The brainchild of Venom Inc bassist/vocalist Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan and guitar playing chum Francesco Conte (Neromega/Spiritual Front), Sabbatonero has been put together to raise funds for the beleaguered frontline COVID-19 of Italy.

As such, it would be churlish to ‘review’ such an album, as everything here is recorded with the best of intentions and to the best of everyone’s ability; Dolan and Conte form half of the core band which backs the galaxy of metal stars drafted in to help out, with drummer Riccardo Spilli and guitarist Filippo Marcheggiani completing the musical back four that sets the foundation for everything else. Better perhaps to focus on some of your humble interlocutor’s own favourite contributions.

So, what’s happening, musically? The name gives a clue – Dolan and company have elected to take ten classic Black Sabbath tracks (nine from the Ozzy Osbourne era plus Heaven and Hell), and there are many highlights to enjoy over the course of the album. For starters, the man who revitalised Diamond Head, Rasmus Bom Andersen, gets his teeth into Symptom of The Universe. But wait, there’s more – Marty Friedman plays the solo!

Death SS frontman Steve Sylvester gives a characteristically idiosyncratic take on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and Dolan himself weighs in with a quite superb vocal reading of N.I.B., which has to be this reviewer’s personal highlight of the whole album.

A nice twist sees twin female vocals taking over Killing Yourself To Live, and both Maksymina Kuzianik (ex-Setheist) and Mayara Puertas (Torture Squad) really add value with their contributions to the track. Prika Amaral of Nervosa send the girl power reading shooting into the red with a spirited solo on this track too.

John Gallagher of Raven and Russ Tippins of Satan come together to add(even more) Geordie bite to a rip-roaring Children of the Grave – another real highlight thisbut the bottom line here is that you’re gonna take different things from different songs across the album as personal taste dictates. The whole thing has been put together for a great cause, with a host of people putting in some great shifts to provide wall-to-wall entertainment for discerning ears everywhere. I can’t imagine a single headbanger anywhere failing to find something to like about this album – so get involved and start digging into those wallets now!

Full Album Credits:

Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan (Venom Inc.) – bass
Francesco Conte (Neromega/Spiritual Front) – guitars
Filippo Marcheggiani (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso) – guitars
Riccardo Spilli (Balleto Di Bronzo) – drums

Rasmus Bom Andersen (Diamond Head) – Symptom Of The Universe
Steve Sylvester (Death SS) – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan – N.I.B.
Maksymina Kuzianik (ex-Setheist) & Mayara Puertas (Torture Squad) – vocal duet on Killing Yourself To Live
Tony D’Alessio (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso) – Heaven & Hell
Flegias (Necrodeath) – Paranoid
John Gallagher (Raven) – Children Of The Grave
Simone Salvatori (Spiritual Front) – A National Acrobat
Andrea Zanetti (Monumentum) – Hole In The Sky
James Rivera (Helstar) – War Pigs

Guitar soloists:
Marty Friedman – Symptom Of The Universe
Filippo Marcheggiani (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso) – acoustic solo Symptom Of The Universe
Mantas (Venom Inc.) – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Terence Hobbs (Suffocation) – N.I.B.
Prika Amaral (Nervosa) – Killing Yourself To Live
Ken Andrews (Obituary) – Heaven & Hell
Sonia Nusselder (Crypta/Cobra Spell) – Paranoid
Russ Tippins (Satan) – Children Of The Grave
Attila Voros (Leander Rising/ex-Tyr/Nevermore/Satyricon) – A National Acrobat
Wiley Arnett (Sacred Reich) – Hole In The Sky
James Murphy (Disincarnate/ex-Death/Testament/Obituary) – War Pigs

Snowy Shaw (Dream Evil/Mercyful Fate/Therion) – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Marc Jackson (Acid Reign/Sin Theta/ex-M:Pire of Evil) – War Pigs
Dario Casabona (Schizo) – Hole In The Sky

Freddy Delirio (Death SS) – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Heric Fittipaldi (Scenario) – Heaven & Hell

Symptom Of The Universe
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Killing Yourself To Live
Heaven & Hell
Children Of The Grave
A National Acrobat
Hole In The Sky
War Pigs