Published on May 14th, 2018 | by voxx0
Sabbra Cadabra + Iron Tooth
O’Rileys, Hull | 05/05/2018
Tonight O’Rileys hosts a heavy metal double header courtesy of Manchester based Black Sabbath tribute, “Sabbra Cadabra”, with support from local scene stalwarts, groove metallers Iron Tooth.
Iron Tooth are one of the most established acts going on the Hull scene, who, following several misadventures and reinventions over the years, seem thoroughly comfortable in their current groove metal identity. A solid mixture of hip shaking blues fuelled riffs set against noughties Nu metal era heavy grind and growl. With a new drummer in tow, the lads have really honed their art over the last year. Dual guitars chugging in unison as Bass drives vocals, courtesy of Rich Gale, providing a constant barrage of guttural venom. The riffs really do lead the way, foot stomping and head banging their way through a solid set. Iron Tooth provide a perfect appetizer for the Sabbath Doom metal to come.
Focusing on the Ozzy years from 1970’s self titled debut to 1978’s Never Say Die, Sabbra Cadabra are on a mission to establish themselves as the UK’s premier Black Sabbath tribute. Comprising of members of the previously revered Deepest Purple, the band are no strangers to the stage, which becomes immediately apparent as things explode into full swing.
Hit after hit of Sabbath’s finest fill the room, with every musical intricacy lovingly re-created. I’ve heard many a ‘War Pigs’ cover, but have never witnessed anyone perform the full psychedelic outro in such vivid technicolour. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that when it comes to tributes, the vocals are the key, and here the vocals are definitely on point – Closing your eyes you could be at the real thing.
What I enjoyed was the care put into recreating the Sabbath experience without attempting a carbon copy of sound bites, whimsy and dross. I’ve witnessed tributes attempt to re-enact, word for word, live CDs with all their between-song banter and guff – and it can be painful!). Here, it’s Ozzy’s Sabbath and it takes centre stage, yet there’s still plenty to be said about the solid guitar, bass and drums that provide the full, immersive experience.
Tony Lommi is considered by many as the forefather of the metal guitar sound that paved the way for almost all modern metal. While many attempt it and come close, few get the true tone and style of his intricate legato-style solo work to this level. Bass is thumping, solid and heavy, and Geezer Butler again has a signature sound hard to capture due to his strong command of the bass – a mash of heavy hands, pounding finger plucks and obviously the whammy pedal that helped define one of metal’s most iconic bass intros for ‘N.I.B’. Sealing the deal is a stellar drum performance; often overlooked, they provide the container for everything else to sit and happily co-exist in. Many have mixed opinions about original drummer Bill Ward, but what cannot be denied is how much he shaped the early rhythmic sounds and structures of these critical early musical years. Here, we witness it in its full glory.
Sabbra Cadabra are a thoroughly enjoyable, authentic Black Sabbath experience, happy to break away from the trappings of shallow covers and whimsical snapshots, instead choosing to provide a true tribute to one of metal’s most influential originators.
They’ll be back at O’Rileys later in the year for more fun, and are well worth a look!
- Words by Luke Goodhand | Photography by Rowan Zynoni