Get ready to crank the amp up to 11 as we now have rock god Tony Martin’s new heavy metal album to delight in. Of course, you simply cannot mention Tony Martin without immediately thinking of his time with Black Sabbath and he actually spend two extended periods of time with the band and a fact that I hadn’t previously picked up on is that he is Sabbath’s second longest serving singer after a certain Mr Osbourne!
Martin has built up a very solid reputation over the years and has numerous albums to his credit already but Thorns really does sound as good as anything he has ever done before. I know the Sabbath gig was and is a double edged sword as anyone who isn’t Ozzy is always going to receive unfair criticism but Thorns shows just how good a metal singer he is.
Martin has pulled together a most talented and hard rocking team for this release with Scott McClellan on guitar, Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall) on bass, Danny Needham (Venom) on drums and Greg Smith on bass with McClellan also co-writing the songs with Martin. This is his third solo album by and it is a real monster in the best traditions of Sabbath, Purple, Rainbow and Dio with huge riffs, doom laden bass and drums, meteoric guitar breaks and, above all, Martin proving that given the right material he is up there as one of the premier metal vocalists in the world.
There is a definite flavour of Dio about the album and it does have a touch of the sword and sorcery that was Dio’s stock in trade which is a real bonus as I have always been drawn to that mystic world and Tony Martin has produced an album that is every bit as brilliant and valid and anything that his more illustrious associates have produced. Thorns shows that Tony Martin is not a bit part player but a giant on the rock stage and if you have ever been a little reticent to engage with him and his career then have a listen to this stunning metal album and you will immediately re-assess any opinion of him that you may have long held.
Martin turns back the years to produce a metal album that was born in the ’70s but the music is still revered today and any rock band in the world would be proud to have this in their catalogues. Tony Martin and colleagues, please take a well earned bow as you deserve it for this brilliant classic metal album.