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Tony Martin - Thorns review



Reviewer:
N/A

34 users:
7.24
Band: Tony Martin
Album: Thorns
Release date: January 2022


01. As The World Burns
02. Black Widow Angel
03. Book Of Shadows
04. Crying Wolf
05. Damned By You
06. No Shame At All
07. No Where To Fly
08. Passion Killer
09. Run Like The Devil
10. This Is Your Damnation
11. Thorns


Probably the most controversial moments in any major band's history are vocalist replacements. Black Sabbath's had quite a few. And despite having the second longest tenure as Black Sabbath's vocalist, Tony Martin is still among the most overlooked. Now he's got a new album out.

Out of all the Black Sabbath vocalist that have appeared on a record (since there's been quite a few, like Dave Walker or Ron Keel, who had short stints with no studio recordings), each of them had pretty strong careers outside of Black Sabbath. Ozzy Osbourne has become the "Prince Of Darkness", a reality TV star, and his popularity is arguably larger than even Sabbath's. Ronnie James Dio's stint in Rainbow and his solo work in Dio is pretty much essential listening for any metalhead. Ian Gillan's stint always felt more like "Hey, did you know that Deep Purple's vocalist did an album with Black Sabbath?". Glenn Hughes not only has a relatively successful solo career, but also each of his stints in Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Country Communion, and The Dead Daisies have had some rock stardom. And then there's Tony Martin, who had a couple of solo records, some collabs with a guitarist, some guest vocals work, but something tells me that, out of all of these, it would be the hardest to name something that Tony has done outside of Black Sabbath without doing some research.

Thorns is only the third solo Tony Martin record. Other than three albums done in collaboration with guitarist Dario Mollo, the latest of which released in 2012, the previous solo album was 2005's Scream, an album that was heavier than his AOR solo debut in 1992. And that's Tony Martin's solo career. But despite his modest career and his often overlooked stint in Black Sabbath, albums like Tyr and Headless Cross had some fervent admirers. I guess you could name me among them. And the best thing about Thorns is that Martin's vocals have barely aged, despite the two-decades-and-then-some period in between this and his last appearance on a Sabbath record. So, for the most part, someone who's been a fan of those records will still find Martin's vocals intact and incredibly enjoyable here as well. He doesn't shy away from using any part of his range, and his presence is still pretty powerful.

Other than Martin's vocals, there's still a lot to appreciate about Thorns. Guitarist and songwriter Scott McClellan in no Tony Iommi, but does his damn hardest to match and extend the sound of Martin's Sabbath records to something with a more modern edge. That is felt both in the songwriting, with the riffing being a bit more beefy, but also in the production. Thorns has even less of an AOR feel than its predecessor, with everything from the brooding doomy "Nowhere To Fly", the choir-rich "Book Of Shadows", the groovy "Black Widow Angel", the ballad title-track, and the two acoustic songs "Crying Wolf" and "This Is Your Damnation" couldn't be more different from each other. And throughout it all, even if the riffing and the vocals often take center-stage, the bass is incredibly tasteful and has a pretty strong presence is songs like "Black Widow Angel". And though the songs aren't free of some cheesiness factor, and I could probably do without one or two of them, the overall quality here is pretty surprising by ex-Sabbath vocalist in 2022 standards.

I have a feeling that Thorns won't suddenly change the narrative and lift Tony Martin's career to unforeseen heights, but it solidifies him as an unsung hero worth more recognition. At least I had a better experience with this than the last time I reviewed an ex-Sabbath vocalist.





Written on 22.01.2022 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 171 users
22.01.2022 - 15:44
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Radu keep on shining, show me a sigh of a southern cross, get a grip whit your reviews.. 2000 is number, a eternal idiol.
Good work... Quastion is, what he has done between, how he earned money.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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22.01.2022 - 15:52
JoHn DoE

Written by Bad English on 22.01.2022 at 15:44

Radu keep on shining, show me a sigh of a southern cross, get a grip whit your reviews.. 2000 is number, a eternal idiol.
Good work... Quastion is, what he has done between, how he earned money.


I think he keeps busy, he did some tours, guested on some albums. Google him, see what's he done, don't judge him like that.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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22.01.2022 - 16:08
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I do not judge I just thought you should be active to make living from the music... I like his work, would like hear more his albums.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
22.01.2022 - 16:12
JoHn DoE

Written by Bad English on 22.01.2022 at 16:08

I do not judge I just thought you should be active to make living from the music... I like his work, would like hear more his albums.


You said "what he has done between, how he earned money." How is that not judging?
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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22.01.2022 - 16:59
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by JoHn DoE on 22.01.2022 at 16:12

Written by Bad English on 22.01.2022 at 16:08

I do not judge I just thought you should be active to make living from the music... I like his work, would like hear more his albums.


You said "what he has done between, how he earned money." How is that not judging?

Its curusy i am curious
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
22.01.2022 - 17:01
JoHn DoE

Written by Bad English on 22.01.2022 at 16:59

Written by JoHn DoE on 22.01.2022 at 16:12

Written by Bad English on 22.01.2022 at 16:08

I do not judge I just thought you should be active to make living from the music... I like his work, would like hear more his albums.


You said "what he has done between, how he earned money." How is that not judging?

Its curusy i am curious


I answered you that question, you could do some research yourself if you are curious.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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23.01.2022 - 22:52
Rating: 7
Lord Slothrop

Solid album and much better than that other ex-Sabbath's latest excursion.
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24.01.2022 - 10:51
Callisto

Hi Radup,

hate to be a nerd but it's Dario Mollo not Morello.... Actually it's the same guy who did some awesome records with Glenn Hughes: Voodoo Hill. Specially awesome it's Wild Seed of Mother Earth.

other than that great review! I have this one on cue to be enjoyed soon
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24.01.2022 - 10:53
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Callisto on 24.01.2022 at 10:51

Hi Radup,

hate to be a nerd but it's Dario Mollo not Morello.... Actually it's the same guy who did some awesome records with Glenn Hughes: Voodoo Hill. Specially awesome it's Wild Seed of Mother Earth.

other than that great review! I have this one on cue to be enjoyed soon

Fixed, thanks!
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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24.01.2022 - 11:27
Callisto

Written by RaduP on 24.01.2022 at 10:53

Written by Callisto on 24.01.2022 at 10:51

Hi Radup,

hate to be a nerd but it's Dario Mollo not Morello.... Actually it's the same guy who did some awesome records with Glenn Hughes: Voodoo Hill. Specially awesome it's Wild Seed of Mother Earth.

other than that great review! I have this one on cue to be enjoyed soon

Fixed, thanks!

Loading...
24.01.2022 - 20:43
DarkWingedSoul

Wow, so many comments for a Tony Martin album, not bad i am one of those who liked his voice on the Sabbath albums, and probably was my first encounter with the band as well. wont tell more about me ann Black Sabbath, not to draw the anger of the masses upon myself. i will definitely check this out. thanks Radu.
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25.01.2022 - 22:05
Jeeers

Headless Cross was the first full Black Sabbath album I heard (I still have fond memories of that one from my teenage years)... and shortly after that it was some homerecorded copy of some "Best of Black Sabbath" cassettte, where Ozzy and Dio were present - to add to my confusion. Internet was in it's infancy then, but quickly I got it sorted out.
Maybe that's why I love (or at least ... loved once) all the eras of Black Sabbath. I associate Tony Martin with Black Sabbath more than Ozzy.
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10.02.2022 - 08:25
Rating: 6
AndyMetalFreak
The Nice Guy
Good review Tony Martin is a damn good vocalist, this is not a bad album.
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