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4.1 out of 5 stars30
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 29 August 2014
Ideally you want a Sabbath album to comprise Tony, Geezer, Bill and Ozzy or Ronnie. But in the 80s when Geezer was flagging and Ozzy and Ronnie had successful solo careers, why on earth, shouldn't Iommi have carried on under the Black Sabbath name.

If you listen to the body of work Iommi has put his name to, it is mostly superb. As far as I am concerned the more records he is on the better - he is the best heavy metal riff merchant of them all - and he has that wizardly ability to blend them into compelling songs, and bring phenomenal performances out of others .

What style is definitive Sabbath? Well listen to a masterpiece like Sabotage and you'll be scratching your head. A stylistic variation like No Stranger to Love is not untypical I'd say. Is it AOR? Absolutely not - it's far too raw and real.

Real? Oh yes the real deal! That is Glenn Hughes on this album - his vocals are so heartfelt and real - he is a soulful rock singer, and for me, this is the best collection of songs I've heard his voice on. I'd particularly highlight the last two songs Angry Heart and In Memory to get the full impact. 'It still haunts me, there's a silence, Where you used to be'.

Seventh Star, with its mesopotamian riff oaring its way through time, plus In For The Kill, Turn To Stone and Danger Zone all boast weighty riffs that keep up the message. Heart Like A Wheel is a quasi-bluesy jam bursting with spider fingered guitar work (echoing Lonely is the World).

People (like a well known radio presenter) who say there's no blues in Sabbath talk rubbish - Sabbath were always full of a blues influence. They just used it in a different way.

The classic Sabbath LPs are the ones with Ozzy or Ronnie, but Seventh Star should remind us that Iommi could still deliver the goods without them. Get it!
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on 27 November 2010
Terrible '80s production hampers an otherwise solid solo album from Tony Iommi and Glen Hughes. The record company forced the "Black Sabbath" tag, but it's now known that from the Born Again album onwards, Iommi was against using the Sabbath name. With the dissolution of the Born Again lineup (Ian Gillan going off to rejoin Deep Purple), this was a new start for Iommi and a new band.

So, ignore the cover and see this as it is, an Iommi/Hughes album freed from the weight of the past. The songs are very good. Iommi and Hughes have worked together on several albums since, but this is my favorite of their collaborations. The title track, "Seventh Star" "Angry Heart" and "In Memory" are my top favorites, moody, haunting affairs, with great subtle vocals from Hughes, while "In for the Kill" and "Danger Zone" are good straightforward rockers.

Sadly, the album is in dire need of a remix. The dated production really stands out, as it emasculates the music to give it a syrupy, synth-pop sound. I couldn't even detect a bass until halfway through the album. Why they saw fit to bury that in the mix, I'll never understand, but it was a crap few years in the music industry, where everything was overproduced. Awful, awful, awful production. Iommi's been working on remixing Born Again, which is understandable, but this album needs it just as much, and is worth it because the songs are good, and would benefit.

The live album is a nice treat. Yes, it's of bootleg quality, but who cares?! It's great to have it, and there may not have been professionally recorded material from this very short tour (Hughes departed shortly to be replaced by Ray Gillen, who departed even quicker to be replaced by Tony Martin).

