Giuntini Project – III (2006)

GiuntiniProject_34 out of 5 Stars!

Giuntini Project is an “occasional” band that releases albums every six or seven years (1993, 1999, 2006, 2013), with virtually unknown Italian guitarist Aldo Giuntini and Black Sabbath’s former vocalist Tony Martin.

The music, as one might expect, falls mainly into the Black Sabbath school of Heavy Metal/Hard Rock, with more than a touch of Dio and Rainbow, or Yngwie Malmsteen or Impellitteri, especially when it comes to the shredding guitars and (of course) Martin’s powerful, top-notch vocal performances. Indeed, on this release, the band covers the song “Anno Mundi (The Vision)” from Sabbath’s Tyr album, so the style of music is comparable. Other tracks such as “Disfunctional Kid,” “Que Es La Vida,” “Gold Digger,” “Fool’s Paradise,” “Mourning Star,” and “Tarot Warrior” offer more of the same “Sabbathy” goodness, while the instrumentals “Tutmosis IV – Tarantula” and “Memories in the Sand” commendably showcase Giuntini’s guitar prowess.

Therefore, Giuntini Project is an excellent “occasional” band, yet remain shamefully obscure. Fans of Tony Martin and his previous groups (Black Sabbath/Rondinelli/Empire/etc.) will certainly find much here to enjoy.

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Tony Martin – Scream (2005)

TonyMartin_Scream4 out of 5 Stars!

Sadly enough, the “Tony Martin era” of Black Sabbath seems either generally forgotten or summarily dismissed by many fans of the group, usually overshadowed by Ozzy’s tenure with the band, no matter its inconsistency through the years. But in truth, I find Tony Martin’s time with Black Sabbath quite enjoyable—Headless Cross, The Eternal Idol, Cross Purposes, Tyr, and, sure, the less-than-wonderful Forbidden—nearly equaling the “Ronnie James Dio era” (my favorite era) with the band.

Therefore, I was thrilled to locate Tony Martin’s 2005 solo effort, Scream, many years ago. It’s a crying shame Martin hasn’t released more material on his own, since this album, from the opening track “Raising Hell” through the closing song “Field of Lies,” shows his firm dedication to the “Sabbath sound,” or at least music not too dissimilar.

But thankfully, Martin eventually joined up with several other “projects” and bands throughout the years since leaving Sabbath, so at least his vocal contributions to the world of Heavy Metal continue to appear at semi-regular intervals.

The bottom line is this—Martin is a gifted vocalist who never got the recognition he truly deserved, but has me (at least) as a true-blue fan of his work.

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Rondinelli – Our Cross, Our Sins (2002)

Rondinelli_OurCross4.5 out of 5 Stars!

With drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow) at the helm, it’s no surprise his band does indeed deliver music in a similar style as his previous group with Ritchie Blackmore. Yet with both bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake/Black Sabbath) and vocalist Tony Martin (Black Sabbath/Giuntini Project) also part of this album’s stellar line-up, the ’70s Metal sound is further enhanced with Black Sabbath influences, and again, considering the men involved, it’s not unexpected.

Each of the tunes on Our Cross, Our Sins, including “The Meaning of Evil,” “It’s a Lie,” “Time,” “Naughty Dragon,” “Dawn,” “Find the One,” “Midnight Hour,” and the title track, are killers, featuring ultra-heavy guitar riffs and solos (thanks to Teddy Rondinelli), occasionally embellished with some light keyboard touches (supplied by Dorothy Rondinelli), making for a “family affair” of sorts, and seemed a commendable merging of Black Sabbath with Rainbow.

Overall, this is a highly professional and enjoyable release that should certainly appeal to fans of (no great shock) Rainbow, Black Sabbath, or many of their offshoot groups!

So…”Black Rainbow” anyone?

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