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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Iommi - 2004 The 1996 Dep Sessions With Glenn Hughes
Iommi - 2004 The 1996 Dep Sessions With Glenn Hughes

Tony Iommi - guitar
Glenn Hughes - vocals, bass
Jimmy Copley - drums
Don Airey - keyboards
Geoff Nicholls - keyboards
Mike Exeter - keyboards

Prior to the release of these sessions last year, I had no idea they had actually occurred. Given the brilliance of Iommi and Hughes' previous collaboration, 1986's Black Sabbath 'Seventh Star', I would have been shattered in 1996 if I'd known these songs had been recorded and left to rot, not surfacing for another eight years. Named after the studio they were recorded in, the exact circumstances as to the shelving of this album remains a mystery. Was Iommi really unsatisfied with the final product? We shall never know. He shouldn't have been. The tracks never match the heights of 'Seventh Star', but are admirable for the era they were created in, a period dominated by grunge, punk, pop and Korn (..popKorn!! very funny.. Ed). Maybe Iommi realised this. Clearly the music is tailored towards that timeframe, with grunge styled riffing and a general sense of downtuned melody, which naturally is the total opposite of the AOR tinged 'Seventh Star'.

The Songs
'Gone' might well be the albums highspot, with Hughes' vocals low in tone, but classy as ever. Iommi adds his signature riffing and certain segments, especially the two minute section, are 80's in execution. I would have been pleased as punch with this in 96'. Maybe. I say that as I would have been expecting another 'Danger Zone' or 'Turn To Stone', something 'From Another World' isn't, with its grunge overtones and an almost Led Zeppelin main riff. Hughes' passionate delivery gives it the credibility it nearly misses. More melodic is 'Don't You Tell Me' which has it's feet planted in the late 80's, but is lacking replay value through an absence of memorable passages containing ENERGY. The first two minutes of 'Don't Drag The River' drag, before an unexpected quicker metal section creates a flurry of excitement. 'Fine' is too dour, indicating Iommi had been listening to too many Alice In Chains records, certainly not the case with the doom heavy riffs of 'Time Is The Healer' which could have been a latter day Sabbath classic. Classy keyboard runs punctuate 'I'm Not The Same Man', another vintage Iommi performance. 'It Falls Through Me' brings to mind 'Seventh Star's Heart Like A Wheel', a piece of melodic sheen with tortured soloing from Iommi and Hughes on top of his game.

In Summary
A mixed bag where the good outweighs the bad. The more traditional numbers make the difference, easily outmatching the 'updated' downtuned approach that was taking off in 1996. Iommi practically invented that form, but with a vocalist as talented as Hughes at his side, the only true sound of these two men is to play melodic hard rock. The critical acclaim delivered to this forgotten set inspired both men to pair up again, with a new album due shortly. With a further nine years having passed since the 'DEP Sessions' one can only wonder what the formula will be this time around. Hopefully they've stuck to their strengths and stuck to the formula which makes 'DEP' mostly a successful venture. Why it makes me eager to hear 'Seventh Star' again I'll leave you to figure out.....

Sponsor: RiotOz Distribution

Track Listing:
01 Gone
02 From Another World
03 Don't You Tell Me
04 Don't Drag the River
05 Fine
06 Time is the Healer
07 I'm Not the Same Man
08 It Falls Through Me

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#1 | sabace on August 03 2008 16:40:17
well worth searching out is maybe more hughes than Iommi!
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