This is the last of Iommi's albums that I enjoy from beginning to end, and while it shouldn't be compared to his older work (which is untouchable), it's far above his follow-up efforts (also force-fed the "Black Sabbath" name, which was little more than a scam to sell more units--which backfired--they sold even less). The next batch are little more than generic late '80s heavy metal, with histrionic vocals, substandard lyrics, and simple song-structures typical of the era. No one can stay a god forever, and Iommi went to rest comfortably amongst mortals, producing decent, but unremarkable albums.
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on 23 November 2010
Anyone who might have the Castle release of this CD from the 90's need not rush out and buy this version. I was very excited when I heard about this release and held high hopes, but upon receiving this CD I am disappointed. I'll begin with the bonus disc, which is a live show from 1986. This sounds like a crappy bootleg, and does not meet the release standard that previous deluxe editions have set (for alternate example see Def Leppard's Pyromania release which is stellar). The sound is muddy and when listening through a headset actually pans from left to right during the show, which is very annoying. I think the performance is strong, and the set list is very interesting but from a sound point of view, it's very poor. I would have liked a DVD from one of the shows, or demos. As for the remastered disc itself, I really don't see much difference between this and other releases of the same CD. I find my Castle release just as clear sounding, and in fact is much lounder than this release. I do love this album and it ranks as one of my favs by Sabbath. I feel if you already own a good version of this disc, there is no reason to rush out and buy it. If you don't own the disc and would like to get it, I would begin by trying to find the Castle version from the 90's. If that fails, then buy this one, but don't have high expectations for the bonus disc, it's just not that good. I hope this review is helpful for most of you. Now, all I need to have is a deluxe edition of Born Again and The Headless Cross.
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I bought this album when it came out, and saw Tony and the band at the Edinburgh Playhouse during the '7th Star' tour. (I was in the front row and gave Tony the 'evil eye' sign as he started the first riffs of the concert, and he gave it back to me with a smile.)

A couple of the tracks are not of the finest vintage - and are let down by weak lyrics rather than the music. The music itself is gorgeously crafted, highly melodic and haunting.The title track features one of Iommi's best riffs and still has the power to put chills up my spine when it starts.

It is also good to have a couple of 'bittersweet' love songs which are not just about Evil Women, Country Girls and Lady Evil's...

Watching Iommi play live was something else. 'Beauty' is not a word normally associated with Sabbath but every note was there, with magic and passion.
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on 18 March 2012
As a fan of the Tony Martin Era Black Sabbath, I was happy to buy the album after hearing mixed reviews, just as the 5 Tony Martin fronted albums had. This is one of the most underrated Black Sabbath albums, just because it is seen as "Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi" Rather than an Iommi solo album.

Every Track on this album is at worst GREAT! with some of my Favourite Sabbath Numbers included ("No Stranger to Love" / "Seventh Star" / "Angry Heart" / "In Memory") Having said that "Heart Like A Wheel" is the weakest track on here and leaves me track-skipping most times I listen to this album.

This album has a great energy similar to the Dio Era and bridges that era to the Tony Martin Era perfectly. Ignore people hating on this album purely because "Its' not Sabbath" or "Ozzy's better"

Great Album... Simple

Enjoy
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on 23 November 2010
All is well with the ongoing reissue program except for the fact that the live disc included here is of HORRENDOUS sound quality and prospective buyers should've been told so in the advertising and packaging. It's no more than an audience bootleg and that's a real shame.
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on 25 September 2012
Recently reacquired having enjoyed since shortly after its original release, mercifully in original mix and mastered form, this is about as definitive - and consequently staggering - as Very Metal becomes.

If there are overt commercial aspects to the song that was destined for US airwaves (No Stranger To Love,) well, it certainly packs a meatier punch than 99% of post MTV 'rock lite' compromises, cited as 'classic rock' by a largely ignorant, mass media.

Everything else contained herein, quite frankly, is heads down feasting delivered by doyens of their craft who have stayed loyal to this heavy, musical faith, down the years.

In my mind's eye, Seventh Star is not dissimilar to Dio's debut album, in that it nails each and every track, whatever the tempo with a hard punching grimace and musicianly tightness that never lets up.

'Stand Up & Shout' and 'In For The Kill' are two of my Desert Island tracks; soaring, banshee masterpieces that combine flaring, roaring voices with dueling flights of fretted fancy and relentless rhythm sections usually set to 'ramming' with the odd concession to 'battle speed.'

I'm fairly sure that Biff Byford would proclaim Seventh Star in terms broadly commensurate with 'High Table Metal' and as David St Hubbins might say, "I think that says a lot."

