Rhythm & Views

Tony Iommi with Glenn Hughes

Tired of waiting to record with his original bandmates, Black Sabbath's riff-master Tony Iommi finally did things his way in 2000, when he released Iommi, an album showcasing his songwriting legacy with vocal collaborations featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Henry Rollins and System of a Down's Serj Tankian.

What was left out of the final product was a collaboration with former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath vocalist Glenn Hughes. In 1996, the two worked on demos and recorded tracks at DEP Studios in Birmingham, England.

Fast forward eight years: Iommi decided to breathe new life into the material. Drum tracks were re-recorded, and the 1996 tracks were mixed and mastered, finally. The result: The 1996 DEP Sessions, credited to Iommi with Glenn Hughes. The problem: It should have stayed on the cutting room floor.

Although Iommi proves why he is the originator of heavy metal guitar playing, Hughes' vocals and lyrics are out of place and just dumb. In the opening track, "Gone," Hughes tries to harmonize over Iommi's mid-tempo riffs like a reverend preaching to his church. "I'm gone, gone just like the past because I'm gone," are the words that introduce the song's chorus.

The 1986 record Seventh Star--originally intended as an Iommi solo album, but deemed more marketable by Warner Bros. as a Black Sabbath one--was nothing special, and this new collaboration with Hughes is simply nothing. Hopefully, new material from the original Black Sabbath will see the light of day, once the band members' wives/managers put the egos aside.

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