Listen to Tony Iommi’s first song in eight years, ‘Scent of Dark’


His first electric music since Black Sabbath’s ’13’

Author: Scott ColothanPublished 14 hours ago
Last updated 14 hours ago

Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi has premiered his first new song in over eight years, the towering instrumental track ‘Scent of Dark.’

Opening with ominous atmospherics, 25 seconds into ‘Scent of Dark’ the heavy metal torchbearer unleashes this trademark crushing doom riffs before the track builds in intensity amidst sweeping violins and cello.

Written by Tony Iommi, ‘Scent Of Dark’ was developed at his home studio with long-time collaborator and producer Mike Exeter, and recorded at Gospel Oak and Pig Music Studios.

Aside from an acoustic collaboration with the Birmingham Cathedral Choir four years ago, it’s Iommi’s first piece of electric music since Black Sabbath’s swansong ‘13’ album back in June 2013.

Together with the new track and video, somewhat surprisingly, Tony Iommi is also launching a new fragrance of the same name with luxury Italian perfume house Xerjoff.

Iommi struck up a friendship with acclaimed Xerjoff perfumer Sergio Momo during the pandemic and they decided to join forces. Momo is also an accomplished guitarist, and he performs on ‘Scent of Dark’ and appears in the music video.

The video was filmed at a haunted Sudley Castle in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire and melds live performance footage with clips of Iommi and Momo having a good whiff of the fragrance.

Watch Tony Iommi’s ‘Scent of Dark’ video:

Commenting on dipping his toes into the world of fragrances, Tony Iommi says: “It’s something I’ve always been interested in, ever since the early days of products like Brut and Old Spice, which I’d always get given for Christmas.

“Once I started touring the world with Sabbath though, I started discovering different sorts of fragrances from other countries and began collecting them on tour.”

He adds: “I met Sergio through another friend of mine Jimmy Crutchley (who plays bass on ‘Scent Of Dark’) and Sergio kindly sent me a box of his fragrances and asked if I’d be interested in creating my own, which I certainly wasn’t expecting.

“I had no idea how that would work, but Sergio suggested I come up with a list of things I like the smell of, which I did. He developed some different samples made up from my suggestions and I picked the one I liked; the project moved forward from there.”

Iommi insists he’s had control of the project from the offset, saying: “I wouldn’t put my name to something that I haven’t been involved in and didn’t personally like or use. That’s been the same with all of the projects I’ve done from guitars onwards, this is no different.”

Iommi hopes that ‘Scent of Dark’ will pave the way for more new music: “It’s been a really interesting project for me that has combined many of my different interests and a direction I’m really enjoying gong in.

“I’ve got so many riffs; it would be great to do more instrumental and soundtrack work.”

Queen’s Brian May released a fragrance with Xerjoff’s Sergio Momo back in January called Save Me that he said « smells like the British countryside. » Proceeds went to May’s animal welfare charity the Save Me Trust.

The real locations of rock and metal album covers, including ‘Black Sabbath’ and ‘The Best of Black Sabbath’:

Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)

The seminal and highly eerie cover for Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut album ‘Black Sabbath’ in 1970 was shot at the 15th Century Mapledurham Watermill, located on the banks of the River Thames in Oxfordshire.

Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)

A photograph of Mapledurham Watermill, location of Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album ‘Black Sabbath.’

Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)

Six years after the release of ‘Black Sabbath’, Mapledurham Watermill featured prominently in the 1976 World War II movie ‘The Eagle Has Landed’. Here’s actress Jenny Agutter during location filming on 14th June 1976.

Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)

The grade II listed building of Mapledurham Watermill has become a mecca for Black Sabbath aficionados around the globe – including children’s TV presenter Mr Tumble, aka Justin Fletcher.

Pink Floyd – ‘The Division Bell’ (1991)

Pink Floyd’s longtime album artwork collaborator, the late-great Storm Thorgerson, had two gargantuan metal heads the size of double decker buses made for ‘The Division Bell’ sleeve and he positioned them in a field near the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, which you can see in the background. In 2017, the two heads appeared at the magnificent Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Pink Floyd – ‘The Division Bell’ (1991)

After extensively searching through fields, Bob Egan of the website Pop Spots discovered the exact location of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Division Bell’ sleeve.

U2 – ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ (1984)

U2 recorded their fourth studio album ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland, however they opted for a different castle to adorn the sleeve – Moydrum Castle, east of Athlone in Ireland. Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry liked the mysticism of the ivy-engulfed ruined castle and thought it suited the music perfectly. The photo was a copy of a picture on the cover of a 1980 book In Ruins: The Once Great Houses of Ireland by Simon Marsden and the band’s representatives had to pay an undisclosed fee for the copyright infringement.