A veritable force of nature.
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on 24 October 2014
THE SEVENTH STAR ALBUM IS A GR8 ALBUM " GLENN HUGHES COULD REALLY SING "
BUT BLOODY HELL I HAVE TO OMIT A STAR BECAUSE THE 2ND CD " THE LIVE! RAY GILLAN IS TOTAL POOP ! "
THE OPENING TRACK " MOB RULES " IS AN INSULT TO THE " L8 GR8 RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P "
3 SONGS IN & I HATE THIS BLOKES VOICE
- HE SOUNDS LIKE A SQUARKING MENSTRALATION WOMEN !
HE JUST KILLS THESE CLASSICS !
TRYING TO SING " OZZY'S " WAR PIGS SOUNDS LIKE A PEN FULL OF PIGS SQUEELING .
THIS IDIOT WAS THE WORST SINGER THAT SABBATH EVER HAD !
HE WAS 1 OF THE WORST " WANNA BE " ROCK SINGERS I'VE HEARD IN 30 YEARS OF BEING A ROCK FAN .
THANK GOD SABBATH REPLACED HIM WITH THE GR8 " TONY MARTIN "
I BET WHEN OZZY & RONNIE HEARD THIS ALBUM THEY THRU UP !
AN INSULT TO OZZY / RONNIE / GLENN -
" NO IAN GILLAN SONGS HERE "
IF YOU HAVE THE STORY OF SABBATH VOL 2 IAN GILLAN STATES THAT HE (IMSELF) WAS THE WORST SINGER SABBATH EVER HAD .
NOT TRUE ! THIS BLOKE RAY WAS !
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on 16 March 2008
`Seventh Star' is the most misunderstood and underrated...I was going to say Sabbath album, but that technically wouldn't be true. Anyway lets get some things out of the way about `Seventh Star';
1. This isn't a Black Sabbath album, therefore complaining about a lack of heaviness is ridiculous. Why would Iommi release a solo album and write material in keeping with traditional Sabbath doom work outs?
2. This isn't hair metal or glam...Both those styles are inherently poppy and upbeat listen to Poison then `Seventh Star', very different. Black Sabbath (or Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi) may have had big hair in 1986 but this sure as hell isn't hair metal, in fact this isn't metal at all this is a melodic rock album.

`Seventh Star' is most notable for being the start of a long running collaboration between Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes, both musicians shared similar backgrounds coming up in the early 70's midlands rock scene. Hughes' Trapeze would often play the same gig circuit as Sabbath did and the bands shared friendships, however the musical background and styling of the pair couldn't be further apart. Glenn Hughes doesn't really sing heavy metal, his idol is Stevie Wonder and he naturally plays a sort of funky American sounding rock (see Deep Purple's `Stormbringer' album). However, it could be argued that Iommi made this collaboration work by toning down his own heaviness and meeting Glenn halfway. `Seventh Star' more so than any of Iommi's works features the song writing of Geoff Nichols. Iommi's long time keyboardist and general right hand man wrote most of the lyrics and a great deal of the music on `Seventh Star' and as such he could no longer be refused a place on stage with the band.

Although some Metalheads may find some of the direction on `Seventh Star' not to their liking its difficult to argue with the albums overall quality. To my mind there aren't actually any bad songs on `Seventh Star' and the album works as a whole. If I was to compare this to Iommi's other works with Glenn Hughes, which are generally held in much higher esteem, I would say `Seventh Star' outstrips them in terms of quality by quite some margin. `In For the Kill' gets things off to a great start, lyrically it deals with the very metal theme of Vlad the Impaler and features some nice galloping in 7/8 time I do believe. Glenn and Tony really do shine on this one, the both excel with powerful vocal and guitar work. The title track is my favourite here, very ominous and majestic with an eastern feel in keeping with its lyrical themes. Geoff Nichols' keys do really add another dimension to this track, often an eastern sounding song can seem forced but this one works and conjures up images off sweeping desert sands (or Scarborough, I'm not sure which I last visited). `Danger Zone' is another departure for Iommi, a misguided reviewer referred to this riff work as typical and how very wrong he was. `Danger Zone' recalls Thin Lizzy with its multi tracked harmonies and driving rhythms. It's classic 80's rock.

