Tony Iommi Iommi

Taking his cues from Latin guitar hero Carlos Santana, Black Sabbath axe god Tony Iommi has recruited a stable of vocalists, some hip (Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan, Ozzy Osbourne and Henry Rollins) and some not so hip (Billy Idol and Ian Astbury), to sing on his first-ever solo release. These ten tracks certainly demonstrate why Iommi is considered the godfather of heavy metal. He pulls no punches in delivering a firestorm of monster drop-tuned riffs, some of which work and some of which just sound like he's stuck in the past. The vocal appearances are a similarly mixed bag. The Grohl and Corgan tracks are fresh and interesting, the Ozzy contribution is the best collaboration between the two since Masters of Reality and the Rollins track is alright. But what the hell are Billy Idol and Pantera's Phil Anselmo doing? Anselmo's dreadful attempt to croon makes him sound like a goofier version of that goof from Creed, if that's even possible. Iommi still has the chops, for sure, but they're probably best saved for Black Sabbath reunion shows. (Virgin)