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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Tony Iommi
Divine / Priority

This blistering recording takes me back to the time when four working-class Brits saved rock 'n' roll from the excesses of 1960s hippiedom. No, not the Sex Pistols — Black Sabbath, from Birmingham, England, the UK equivalent of Detroit Rock City. Unlike the remaining Pistols, however, who made fools of themselves under the excuse of some woeful "punk" aesthetic a few years back, the Sabs have never tarnished their myth, coming back with all guns blazing on 1998's live Reunion album. Here, on his solo bow, Sabbath guitarist Iommi continues to keep the standards high, offering his much-imitated signature sculptured, heavy gothic riffing and slow/fast time changes on a variety of tunes that feature guest vocalists from hard rock's 30 or so years. A mightily rocking "Laughing Man (in the Devil Mask)," with the recently rejuvenated Henry Rollins on vocals, is among the highlights, topped only by the truly awesome "Time Is Mine," on which Pantera's lead mouth Phil Anselmo delivers the most gut-bustingly brutal and passionate performance of the entire CD. Other winners here: "Goodbye Lament," in which Iommi proves the durability of the Sabbath sound by cushioning it in some trip-hop(!) rhythms, over which former Nirvana skinbeater/current Foo Fighter singer Dave Grohl emotes; "Just Say No to Love," a Sabbath-y number wherein Peter Steele of Type O Negative humorously laments a love who "left me for Tony Iommi"; and, surprise, surprise, "Into the Night," on which Iommi, perhaps appropriately given his band's legend, "resurrects" the long-lost Billy Idol for a classic Sabbath-styled dirge. To top it all off, 3/4 of the mighty Sabs (with only bassist Geezer Butler a no-show) reunite on "Who's Fooling Who," which, with Ozzy Osbourne sounding relaxed and more like his old self, is far better than the two clumsy new studio tracks on the Reunion album, and bodes well for the band's upcoming effort with Rick Rubin at the helm. Someone once said that "there's a little heavy metal in all of us" (hell, I think it was me!) — Iommi is further proof of that axiom.

by Johnny Walker (Black)

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