|Iommi Fused||Sanctuary Records|
Should there be any justice in the world, the collaboration between Black Sabbath great Tony Iommi and vocalist legend Glenn Hughes would be heralded as one of the most inspired in rock n roll.|
Sadly, their first collaboration was overshadowed by a record label that demanded the record, essentially an Iommi solo project, be released and mislabeled as a Black Sabbath album. Their second pairing would not be released until some 8 years after the event! Even then, it sounded great.
Finally, the pair is able to work and promote a partnership together and although released as an Iommi record, this is Hughes/Iommi in every sense.
The pair are perfect folly for each other. Tony Iommi has one of the heaviest riffing styles in metal and Glenn Hughes is one of the few with the voice and diversity to match.
We've seen and heard Glenn the funkster and Glenn the soulman, not to mention Glenn the crooner. But Fused features Metal Glenn in action, and boy, does he sing his heart out here.
I don't think I have ever heard Glenn go at it with more force than he does here.
Drummer Kenny Aronoff pounds the skins like the workhorse he is, providing essential power to the music.
Fused is not a commercial record, but neither was the duo's two previous encounters. This is a pure metal record with a couple of slightly lighter moments which offer a good change of pace.
The beauty of this record is that is sounds totally in harmony with today's metal stylings and even bit as contemporary as rivals Audioslave and Velvet Revolver – just better!
At the same time, it still has that classic vibe, which ensures it should cross over between new and old metal fans and given the promotional push, as a great chance at commercial success.
Opener Dopamine is one of the most aggressive numbers featured with a brutal riff and an intense vocal. Like on most of the album, the chorus here isn't a hands-in-the-air event, rather a subtle change in mood – in this case, the song gets more intense.
Wasted Again features some amazing vocals and Saviour Of The Real has a true metal groove.
The band head back to the classic metal vaults for the slow-mid tempo Zeppelin-esque Resolution Song, which features a brutal riff.
Deep Inside A Soul has every chance of mainstream radio play, as it's just a touch less intense and definitely more melodic.
Pick of the album for me is the uptempo and almost 80's metal sounding What You're Living For. A strong chorus and perfectly placed tempo changes make it a winner.
Closing the album is the 9 minute plus epic I Go Insane. Essentially a big melodic metal ballad, the song runs through several stages, building to a fitting climax.
Producer Bob Marlette proves he is as versatile as the performers he is directing, with an amazing sound and mix. Surely the producer of The Storm and Sahara Snow can now find more work!
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