After the miscarriage of "Seventh Star" and the utter confusion on "Eternal Idol", Tony Iommi decided to go back to what people wanted to hear from his band: purely evil Heavy F'n Metal!
The music is dark and powerful, and the lyrics are equally demonic, though occasionaly border on self-parody with the "Satan" overkill. But who cares? At least it's Tony Iommi composing in his most preferred style.
A big kick in the pants to these songs is the drumming of new Sabbath recruit (but hard rock drum legend) Cozy Powell, who was probably the best drummer ever for Sabbath with his powerful cannon volleys yet tasteful style.
Also on deck is Queen guitarist, and good buddy of Tony Iommi, Brian May, who performs the guitar solo on "When Death Calls".
Vocalist Tony Martin, though able to carry a tune, is not quite the optimal singer for songs of this nature. His voice is too clean for lyrics like these, sapping them of any aggression they should have had. Without the maniacal edge of Ozzy's early voice, or the aggressive gruffness of Dio's voice, the songs suffer from campiness when sung by a guy who'd be better off singing pop songs.
Produced by Tony Iommi and Cozy Powell, the sonic effect of the album is adequate, with its huge guitars and drums, but is a little washed out with reverb it seems. Yet that's a minor complaint when compared to how good it is to have them back playing some decent music which can definitely, finally, be classified as HEAVY METAL. Without Geezer's bass playing it lacks that final element to make it a Sabbath classic, but it's way better than the previous couple of albums, which didn't even deserve the Sabbath name.