Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes
Date: February 09, 2019 11:01PM
Tony Martin-era Sabbath is truly amazing if we just can get past the turd that is Forbidden. I have always loved everything else that was released with Martin in the band.
It seems like the fans (except the Ozzy diehards that is) acknowledge that Headless Cross is the album to own if you should buy only one from the Martin-era.Tyr is a close second, that you probably should invest in if you own HC as it is widely regarded as the close to perfect follow up, although slightly less commercial. Many also mention that they really appreciate The Eternal Idol, but not quite as many as the ones mentioning HC and T.
The less said about the aforementioned F, the better - right?!?
That leaves us with one album that hardly gets any praise (or much opinions...) at all really...., and I really can't understand why - as Cross Purposes is a fantastic album IMO.
Squeezed in between the Dio comeback Dehumanizer and the unmentionable it was released in 94 to hardly any push from the label or attention, nor bravado from the press after the short lived Dio stint this round at least - that definitely got the attention needed.
Dio refused to play Ozzfest, and brought Vinnie with him to focus on Dio - Iommi calls up his last musical companion to give it another go. Geezer was already on board, so Bobby Rondinelli fills the vacant drum position.
The album is Heavier than all other Martin Sabs albums, and like Tyr not all that commercial either - unlike TEI and HC. Having said that songs like I Witness, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Cross Of Thorns and Dying For Love are style wise within the same framework laid down earlier. But to my ears the heavier sound gives it more bite and grit. Variation is also plentiful in terms of tempo, heaviness and sound as well as more subtle melodic tracks (Cross Of Thorns and Dying For Love) Adding to variation are also tracks like Virtual Death and Immaculate Deception, the first one mentioned the classic Sabs sounding and the albums heaviest track. The latter one almost progressive in terms of arrangement. Evil Eye also quite heavy but also bridges the gap between the Sabs of old and T. Martin-era. Same goes for Cardinal Sin which wouldn't feel out of place on Tyr, but also this one with added heaviness due to production.
Stellar musicianship, and Geezer's contribution is making a mark on the album - both as a songwriter and as a player making it heavier. Bobby Rondinelli is another one that shines, with his Cozy Powell styled powerful drumming, Leif Mases adding to that with outstanding drum sound. Both the Tony's are putting in flawless contributions. I am biased I know, but this is my favorite Martin era album.
What do you think of this overlooked gem of an album?