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Rondinelli - "Our Cross - Our Sins"
MTM / SPV 2002

Uaaau, what a line-up we have here. Bobby Rondinelli (drums, Blue Oyster Cult, Quiet Riot, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Doro), Tony Martin (vocals, Black Sabbath, oh and so many others), Neil Murray (bass, Whitesnake, Gary Moore, Black Sabbath and now Company Of Snakes) and Bobby's brother Teddy Rondinelli on guitar. But is this enough to ensure quality? I'll talk about that a bit later.

What Rondinelli carry on and on in their music is to be expected, due to the fact that the name Black Sabbath (with the exception of Teddy Rondinelli) links Rondinelli members close together. Having composed familiar things with Iommi in the late romantic-gothic period of Black Sabbath, they revived this spirit once again with their new release. And Teddy with his style and performance fits in perfectly.

The production, the whole drum sound (pushed to the front), the riffing, the guitar solos, the harmony bridges, tasteful keyboard arrangements, a fat, melodic bass line and of course unique Tony Martin's voice can make an impression that you are listening to the successor of Black Sabbath's "Cross Purposes" (1994). And this concerns the whole record from the opener "Naughty Dragon" to the final song "Our Cross - Our Sins". The band found a lot of space for creativity and freedom of improvisation inside the songs. The first especially interesting and impressive adventure can be found in "The Meaning Of The Evil" with a great middle section and the second adventure with some jazzy acoustical touches is in "Bulls Eye", which is otherwise a blasting hardrockin' bullet. Nevertheless, that riff's structure brings back to life the previously mentioned Iommi's "blacksabbathness", the band can also enlighten this "darkness" (choruses in "Midnight Hour" and "Time).

What we've got here is a classical Hard Rock crusher that warns you again how very much the old school hard rock dinosaur still kicks your ass. Undoubtedly, this Rondinelli's line-up did it with lots of balls. Of course we've got a retorical question here: "Why would I listen to Rondinelli, when Sabbath with Martin on vocals are enough to satisfy me?" Don't forget that these gentleman composed with T.Iommi in their Sabbath days, very very familiar things and the question about copying Sabbath legacy is complete bull. The spirit carries on. Well, they didn't invent hell or high water here. Everyone just performed the best they can. Rondinelli guarantees that you won't make a mistake when searching for the magic and sincerity that emerged "long ago" and fortunately still lives on. As if the time would stop for a while. A real nice album!

Author:   Aleš

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