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The 1996 DEP Sessions
March 2005
Released: 2004, Sanctuary Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

When I first heard that secret sessions were going to surface that combined the legendary talents of Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes, I was extremely psyched to see if they could deliver on the promise first displayed on 1986’s underrated Black Sabbath album, SEVENTH STAR. After all, when two talents like Iommi and Hughes get together, musical magic is almost guaranteed to be the result.

I am thrilled to report that this album, after being criminally left to gather dust for almost a decade, is nigh on perfect. Not like Sabbath, not like Deep Purple, this disc takes elements of both, plus a little bit of Hughes’ love of blues music, and cranks out an album that is equal parts modern rock and classic metal, yet still manages to sound current here in 2005. Hughes’ vocals are still (!) in top form, despite the wear of 25 years in the business, the man sounding just as powerful and smooth as in 1974. To hear him belt out screams like he does in “Don’t You Tell Me” is damn impressive. As for Iommi, what else can be said? The man is still a wizard with a guitar and he’s unafraid to show it here with some of his best solos in years (though a few more would have been nice). Not only that, but the riffs that they’ve come up with manage to trump anything that has come out of Sabbath since TYR (another underrated gem!). Ranging from the speedy hard rock of “I’m Not the Same Man” to the mellow strains of “Don’t Drag the River” (Hughes really shines here) to the most doomy and Sabbath-like “Time is the Healer”, every song here is a surefire winner.

While the world waits to see if Black Sabbath will ever get their shit together enough to record another album, THE 1996 DEP SESSIONS can easily fill the void. Forget Iommi’s solo album from a few years back, forget REUNION’s two rehashed tracks, THIS album will satisfy your need for vintage Tony Iommi. Hell, given the material here, I would love to see what Hughes, Iommi, Butler, and Ward could come up with.
Track Listing

1) Gone
2) From Another World
3) Don’t You Tell Me
4) Don’t Drag the River
5) Fine
6) Time is the Healer
7) I’m Not the Same Man
8) It Falls Through Me


Tony Iommi: Guitars
Glenn Hughes: Vocals, Bass
Jimmy Copley: Drums
Don Airey: Keyboards
Geoff Nicholls: Keyboards
Mike Exeter: Keyboards



Other reviews

» The 1996 DEP Sessions
by Waspman

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