" and I really didn´t think they could sink lower than that. "Seventh Star" is even worse though and a 1 star (20%) rating is fully warranted. I have absolutely nothing positive to say about this album. Enter at your own risk.
bonnek
Seven stars? Hardly one!

I didn’t think it would be possible for Sabbath to create an album worse then Technical Ecstasy, but this album is proof of the contrary.

Originally intended as a solo album, Iommi isn’t in too bad a shape though, his riffs and soloing on the opener In For The Kill isn’t all that bad, but Hughes commercial FM-rock melodies turn the track into a horrible experience. The commercial blues/soul of No Stranger to Love tells the same story. Cheap, very cheap. Turn To Stone is not only tacky, it’s also a shameless rip-off of fast Rainbow songs like Spotlight Kid, other songs like Seventh Star try to get the cheese from Led Zeppelin. No, there’s really nothing here you would want to hear.

Quite surprisingly, Iommi and Hughes' 2005 corporation Fused worked out really well. So the reason for this rating is not that I am a Glenn Hughes-basher, it's the awful song writing and execution. The next album would continue some of the AOR tendencies that pop up here but they got executed much better.
Nightfly
Whether Seventh Star should have come out under the Black Sabbath moniker, featuring only Tony Iommi from the classic line up, is open to debate. However it’s not the total disaster many would have you believe. In fact I’ve always been impressed by the strong collection of songs and the contributions of the players involved. If you’re looking for the classic Sabbath sound though you may be disappointed.

Seventh Star is a more radio friendly rock/metal album than early Sabbath with strong melodies carried by the excellent soulful tones of vocalist Glenn Hughes, one of the finest singers in rock. It’s also notable for an early album appearance of superb solid as a rock drummer Eric Singer, now better known for his work with Alice Cooper and Kiss. Adding to the solidity of the rhythm section is bassist Dave Spitz, brother of Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz. Keyboards, though not playing a prominent role are supplied by Geoff Nicholls. Iommi needs little introduction and contributes some fine riffs, admittedly not as heavy for the most part as the work he’s more famous part. As already mentioned, this is a more commercial rock/metal album but there’s still some driving and powerful metal, notably opener In For The Kill and Turn To Stone, both as good as anything Sabbath released in the eighties including the Dio led incarnation.

There’s also plenty of other strong moments like the bluesy Heart Like A Wheel and the power ballad Stranger To Love and the melodic rock of the likes of Angry Heart. The slowly propulsive title track Seventh Star is another highlight with its Bonham-esque Kashmir style rhythm and powerful melody.

While Seventh Star may not be a classic Sabbath album it is nevertheless worthy of attention for its strong collection of songs. Anyone who enjoys this is also advised to check out the Iommi albums in a similar vein that also feature Hughes on vocals.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
Tony Iommi enters 'the danger zone'

Seventh Star was originally intended to be Tony Iommi's first solo album rather than another Black Sabbath album. But pressure from the record company forced Iommi to release this under the name of 'Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi'. 'Black Sabbath featuring only Tony Iommi' would perhaps have been more appropriate since he was the only remaining member (not counting the very loyal keyboard player Geoff Nicholls who appeared on all Black Sabbath albums throughout the whole 80's and the early 90's). The line up here is thus completely different from all earlier (and all later) Black Sabbath albums.

The vocals here are handled by ex-Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes which is ironic given the disastrous, previous album with Ian Gillan! But Seventh Star is very much better than Born Again; I really must stress how much better this music is compared with the abomination that was Born Again! However, the music here is more Hard Rock than Heavy Metal and due to the singer involved this is more bluesy and soulful than other Black Sabbath albums. But it still has some distinct Black Sabbath trademarks, Iommi's great guitar playing and his great riffs are still here. The most similar other albums are probably those from the Dio and the (upcoming) Tony Martin-eras, but these references also do not do justice to this music. I am well aware that this might be an acquired taste, but I personally enjoy this music.

The songs are all well-written and memorable, with the title track standing out as particularly effective! Introduced by an atmospheric keyboard instrumental called Sphinx (The Guardian), Seventh Star has a strong riff and an Egyptian-sounding middle section that for me is the highlight of the whole album. This song features great guitar work and some interesting choirs and keyboards lines.

In terms of Heavy Metal or progressive Rock, this album has very little to offer apart perhaps from the previously mentioned, very good Sphinx (The Guardian)/Seventh Star, and even that is at best only slightly progressive. The rest is pretty straightforward, but high quality, sophisticated bluesy Hard Rock with several great Iommi guitar riffs and wonderful soulful vocals by Hughes and nice discrete keyboards by Nicholls.

I like this album and would recommend it to anyone who is a follower of either Iommi or Glenn Hughes, but it is hardly an essential addition to a Metal collection.

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