Black Sabbath - Eternal Idol
Warner Bros. Records
Heavy Metal
9 songs (43:02)
Release year: 1987
Black Sabbath, Warner Bros. Records
Reviewed by Jerrol
Archive review

Since the departure of Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath has seen many lineup changes throughout the years. Eternal Idol debuted their new vocalist, their third in as many albums, Tony Martin who would prove to be the second most long-lived next to Ozzy. He has a great range and has a vocal style similar to Dio’s. The album was originally recorded with Ray Gillen on vocals but he left the band before the album was released and sub sequentially Martin was hired to replace him.

I see Eternal Idol as somewhat of a comeback album for Sabbath, my favorite by far outside of the Ozzy and Dio eras. The album get underway with the catchy The Shining. After the opening intro, Iommi sets the pace with the crushing opening riff. Tony Martin’s vocals are amazing, sounding much like Dio, fitting the music perfectly. This song has some great elements, from the opening riff to the soloing, that were missing from the previous couple releases. The chorus is extremely catchy which further helps to make this possibly the best song Sabbath recorded with Martin.

Ancient Warrior opens with another strong riff, there are also some cool exotic riffs throughout the song. The rhythm section drives this song forward while Martin delivers another strong vocal performance. Things pick up pace next with up tempo rocker Hard Life To Love, which finds Martin sounding a bit more like Joe Lynn Turner in his delivery. This is a good song but lacks the finesse of the first two tracks.

Things take on a more epic air about them with Glory Ride, galloping along with a stellar vocal performance by Martin and a great solo from Iommi. Following up Glory Ride is another up tempo rocker with a very distinctive riff, Born To Lose. The solo is very strong, one of the best on the album.

After a creepy synth intro, Nightmare is the only track that has a bit of the original recording with Gillen, the laughter in the middle of the song. Again Martin shows why he was chosen by giving a consistent and quality performance throughout the album. Nightmare is followed by a very good acoustic instrumental in the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Lost Forever is another up tempo rocker, similar to previous ones on the album. It also possesses another awesome solo, but by now I am craving some diversity. Thankfully the title track Eternal Idol delivers with its slow crawling pace that brings to mind some of the classics sounds of Sabbath’s glory days.

Eternal Idol is a better album than most people were expecting at the time, myself included, since there is not a bad song on the album. Bringing in a completely unknown vocalist in Tony Martin was quite a risk but he makes up for that risk with an amazing performance throughout the album. I have heard people say that this is the best album that Sabbath ever released, but that is defiantly not the case. But none the less it is a very solid release and one that will continue to see regular time in my CD player.

Killing Songs :
The Shining, Ancient Warrior, Born To Lose
Jerrol quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Black Sabbath that we have reviewed:
Black Sabbath - 13 reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Black Sabbath - Classic Albums - Paranoid (DVD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Black Sabbath - Headless Cross reviewed by Adam and quoted 81 / 100
Black Sabbath - Forbidden reviewed by Khelek and quoted 65 / 100
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules reviewed by Khelek and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 22 reviews click here
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