Legendary axe-man Tony Iommi is back with his third solo effort entitled, Fused. The famed Black Sabbath guitarist is joined by long time friend and former Deep Purple vocalist/bass player, Glenn Hughes, and seasoned drummer Kenny Aronoff, who has played sessions with notables such as Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Dylan and the Stones to name a few.
Unlike Iommi’s self titled release in 2000 that featured numerous special guests, Iommi wanted to go into the studio with a “band,” so they headed into the studio as a power trio, choosing Bob Marlette to produce. Although Iommi has produced several times before, he wanted Marlette to be an objective ear on the outside, stating that although it is often difficult to work with a producer when you’ve been behind the board yourself, but it’s good to have that other person to compare against. For Iommi, his bottom line was to get the best end result, doing whatever it takes.
The record is in standard rock format; slickly produced, loud, and packed into a neat ten songs. Funny though, that with so many contemporary rock bands that are laced with that influential, crunchy, thick ass SG tone and those stoner-like, head bobbing riffs, it’s as if Iommi is plagiarizing a style he created over three decades ago. It seems so tired and lost now in the shuffle of crappy rap metal (as if there is good rap metal), pop rock and worn out nu-metal bands that have flooded the air-waves with the same licks.
Adding to the banality is Hughes, who comes off sounding more like a Soundgarden-era Chris Cornell, making the album seem as even more generic. I feel dirty and wrong and slightly paranoid that the karma police will show me no mercy. That the skinny, rotten journalist such as me is dissing such a legend, but when the greats can’t evolve or re-invent themselves, they almost taint their once relevant and ground-breaking sound by reducing it to a level of mediocrity, and rendering themselves into has-beens.
Michael is feverishly unaware of his own lack of relevance and contributions to this and any other medium. He also realizes that the cliché and pathetically contrived act of referring to himself in the third person is a vicious and horrible attempt to earn the respect of his peers, which he has none. In addition to his trite manner, his pseudo-intelligence and misuse of the English language, he cannot help but to own up to his faulty brand of intellectual insight. He is nothing more than a renaissance man, one who can do many things at a very poor level of excellence.