Cross Purposes was recorded in 1993, and released in 1994. It follows the dissolution of the Dio reunion. It featured Tony Martin on vocals, Tony Iommi, on guitars, Geezer Buttler on bass, and Bobby Rondinelli on drums. This is the only Black Sabbath studio release to contain both Geezer and Martin (Geezer and Martin were both on Cross Purposes Live, as well.) In my opinion this is a very good album. Headless Cross is the definitive album with Tony Martin, but this is right up there! I think Dehumanizer was a great heavy album, and Cross Purposes, while not as heavy, is certainly a worthy follow-up. When Geezer and Iommi get together, you know it's going to be a great album. Here's my breakdown:
1. I Witness - One of my personal favorites, I think it's a great track to open the album with. Martin sings lower than normal, and it's very fast paced. 100%
2. Cross of Thorns - Another excellent track, I like to play this one on the guitar. Very energetic. 100%
3. Psychophobia - While COT saw us slowing down, this song picks right back up. Short and sweet. 95%
4. Immaculate Deception - Album slows down a bit here, but by no means gets bad. An excellet moderate tempo song. The keyboards are a bit overdone though. Second half of the song is really good. 90%
5. Virtual Death - Heavier, darker. Very simple guitar part, still rockin' though, Martin sounds good. 90%
6. Dying for Love - Very emotional track. Iommi really shines on this song. Martin penned some really dramatic lyrics here I think. 100%
7. Back to Eden - Starts off with a good riff, but this is my least favorite track. It has potential, but it just doesn't work. Certainly not bad though. 90%
8. The Hand That Rocked the Cradle - The ballad (if you want to say that) of Cross Purposes. This is a very good song. Iommi, Martin, Geezer, Rondinelli - BLACK SABBATH - shines on this song! 100%
9. Cardinal Sin - Another excellet track! First half is stellar, second half is not quite as great, but still good. Geezer sounds... heavy! 95%
10. Evil Eye - Co-written by Eddie Van Halen, who was supposed to guest on this album. An excellent track, especially Geezer's bass! What a great way to close a terrific album. 100%
If you have the chance, pickup the Japanese edition for the 11th track "What's the Use" it starts off with Rondinelli hammering on the drums, and is a very good track. Get it if you can.
Overall Cross Purposes is easily one of my favorite Sabbath albums, it's up there with all the golden classics. Certinaly better than Forbidden. I only gave it 5 stars (Really 4.5 but you can't do that) because it does seem to be missing something. Maybe it's Ward. Either way, get this album. It's worth it!