It has been eighteen
years since Bill Ward released his second
album, finally releasing his third effort ‘Accountable
Beasts’. I had very little clue as to what I would be listening to other
than it being “Bill Ward, former drummer of Black Sabbath.” A possibility arose that it may take on something
of a familiar form. To a small degree, I was correct, but it was quite a
surprise for the majority of it.
its first minute and a half, summing up pretty much all its negative aspects.
The opening guitar riff lulls you into a falsity as it seemed to be heading
towards some grungy doom song, but then quickly turns in to a progressive
theatrical sound as the vocals start. The light instrumental sound and
whispered vocal style do connect with each other, but overall, it doesn’t
really flow so well as it seems too different from the song’s intro. The guitar
solo and the drone of the rhythm guitar underneath do make for a good instrumental
beginning with chugs from the guitar and lower toned vocals, but sure enough
gets overwhelmed as the chorus kicks in. The song switches between catchy
instrumental sections and rambling choruses. Finally, the chugging guitar
rhythm ends the song, which comes rather abruptly and just seems to stop
halfway through a verse.
“The Wall Of Death” is the
only song I enjoyed in the album, and even then it is mainly due to the four-minute
outro. It begins promisingly with some gritty, heavily distorted power chords
accompanied by orchestral percussion. As the vocals start, the song turns light-hearted
due to the mix of keyboards and vocal notes. The only redeeming factor of the
singing is during the chorus when Bill sings “Keep the pace, motherfuckers!” The latter half of the song gives
us more grittiness with a Black Sabbath sound, with a light build up to a doom-styled
guitar solo. The outro is rather atmospheric with its percussive overtones and
mixture of violin stabs and prolonged keyboard notes.
main problem is Bill’s voice; I personally could barely stand it. The higher
notes are rather cringing, and overall it seems rather dissonant. The operatic
vibrato style and spoken word parts leave something to be desired. It could be
the vocal line being higher up in the mix and more in-your-face makes me focus
on just that, and away from the song in question. The second matter is for the
orchestral overtones that don’t seem to go well with the rest of the music. As
these are both large aspects of the CD, I found the album difficult to listen
to for the most part.
quite generic, using basic rhythms and patterns. It does come off well in some
parts, especially standing out during the instrumental sections as the vocal
line is too prominent and takes the most concentration away from the music. The
rhythm section is similarly rather slow and steady, yet fits well with the
guitar and bass. Some of the keyboard work is enjoyable, but mostly seems there
for the sake of it whilst rarely accenting the music.
In conclusion, the
album has rather weak substance, especially coming from such a prominent person
within the genre. The instrumentation is rather basic and only enjoyable on
occasion. Bill’s vocal style seems outdated, relating to a form within a
repressed age of music. Allowing only for a nostalgic trip to bygone decades
seems to be the one redeeming quality of this album, if that comes in to your
equation for enjoying a piece of music.