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Tony Martin - Thorns

Tony Martin
by Metal Wim at 31 December 2021, 9:49 PM

Of course, we all know who TONY MARTIN is. He is the one singer of BLACK SABBATH that is never mentioned by head honcho Tony Iommi, even though they recorded several great albums together and in my humble opinion the best SABBATH song ever with “When Death Calls”. After nine years of silence, he is back with a vengeance, as “Thorns” is certainly worth a good listen.

Opening track “As the World Burns” is, as expected, a return to the BLACK SABBATH sound that made people notice TONY MARTIN. It's quite good, but it's a ploy to relive the past, and that's not always the best idea. “Black Widow Angel” proves I'm right, as it is much more impressive. Even though you don't get to hear any distorted guitars, just acoustic ones, this is one hell of a heavy song that impresses me immensely.

The following “Book of Shadows” is a mix between those two with some choirs and heavenly sounds added, and this is when TONY MARTIN comes into his own. Here he is superb. He continues this kind of quality with songs like “Crying Wolf”. I've never heard acoustic guitars sound so menacing. On “Damned by You” he mixes the heavy metal guitars with violins and it works. And although I haven't mentioned it until now, his voice is out of this world. He sounds just as good as he's always done, and that is quite the achievement.

“This Is Your Damnation” is his take on TENACIOUS D, as this could be the brother (or is it sister?) of “The Greatest Song in the World”. “Passion Killer” as well as “Run Like the Devil” are filled with PANTERA riffs and guitar sounds, making them interesting in their own way. “No Shame” is very simple and direct. It will have you blushing if you're of the prudent type. Not the best song on the album, but really fun. But that's it all in a nutshell, as “Thorns” is an album where you'll hear several references to the mighty SABBATH, but where you also will hear the MARTIN/MOLLO kind of tunes. And everything in between.

Without fail, all songs range from alright to downright brilliant, and most importantly, you won't find a filler. No this is all killer. Unfortunately, not everything appeals as much as the title track, which closes the album and is the best song on it as far as I'm concerned. It's a future classic. TONY MARTIN has surrounded himself with quite an impressive band, and I for one sincerely hope we will get the chance to see them live.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. As The World Burns
2. Black Widow Angel
3. Book Of Shadows
4. Crying Wolf
5. Damned By You
6. No Shame
7. Nowhere To Fly
8. Passion Killer
9. Run Like The Devil
10. This Is Your Damnation
11. Thorns
Tony Martin - Vocals
Scott McClellan - Guitars
Magnus Rosen - Bass
Danny Needham - Drums
Greg Smith - Bass
Record Label: Battlegod Productions


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