The Doom In Us All: A Tribute to Black Sabbath
Release date: January 20, 2016
No matter how you feel about Black Sabbath, the band has become musical and cultural icons. Since the release of their eponymous debut in 1970 their music has attracted devoted fans and equally enthusiastic detractors. The chugging, distorted guitar riffs and dark lyrics that are the formula for a Black Sabbath song set the tone for all heavy metal to come. It’s hard to find a corner of the rock world that hasn’t been touched by the work of these forefathers of all things heavy. While several Black Sabbath tributes have been released over the years, none have really captured the essence of what Sabbath offered. Ted Kirkpatrick, known as drummer and mastermind of Tourniquet has rectified this oversight with the release of The Doom In Us All: A Tribute to Black Sabbath.
I can hear it now. “Tourniquet is a Christian band, and Black Sabbath promoted Satanism!” OK, calm down, Freddy Fundamentalist. Black Sabbath never openly promoted Satanism, nor did any of its members. While their lyrics were dark, they often condemned the darkness of which they spoke. In some ways the band’s themes of environmental responsibility and ending war bridged the gap between the hippie rock of the 60s and the rise of heavy metal in the 70s. Surely these themes are universal, even if one doesn’t prefer the way they are presented. In that light, there should be no reason a Christian artist can’t record a set of Black Sabbath songs. The track list, hand selected by Kirkpatrick, contains songs that are fairly inoffensive, save the pervading sense of menace and doom that comes from those early Black Sabbath albums.
The list of musicians who contributed to The Doom In Us All is rather impressive. Ted Kirkpatrick himself performs drums and guitars on each track, aided by Dug Pinnick of King’s X on bass. Add to this vocalists like Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Corey Glover (Living Colour), Trevor McNevan (Thousand Foot Krutch), Eric Wagner (Trouble), and Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest) and you know what you’re about to hear is top quality. Lead guitar is provided by Scotti Hill (Skid Row), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), and Karl Sanders (Nile). The pairings put together for each song provide for strong performances, and careful production ensures a consistent listening experience. Rather than the disjointed sound of a tribute that spans multiple bands and genres, The Doom In Us All easily flows from song to song without the jarring changes that often come with a tribute album.
On to the performances themselves, Kirkpatrick took care to ensure that each track is faithful to the source material. “War Pigs” opens the album with all the fuzz and despair of Black Sabbath, but the updated production gives it a new shine. Chris Jericho’s vocals are a grittier take on Ozzy Osborne’s own vox. Scotti Hill’s guitar work is spot on. This trend continues throughout the six songs presented. Corey Glover provides an outstanding vocal on “Into The Void.” Karl Sander’s lead guitar tone on “Children of the Grave” is sharp and piercing, as fits a song with such a threatening tone. Kirkpatrick, who has played guitar on many of Tourniquet’s releases provides all of the guitar work for “Into The Void,” “Embryo,” and “Electric Funeral.” There isn’t a single song in this collection that can’t boast a stellar performance by all involved.
The Doom In Us All: A Tribute to Black Sabbath is the only Black Sabbath tribute created the way such albums should be: carefully, through the eyes of a devoted fan. Ted Kirkpatrick shows great respect for Black Sabbath by not reinterpreting these songs, but by meticulously crafting faithful versions, recruiting some of the best musicians in heavy metal to join him, and ensuring clear, high quality production. With Black Sabbath retiring after their current tour, Kirkpatrick has sent them on their way, not with a set of hastily thrown together covers, but a true tribute to a band which has left a lasting mark on him, and on the world of heavy music overall. There is a bit of doom in us all, and Black Sabbath forged that into worldwide acclaim. Finally, there is a tribute album worthy of their legacy.
Reviewed by Jim 1340