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The Eternal Idol

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After management forced him to credit his first solo album to “Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi,” Iommi bowed to pressure and agreed to officially revive the Sabbath moniker for his second solo effort. The Eternal Idol features Iommi’s core touring band (bassist Bob Daisley, keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, drummer Eric Singer) and augments them with the lead vocals of fellow Brummie Tony Martin, who'd go on to be Sabbath’s longest-serving vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne. The Eternal Idol (named after the 1889 Rodin sculpture replicated on the cover) is far more energetic than its predecessors. While Iommi and company thankfully steer clear of hair-metal fluffiness, songs like “Hard Life to Love,” “Born to Lose," and “Lost Forever” shed any trace of Sabbath’s famously gloomy aura. Thankfully, Iommi’s volcanic guitar comes shining through near-pop songs like “The Shining” and “Glory Ride,” which signaled a new epoch for the hallowed band. Fans in withdrawal from the band’s '70s sound should proceed directly to the title track, a lumbering sludge-metal epic that's one of Sabbath's most underrated songs from any era.

Customer Reviews

A Hidden Gem

Tony Iommi proved that Sabbath wasn't dead when he recorded this opus. This album has plenty of heavy riffs, good leads and good production which would mark the beginning of the Tony "The Cat" Martin era. The album had actually been finished when Ray Gillan left the band so Martin re-did the vocals on this one. The album is full of good, traditional Sabbath tunes. Most notable is the plodding "Ancient Warrior", reminiscent of older Sabbath and the title track with it's sinister lyrics and riff. Also good here are "GLory Ride" and the haunting "Nightmare". The album has many good moments and for fans of metal is a good listen from start to finish. The guys play well together here and it is a shame that this album doesn't get better recognition. Iommi's guitar playing is stellar, as if he had refreshed and recharged after the debacle that was the tour for Seventh Star. Eric Singer and Bob Daisley, both well known in hard rock and metal circles for their playing, make large contributions here, allowing Iommi to really bring his guitar sound back to the fore. I highly recommend this, as it marks not only the end of the Warner Brothers era, but it may well be Tony's finest moment as a guitarist and song-writer outside the Ozzy and Dio eras, and overall it is one of the band's better performances overall.

Sabbath's Greatest album

I know I could get tarred and feathered for this, but this is Sabbath's best album, including the Ozzy and Dio era material. It's not because of Tony Martin's voice, so don't start blasting him. The writing and performance are spectacular. It's as if Tony Iommi really had something to prove. It doesn't have the doom vibe of their earlier work, but there was nothing really great about any of that.

Sabbath's most underrated album...ever

Yes, this is not Ozzy era Sabbath like most folks like, but just give this one a chance as Tony Iommi blows you away with his massive riffs on "The Shining", "Ancient Warrior", "Hard Life To Love" "Glory Ride" & "Nightmare". The other tracks are great just not as powerful. Tony Martin's debut on vocals and he shines on all the tracks. This one was released in Fall 1987 and holds up still today, this is mostly for the die-hards, but not a bad place to start post Ozzy era. Not their best album of course, but worth a listen, play loud!


Formed: 1968 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An English hard rock institution whose influence on heavy metal cannot be overstated, Black Sabbath not only pioneered the genre, they helped launch the career of one of its most colorful and controversial characters in Ozzy Osbourne. The band distilled the smoke and strife of its industrial hometown into a punitive blast of doom-laden heavy blues-rock via bass player Geezer Butler's dystopian lyrics, which leaned heavily on the occult, and guitarist Tony Iommi's seismic riffing. When paired with...
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