U2 – ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ (1984)

The ruined, and now even more overgrown, Moydrum Castle in Ireland in 2020.

Yes – ‘Going For The One’ (1977)

After the legendary Roger Dean designed the band’s previous four album sleeves from 1971’s ‘Fragile’ to 1974’s ‘Relayer’, Yes enlisted Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis fame for ‘Going For The One’. The sleeve retained Dean’s Yes logo, and featured a naked man looking towards the Century Plaza Towers in Century City, California against a blue sky.

Yes – ‘Going For The One’ (1977)

Designed by Minoru Yamasaki (who also designed the original World Trade Center) and completed in 1975, the visually striking and geometric Century Plaza Towers are 174 metres high and the tallest buildings in California outside of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Neil Young – ‘After The Gold Rush’ (1970)

Neil Young’s third studio album from over half a century ago features a photograph of the musician walking through Greenwich Village in New York. The photographer Joel Bernstein was just 18 years old when he took the photo, and he was said to be « shocked » that Neil Young picked it.

Neil Young – ‘After The Gold Rush’ (1970)

A composite of the ‘After The Gold Rush’ album cover against the railings. They’re located on the northwest corner of Sullivan Street and West 3rd Street, Greenwich Village, New York.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Physical Graffiti’ (1975)

The cover to Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album ‘Physical Grafitti’ features two side-by-side tenement buildings located at 96 and 98 St. Mark’s Place in New York’s East Village.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Physical Graffiti’ (1975)

As you can see from this Google street view image, artist Peter Corriston and designer Mike Doud were forced to crop out the top floor of the five-storey buildings so they would fit onto the square sleeve better.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Physical Graffiti’ (1975)

The Rolling Stones’ video for their 1981 single ‘Waiting on a Friend’ was filmed on the front steps of #96 St. Mark’s Place in an apparent nod to Led Zeppelin. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards meet on the steps of #96 before walking to the corner of 1st Avenue to the meet with the rest of the band.

Rush – ‘Moving Pictures’ (1981)

Created by long-time Rush collaborator Hugh Syme, the artwork to Rush’s 1981 magnum opus ‘Moving Pictures’ is a very literal translation of the album title. A triple entendre, it features workers moving pictures, then the paintings themselves depict emotional – or moving – scenes, and finally the back sleeve has a film crew making a motion picture of proceedings. The sleeve was photographed outside the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park, Toronto.

Rush – ‘Moving Pictures’ (1981)

Defined by its characteristic pink-hue sandstone – giving it the nickname The Pink Palace – the Ontario Legislative Building in Rush’s native Canada was completed in 1893. It houses the viceregal suite of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and offices for members of the provincial parliament.

The Who – ‘The Kids Are Alright’ (1979)

The Who’s 1979 soundtrack album to the film of the same name features a photograph of Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon draped in a huge Union Jack flag outside a section of the Carl Schurz Monument at 116th Street and Morningside Drive in New York.

The Who – ‘The Kids Are Alright’ (1979)

Bob Egan of the website Pop Spots has brilliantly superimposed the artwork onto the monument.

David Bowie – ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ (1973)

The artwork to David Bowie’s seminal masterpiece ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ depicts of Bowie as Ziggy at 23 Heddon Street in London, outside the home of furriers « K. West ». The photograph was taken by Brian Ward in monochrome and recoloured by Terry Pastor.

David Bowie – ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ (1973)

Here is a 1980s photograph of Heddon Street with the Ziggy Stardust album artwork superimposed on top.

David Bowie – ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ (1973)

On the 40th anniversary of ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ in 2013 a plaque was unveiled at 23 Heddon Street. Pictured are Spiders from Mars band members Woody Woodmansey and the late Trevor Bolder at the plaque’s unveiling.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Houses of the Holy’ (1973)

The otherworldly cover image that adorns Led Zeppelin’s fifth studio album ‘Houses of the Holy’ is a collage of several photographs of two alien-like children (siblings Stefan and Samantha Gates) taken at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis fame.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Houses of the Holy’ (1973)

The 40,000 interlocking and mostly hexagonal basalt columns that make up Giant’s Causeway are the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption some 50 to 60 million years ago.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Houses of the Holy’ (1973)

The image on the inner gatefold sleeve of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Houses of the Holy’ was captured at the medieval Dunluce Castle near the Giant’s Causeway and depicts a silver man holding up the young girl.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Houses of the Holy’ (1973)

The now ruined Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, which was built over half a millennium ago in the Late Middle Ages. It’s located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim.

KISS – ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1975)

The artwork to KISS’s third album depicts Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley wearing dodgy suits and standing on the southwest corner of 23rd Street and 8th Avenue looking north in New York City. The photo was taken by esteemed photographer Bob Gruen.

