Review TONY MARTIN ‘Thorns’

When one thinks of Black Sabbath, names like Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio inevitably come to mind. Both contributed significantly to the success of the doom metal legend. The voices of both frontmen have influenced whole generations of metal singers.

What sometimes gets lost in the shadows is that Black Sabbath had another excellent singer in their rows, Tony Martin. Especially the first three albums with Martin are great records. ‘Eternal Idol’, ‘Headless Cross’ and ‘Tyr’ are recordings that many bands would like to have in their discography, while with Black Sabbath they have to compete with the classics.

After Martin left Black Sabbath, there were various projects in which the singer participated. In addition, the vocalist also recorded solo albums to which ‘Thorns’ belongs. ‘Thorns’ is Martin’s latest solo record. A total of eleven songs bring the whole vocal talent of Martin into the picture and musically the singer was supported by Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall) and Danny Needham (Venom) among others. Together with Greg Smith and Scott McClellan an album was created which starts massive.

‘As the World ‘Burns’ is a furious start to the new album. Crashing guitars, a thumping groove and Martin’s vocals make the song a lively opener that I didn’t expect to be so heavy.

In contrast are the more cinematic songs like ‘Book of Shadows’, which let Martin’s voice shine. ‘Book of Shadows’ features felicitous melodies that define the song. Instead of going into full force, the song stays in a calmer mood and convinces with the singer’s power.

The following ‘Crying Wolf’ is an acoustic number over long stretches and brings another aspect of Tony Martin’s album to light.

These songs clarify what ‘Thorns’ is all about. It is the combination of hard guitar sounds, a lot of feeling and strong melodies that holds the eleven tracks together. Reinforced by a good production Tony Martin has delivered a rock solid record, which even after multiple listenings still holds small surprises.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  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

Label: Battlegod Productions

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 14th, 2022

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