We can't contemplate a reality where Tony Iommi runs out of riffs but just how many has he stored away in the eight years since Black Sabbath's final studio album 13? Well you can hear some of them above in the new track Scent Of Dark, released to celebrate his new signature perfume/fragrance of the same name.
No, we weren't expecting the latter either but if it mean new Iommi music we're all in favour! The instrumental song sounds exactly as we'd hope; the sound of pure doomy metal, but with a majestic symphonic twist. And the scent? Hopefully we'll get some for Christmas and find out.
“I’ve had the riff for Scent Of Dark for quite a while and I’d never done anything with it, but it gave us a base to start from,” explains Iommi. “We built up the track with programmed drums at first and then Mike Exeter demoed bass and keyboards on it, and I added my guitar solos, just to give us an idea of how it was going to sound.
"Eventually Jimmy (Crutchley) added his bass. Jimmy knew drummer Ash Sheehan and he fitted in perfectly, adding the final real drum track on top of our work. Then we added the strings. I’d worked with string sections on Sabbath albums before, but this was a whole new experience.”
As you'll see from the video - that features Iommi's signature Gibson Monkey SG - he's not the only guitarist involved in the track.
It's perfumer Sergio Momo, who struck up a friendship with the Sabbath legend during the pandemic. Momo is the designer for Italian luxury perfume house Xerjoff, that can now add Iommi to its list of collaborators.
“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,” says Tony of his interest in fragrances. “Once I started touring the world with Sabbath though, I started discovering different sorts of fragrancies from other countries and began collecting them on tour.
“I met Sergio through another friend of mine Jimmy Crutchley 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,” he continues.
“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.”
Tony Iommi on Black Sabbath: “None of us were brilliant musicians but as a band it worked”
According to the press release, 'Tony brought in the aromatic reminiscence of rock in the 60s and 70s, festivals and gatherings, amber and patchouli. The final result harmoniously characteries the dark sound of Iommi’s original famous ‘64 Monkey Special’ guitar with the spicy and seductive scents.'
We'll take their word for it but a man with Iommi's lofty status doesn't back products lightly these days. “I wouldn’t put my name to something that I haven’t been involved in and didn’t personally like or use,” he says. “That’s been the same with all of the projects I’ve done from guitars onwards, this is no different.”
And Iommi is clearly impressed with Scent Of Dark's co-designer. “Sergio is a really creative chap," praises Iommi. "He plays great guitar on ‘Scent Of Dark’ and has one of my collectable models, the 64 Gibson with the cartoon monkey image. He said it would be great to incorporate that, and he’s even managed to get it onto one of the bottles!”
A Tony Iommi Signed Crystal, limited to 200 flacons, and Tony Iommi Monkey Special by Xerjoff Blends will be available from 29 November 2021 in selected retailers and at Xerjoffuniverse.com. Stream and bu the Scent Of Dark track here