KISS – ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1975)

Another Pop Spots image with the KISS ‘Dressed to Kill’ album cover superimposed over 23rd Street and 8th Avenue.

Pink Floyd – Animals (1977)

Pink Floyd’s tenth studio album depicts a floating pig above the imposing Art Deco megastructure of Battersea Power Station in London. Storm Thorgerson designed the sleeve but the idea was the brainchild of Roger Waters who regularly passed the station on journeys into central London from his home.

Pink Floyd – Animals (1977)

Located on the south bank of the River Thames, in Nine Elms, Battersea, work on Battersea Power Station was completed in 1955 before it was decommissioned in 1983. Now in the process of being converted into apartments and shops, the building is owned by a consortium of Malaysian investors.

The Clash – ‘The Clash’ (1977)

The Clash’s eponymous debut album features artwork designed by Polish artist Rosław Szaybo and a cover photo shot by Kate Simon in an alleyway opposite Camden Market, London.

The Clash – ‘The Clash’ (1977)

‘The Clash’ album cover superimposed on the real alleyway in Camden Town.

Eagles – ‘Hotel California’ (1976)

One of the best-selling records of all time, the Eagles’ ubiquitous 1976 album ‘Hotel California’ is adorned with a photograph of The Beverley Hills Hotel in California. The timeless image was captured by photographer David Alexander while standing 60 feet above Sunset Boulevard on top of a cherry picker.

Eagles – ‘Hotel California’ (1976)

An aerial photograph of The Beverley Hills Hotel featuring the distinctive turrets and palm trees that appear on the ‘Hotel California’ cover. Work on the hotel was completed in 1912 and from the 30s to the 70s, the world-famous hotel became synonymous with Hollywood glamour.

Ramones – ‘Rocket To Russia’ (1977)

The photograph hat adorns the Ramones’ third studio album was taken by the band’s manager Danny Fields at 315 Bowery behind the legendary New York club CBGB.

Ramones – ‘Rocket To Russia’ (1977)

In image of the exterior of CBGB prior to its closure in 2006 with ‘Rocket To Russia’ superimposed over it.

Pink Floyd – ‘Wish You Were Here’ (1975)

The photograph of the stuntmen Ronnie Rondell and Danny Rogers for Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ was taken by Aubrey « Po » Powell of Hipgnosis at The Burbank Studios (now the Warner Bros Studios) in California. Decades before the advent of CGI, one of the stuntmen had to be set on fire wearing a flame-retardant suit and Rondell drew the proverbial short straw.

Pink Floyd – ‘Wish You Were Here’ (1975)

The Warner Bros Studio complex in Burbank, California in 2020.

Steely Dan – ‘Pretzel Logic’ (1974)

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen’s third album features a photograph of a pretzel seller taken by the late Raeanne Rubenstein. The pretzel seller was standing on the west side of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street in New York near the Miners’ Gate entrance of Central Park.

Steely Dan – ‘Pretzel Logic’ (1974)

A composite picture of the album cover on the real ‘Pretzel Logic’ location in New York.

Deep Purple – ‘Deep Purple in Rock’ (1970)

The ‘Deep Purple in Rock’ album cover was the brainchild of the band’s manager Tony Edwards, who suggested placing the US Presidents’ heads on Mount Rushmore with the heads of the Mark II line-up; Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

Deep Purple – ‘Deep Purple in Rock’ (1970)

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota. Created by Gutzon Borglum, the sculpture features the 60-foot (18 m) heads of Presidents George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).

Queen – ‘Made In Heaven’ (1995)

Queen’s last studio album, released four years after Freddie Mercury’s death, features a photograph at dusk of Irena Sedlecká’s Mercury sculpture located at Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland.

Queen – ‘Made In Heaven’ (1995)

The iconic Freddie Mercury statue overlooking Lake Geneva in Montreux. Standing three metres high, the sculpture was unveiled several years after Freddie’s death by Montserrat Caballé and Freddie’s mother Jer.

Black Sabbath – ‘The Best of Black Sabbath’ (2000)

Black Sabbath’s 2000 compilation album ‘The Best of Black Sabbath’ features a black-and-white photograph of four water-filled stone graves on the cover.

Black Sabbath – ‘The Best of Black Sabbath’ (2000)

The stone graves date back to around the 11th Century and they’re located at the ruined St Patrick’s Chapel in Heysham, Lancashire overlooking Morecambe Bay. Photography by Twitter user @gdpreston____.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ (1971)

The block of flats that can been seen on the back sleeve of the gatefold to ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ is Salisbury Tower, a 20-storey tower block on Middleway View in the Ladywood district of Birmingham. Completed in 1968, the tower is 57 metres tall and contains 116 flats.

Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ (1971)

Birmingham’s Salisbury Tower from the Led Zeppelin ‘IV’ back sleeve in August 2020.

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