Tony MArtin, News, Reviews, Albums, 2022, U.K., Heavy, Hard Rock, Icarus Music, Battlegod Productions

Genre: Heavy/Hard Rock
Country: U.K.
Label: Battlegod Productions/ Icarus Music
Year: 2022

Tony Martin is not just a great singer, he is the voice of Black Sabbath in 5 studio LPs in which the 3 of them are now considered to be classic and above all his fingerprint in these release is equal to Tony Iommi’s impact.

‘Thorns’ is the third album to be released under the name of Tony Martin, following ‘Back Where I Belong’ (1992) and ‘Scream’ (2005). As Martin continues to have a his grandiose voice in great shape it was matter of time having decent and well-crafted compositions and a brilliant lineup (which could be described as super groups as it features ex-Hammerfall bassist Magnus Rosén, drummer Danny Needham from Venom, guitarist Scott McClellan, who helped co-write the album, combined with some additional bass input by ex-Rainbow and ex-Blue Oyster Cult member Greg Smith) in order to make a proper track list and his effort to become attractive to a bigger audience than Sabbath Mk4 fanatics.

The riffing sometimes sound as a foreign body as they are too modern to my ears however I have to admit that the music is melodic enough without losing any of its dynamic. The songwriting is top notch and the writing duo featuring Martin and Scott McClellan’ is totally inspired. All based in heavy/doom roots and in a chugging, mid-paced direction, the whole in its entirety is a highlight and an excellent example of a heavily influenced combination of Cross Purposes’ finest moments with traditional doom parts and epic touches. He even experiments in ‘Crying Wolf’ and ‘This Is Your Damnation’, in a sort of bluesy moments.

Birmingham born vocalist as Anthony Phillip Halford, Tony Martin is definitely underrated and his performance besides Sabbath but also in Empire, The Cage or even with Candlemass (in 2004) were incredible (Martin’s fanatics will also add Arjen Lucassen’s Star One and Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall) yet he is an unsung hero of our music that probably Thorns along with the reissue of Black Sabbath’s albums of his era will help him find a better place to the pantheon of Heavy Metal singers.

Greatest moments on Thorns are: ‘Book of Shadows’, ‘Nowhere to Fly’ that encloses some excellent doom riffs, ‘Black Widow Angel’, ‘Damned By Your’ and the title and closing track featuring Pamela Moore, that most of us remember on Queensrÿche’s legendary Operation: Mindcrime.