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on 20 January 2004
From the best metal band ever comes this fantastic album. I only gave it four stars because it is not as strong as other Black Sabbath albums, but if it is not being compared to any of the other Sabbath albums then it is a 5 star album. So thats 4 stars compared to Sabbath, 5 stars compared to everything else.
Tony Martin joins the band here and his vocal talents suit Sabbath down to the ground. Tony Iommi is there as always and as usual the riffs are powerful and heavy, yet still musical and melodic. His soloing skills have not diminished since his early days and even if you don'tlike Martin's voice I would recommend this album simply for the guitars.
The title track is 6 and a half minutes long and is a slow and heavy masterpiece. It is without a doubt one of the best Black Sabbath songs ever, which puts it up against some hard competition. "The Shining" is also one of the main attractions of this album but all of the tracks are typically strong and it doesn't get tiring listening to it.
Well worth it for any Sabbath fan, unless you are one of those "fans" who only accept Ozzy. A must buy for the casual collector and completist alike.
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on 12 January 2008
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on 9 October 2003
When this album was released, Sabbath were really in the doldrums - Dio had been gone for 5 years, Gillan had last 1 LP, Glenn Hughes had joined and then quit on tour, the replacement (Ray Gillen) left during the recording of this, the follow up to "7th Star".
In the circumstances (3 different producers, 2 drummers, 2 bassists and 2 singers) I think the album is really good, it just suffered because it was released during the hair metal years. If this had been released a few years ago it would have got a lot more respect than it did. And it certainly would have had more respect as a Solo Album (like 7th Star should have been until the record company interfered)
The Shining has to stand out as one of the high watermark points of the Tony Martin sabbath era boasting a fantastic riff, lyrics and an awesome solo. Ancient Warrior despite having a terrible name is another great song. As you play the album (i've got the LP) you find yourself wondering why this wasn't a hit...Then you release what was going on behind the scenes...Like getting Terry Chimes to play on the tour and playing Sun City after the manager told them it wasn't in South Africa.
This is one of my favourite Sabbath albums, and it's definately better than most of the Tony Martin records and latter day Ozzy LPs (although that's not difficult)
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Given the amount of people involved with this disc including 3 producers!! its no surprise that it lacks cohesion,its not a bad album but its not great either.

Average is probably the best way to describe this album,fast riff here ,slow one there,nothing stands out,i've had this for years and its enjoyable to listen to occasionally but thats it,nothing sticks in the mind and you'll have forgotten the tracks not long after you've listened they are just so unremarkable.

The first 4 tracks are probably the best particularly 'The Shining' & 'Hard Life To Love',the title track tries hard to evoke days gone by,well played but ultimately throw away,ultimately an album destined to live in the shadows, which is a shame considering the talent on display Singer/Daisley etc with Tony Martin ultimately sounding like a poor mans Dio.
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on 23 March 2014
Ignore your brain telling you that you want Ozzy back (or even Ronnie) and just listen to a superb set of songs well presented.
The only problem with this release is that it opens with "The Shining" - an absolutely awesome statement of intent. But the others are pretty good too.
Brilliant. Heavy rock presented superbly.
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on 22 August 2007
This album is easily the worst Black Sabbath release of the 80's and feels like a collection of songs that generally aren't good enough to have been on the `Seventh Star' album and what's more it doesn't have the masterful Glenn Hughes on vocals, instead we have Tony Martin, whose talents are limited by the fact that he has to sing Ray Gillen's parts. However I would still consider Tony Martin one of this albums saving graces. Yet still this album is being heralded as `a hidden masterpiece' and `Sabbath's best album', give me a break, it feels like the shaky follow up to `Seventh Star' which is the second worst of Sabbath's 80's output.

All things considered this album does has its moments the finest of which probably being `The Shining' which is a complete cheese fest (in the best possible way) and features some great riffs from Iommi, a catchy chorus and some perhaps unintentionally hilarious lyrics such as `the house is gonna haunt you!'. `Ancient Warrior' is another of the albums stronger tracks which has a slightly middle eastern feeling and a catchy chorus, but not a Sabbath classic by any means. `Born to Lose' could be the work of pretty much any 80's metal band and has some very generic riffs but is still a good enough song featuring a very good vocal performance on Tony Martin's part. My favourite song on this album without doubt is the beautiful instrumental `Scarlet Pimpernel' which is something we had not heard from Tony Iommi since `Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' (although there is a little instrumental at the end of `Heaven and Hell') and its well worth the wait, it serves as a reminder that Iommi is in my opinion the greatest guitarist ever. I can't help but feel a little bit let down by the albums title track as the verses are great very sinister and creepy not dissimilar to the bands self titled track then the chorus is a complete cheese fest (this time in a bad way) which completely ruins the atmosphere established by the verse, still it stands out as a song.

But generally this album is a mixed bag with some complete crap the worst of which being `Hard Life to Love' which features some sub-Zeppelin riffs and very clichéd
`living in the fast lane' lyrics. 'Nightmare' starts well with some atmospheric keyboards from Geoff Nicholls suddenly descends into dull riffs that in no way help convey the lyrics of being 'fooled by the devils hand' (which perhaps hints a the lyrical direction of the Tony Martin era masterpiece `Headless Cross'). `Glory Ride' yet again starts promisingly with Iommi deciding he wants to sound like himself again after the Jimmy Page rip-off riffs of the previous song but the song itself soon starts to feel less Sabbath and more generic 80's rock. Not a bad song by any means but not really Black Sabbath. `Lost Forever' is the albums fastest song, but fast does mean good (as many thrash fans may fail to understand) and this song is painfully average.

Musically this line up is a rather strange one, I like the addition of Bob Daisley on bass he plays well and could well be the best bass player Sabbath had outside of Geezer Butler, but the other half of the rhythm section, Eric Singer as good a drummer as he is, he's not suited to this band and he lacks any of the style of the great Sabbath drummers such as Bill Ward, Cozy Powell and Vinnie Appice. This is Tony Martins first Sabbath album and he is one of the albums redeeming features, but he isn't really aloud an influence on the material that would prove itself successful on the following albums;
`Headless Cross' and `Tyr'.

`Eternal Idol' is one of Sabbath's weaker albums but its not a complete waste of time it does feature some strong songs and will no doubt be of interest to die-hard Sabbath fans. Thankfully after this album things really began to pick up with the arrival of Cozy Powell and Tony Martin being allowed to contribute more to song writing. 5/10
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on 16 November 2004
Excellent forgotten album from the lost years of Sabbath. Heavy yet melodic and overflowing with power. Tony Martin must be one of the most underrated vocalists in rock, he does an excellent job here on hugely powerful soaring epics like 'Glory Ride' and 'The Shining'.
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