MUSIKMESSE 2012: Laney TI100 Tony Iommi signature amp

Laney has offered an official Tony Iommi amplifier since 1994, but this year they’ve announced a new tube beastie, the TI100. It’s a 100 Watts RMS head with four 6L6 valves in the output section, twin channels, footswitchable variable Pre Boost on each channel, 3 band EQ, Volume, Enhance, and Presence controls.

The Metal Lord says:

“Almost 40 years ago I embarked on my musical journey with Laney. My first signature Laney amp, the GH100TI came out almost 20 years ago and it served me faithfully on the biggest stages in the world with Black Sabbath as well as recently with Heaven & Hell. Read More …

So I just lost interest in the Black Sabbath reunion…

So yesterday Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward said he had no choice but to sit out the reunion until the band presented him with a fairer contract. Today the band responded with this:

“We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans… We have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open… We are still in the U.K. with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll… See you at Download!!!”

Y’know what? We’ve had a Sabbath ‘reunion’ with Vinnie Appice on drums. We’ve had a Sabbath reunion with Mike Bordin on drums. Those were for tours when Bill wasn’t up to it, but this is meant to be the big reunion album, probably the big Sabbath send-off, the last hurrah. Bill deserves to be there. His jazz-inflected drumming was a crucial part of the classic sound. C’mon guys, give the man what he wants! I don’t care if he wants eight jets and twelve gold plated Ferraris: give him eight jets and twelve gold plated Ferraris! If it’s a matter of everyone being recognised and compensated equally, then that means you’ll all get eight jets and twelve gold plated Ferraris. You’re Black Sabbath, you’ll be able to find the money from somewhere. C’mon, let’s just end this on the right note and let it be.

Black Sabbath reunite

So the original Black Sabbath is back. How do you feel about this? Me, I’m a huge Sabbath fan – Sabbath was my first CD, in fact – but I’m kinda hesitant to get too excited. I loved Ozzy’s last solo album, Scream, but he runs hot and cold live. And I’m always a bit skeptical whenever anyone mentions Rick Rubin as producer – what, Nick Raskulinecz too hard to pronounce? Rubin’s hands-off style works great for some bands but not for others. For example, Metallica’s Death Magnetic could have been something really special with a little bit of extra work guidance.

Anyway, I’d love nothing more than for this reunion album and tour to be super-great. But I’ll wait until I actually hear something before getting too giddy.

Here’s the press release:

After much speculation, the original four members of BLACK SABBATH – guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward – have reunited to record their first new studio album in 33 years with producer Rick Rubin (SLAYER, METALLICA) and to embark on a massive world tour in 2012.

Read More …

REVIEW: Gibson SG Special 60s Tribute

The SG Special, a Gibson SG loaded with P-90 pickups, has at one time or another been the axe of choice for iconic players like Peter Townshend, Carlos Santana and even Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi. The SG is traditionally a somewhat trebly guitar, and P-90s emphasise this even further to create a sound that’s unlike anything else on the Gibson roster. The SG Special ’60s Tribute honours those old models in a much less costly manner, finding a low-cost solution to the pricey and time-consuming finishing process.

The Gibson SG Special ’60s Tribute is a limited-run instrument available in Worn Cherry, Worn Natural, Worn White or Worn Ebony. I reviewed the Worn Ebony model. It features a solid mahogany body with a set (ie: glued), quarter-sawn mahogany neck featuring unbound rosewood fretboard with simple, understated dot position markers. The neck shape is Gibson’s SlimTaper profile, which is .800″ thick at the first fret and .875″ at the 12th. It’s not really the slimmest neck you’ll ever come across but it’s certainly thinner than Gibson’s 50s profile. All the expected – nay, demanded – SG curves are here

Read More …

My interview with Tony Martin

The Black Sabbath albums featuring Tony Martin on vocals are some of my favourites – especially Cross Purposes and Eternal Idol. Martin is more than one of the coolest voices in metal – he’s also a talented multi-instrumentalist and lyricist. I recently interviewed him for and you can read it here. Here’s a snippet.

How did you develop your multi-instrumentalism? Did you have formal training or is it more organic for you?

Well I started playing things when I was five years old. I had my first guitar when I was seven, which I still own! It’s an acoustic guitar that is completely warped and the action is about half an inch! But I got sounds out of it and I kept exploring with other things – electronic projects and taking things apart and rebuilding them. The most famous of my musical explorations was harmonizing with my mother’s Hoover! I learned a lot about note interaction just by using the constant drone note from the vacuum. Also I had an AKAI 1721 reel-to-reel machine and I wanted to multi-track record stuff. I figured out that if I unsoldered the wires off the erase head, I could get it to record over a previous take. It of course faded the more times I recorded over it, but it was another step in exploring stuff. It hasn’t stopped to this day. I still explore with samples and sounds and electronic stuff. Guitars are my main instrument. If I want to write, I always pick up the guitar first. My original first pride was a Gibson 335 semi, which I am gutted to say I sold for £2 sterling when I was 14. Clearly had no idea what I was holding! And I also destroyed a Reslo ribbon microphone – a genuine 1940s-ish one – in the interest of exploring the inner workings… I don’t think I want to reveal anything else or I might slash my wrists!

Rockin’ the riffs on the Google Les Paul tribute.

Have you figured out any riffs using the Google Les Paul tribute logo yet? Chris from Riot provides this

3-7-3-5, 1-7-1-5, 3-7-3-5, 1-7-1-5-8

And you can also try this:

2-2, 2-3-4, 4-4-3-3


6-7-8, 6-7-8, 6-7-8
4-5-6, 4-5-6, 4-8-7


3-5, 5-6-6


6, 8-6-5, 3-5
6, 8-6-9-8-6



Can you come up with any more?

NEWS: Lick Library ‘Jam With Black Sabbath’ DVD


Lick Library Unleashes ‘Jam With Black Sabbath’ Guitar Tuition DVD

Further extending its metal collection, Lick Library unleashes Jam with Black Sabbath into the world. This double DVD and CD set features the nimble fingers of Danny Gill taking you through all the fine points of playing the guitar with that deep, heavy sound synonymous with Tony Iommi.

One of the first and most influential heavy metal bands, Black Sabbath helped define the genre with albums like the quadruple platinum Paranoid. MTV ranked them as the ‘Greatest Metal Band’ of all time and Tony Iommi is widely recognised as one of the most important and influential guitarists in the heavy metal world. Along with legend Jimmy Page he is credited with pioneering the mammoth riffs of heavy metal.

Read More …