Headless Cross review by Black Sabbath

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  • Released: Apr 24, 1989
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.3 (6 votes)
Black Sabbath: Headless Cross

Sound — 8
The follow up to 1987's excellent "Eternal Idol" album, "Headless Cross" sees Black Sabbath draw even more influence from 80's heavy metal bands whilst at the same time trying to regain their dark, heavy sound they became so well known for. The songs for the most part are brilliantly crafted and catchy as ever, particularly in the title track and the epic "Nightwing". Unfortunately, the production hasn't aged that well and sounds rather dated.

Lyrics — 5
The lyrics on "Headless Cross" are mostly about Satan and the occult; the only time in the band's career where an entire album is based on such ideals rather than select songs. The reason for this was due to criticisms from fans and critics that the band had abandoned the scary image they had became so well known for. Although Tony Martin's performance is excellent, the lyrics sound forced and more often than not they come across as cheesy, rather than scary. This is most noticeable in the song "When Death Calls" when Tony sings lyrics such as "can't die until Satan says you die, and Satan takes your soul". It's best to ignore the lyrics.

Overall Impression — 8
"Headless Cross" is often overlooked by most Black Sabbath fans simply because Tony Martin isn't Ozzy or Dio. It's unfortunate, because this album contains many of Black Sabbath's best songs. My favorites songs are "Black Moon" and "Nightwing". The rest of the songs are decent too. There is no filler on this album.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Headless Cross (title track) is classic Sabbath. I also thought Tony Martin did a decent cover of Die Young with Sabbath. It's a hard RJD song to do justice.