There are a couple of controversy's here for some Sabbath fans most notably `No Stranger to Love' which is a power ballad no question about it. Now, I could be clever and state how `Sign of the Southern Cross', `Born Again' and assorted other Sabbath epics were all in essence power ballads as well. However the fact is `No Stranger to Love' is very different from the aforementioned songs it's a blatant attempt at commerce. However, if you take the song for what its worth and what it is rather than going "omg this isn't Iron Man!" it's a fair enough song, not the best on the album but a nice bluesy ballad and also its much better than the sub-Aerosmith abomination of `Feels Good to Me' from the otherwise excellent `Tyr' album. `Heart Like a Wheel' is another one many seem to have a problem with as it's a straight up blues song but I find it an absolute joy to hear Iommi given free reign to rip all over this track. This album loses marks for having two songs which are a bit too generic rock, `Heart of Stone' and `Angry Heart' both fall into this category, the latter again features some very strong keyboard work and `Heart of Stone' once again displays just why Glenn Hughes no matter how drug addled, out of shape and erratic he was and always will be one of the finest vocalists in rock with a god like range and passion seldom passed.

`Seventh Star' features two relative unknown musicians, who do a fair enough job. Eric Singer is the weakest drummer Iommi has worked with however he's still good, its just the production lets him down as his snare sound is somewhat muddy and the drums altogether lacking in definition (although no where near as the abysmal drum sound on `Born Again'). So he's not really to blame if he can't compete with the likes of Bill Ward, Cozy Powell and Vinny Appice. Dave "The Beast" Spitz does a fairly good job on bass too but again some of the power is lost in the production leaving the bass somewhat subdued. Iommi, as always is a force to be reckoned with, although these are far from the mans heaviest or greatest riffs these are still great and the soloing is frenzied, bluesy and full of feeling, hey maybe its because we've actually got love songs this time instead of singing about evil women and devil's daughters. To my ears at least, this is Glenn Hughes' finest vocal performance. Despite being in terrible shape due to years of Cocaine, Alcohol and Mars Bar abuse (no seriously, rumours circled of Glenn's midnight Mars Bar habit) Glenn's voice is phenomenal and much more rounded than his Purple days where he got more and more like Stevie Wonder by the minute...to the point of being both blind and black by late 1975.

`Seventh Star' may not be perfect and its far from a heavy metal album...in fact its far from Black Sabbath, but it was never meant to be. I feel this is Sabbath's second weakest release of the 80's (`Eternal Idol' doesn't do much for me and is in fact far more hair metal per se than this). Don't try to compare this to any previous works and certainly don't go expecting `Heaven and Hell' because it isn't this is more Whitesnake or Deep Purple than Black Sabbath, but I happen to like both those bands. After this album and a failed attempt at going solo Iommi would fully resurrect the Sabbath name and by 1989 Sabbath had fully recovered with the stunning `Headless Cross' but to be fair the bands (or Iommi's and Nichols' who were the only constant members in this period) mid 80's slump from 83 to 87 was really a lot better than people give them credit for. 7/10
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on 19 April 2016
I know, I know, I hear your cries of " It's not Sabbath, it's not the real Sabbath, Sabbath without Ozzy ain't Sabbath" etc, well all of that may not be just an opinion, it may well be true? It wasn't supposed to be a Black Sabbath record, it's a Tony Iommi solo record, but the record company insisted on putting it under the Sabbath moniker. Now we've got that out of the way, all I need to say is, it's a quality record and any fan of Hard Rock will enjoy this for sure.
Get the Deluxe version and hear the late Ray Gillen singing live, following the departure of Glenn Hughes, (who sang on the Seventh Star record) whilst the recording is a little muddy the vocals of Mr Gillen totally shine through and show what a pure talent that man was.
Love Rock? You'll love (or at least appreciate) this, it's a cracker, corker, whhharcher or whatever term you want to use to describe something great......I like Rip Snorter. GET IT, or Regret it.
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