BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi has released “Scent Of Dark”, his first musical composition since writing a classical piece for the Birmingham Cathedral in 2017 and his first rock song since SABBATH‘s “13” album in 2013.
To coincide with “Scent Of Dark”‘s arrival, Iommi has announced that he will also release a fragrance, designed in collaboration with luxury Italian perfume house Xerjoff and Sergio Momo.
“I’ve had the riff for quite a while and I’d never done anything with it,” Iommi commented, “but it gave us a base to start from. 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. Then we added the strings. I’d worked with string sections on SABBATH albums before, but this was a whole new experience.”
Last year, when the world was on Covid lockdown, Iommi befriended Sergio Momo, the founder and creative manager of the Italian perfumier Xerjoff, after Momo asked the guitarist to play on a charity track. Unfortunately, Iommi couldn’t do it at the time, but Momo nevertheless sent him a box of perfumes as a thank you for considering it. Iommi phoned him up to say thanks and eventually Momo asked, “Would you be interested in doing your own perfume?” “I went, ‘Oh, that’s amazing,’ ” Iommi says. “I had to write down all the different smells that I like, and then he built perfume from that.” Within a few months, Iommi had both a new scent and a new song.
“Sergio also loves music, and he plays guitar,” Iommi says. “He said, ‘What about doing a tune for the scent?’ And we thought it best to do an instrumental as opposed a having a vocalist and going through all that. So I had this idea and I played it to him, and he liked it, and then I just added more parts to it to make it what it was.”
“Scent Of Dark,” track bears all the hallmarks of Iommi’s signature style – a murky, mystical intro; heavy, swaggering riffs; and, of course, a bluesy, lyrical guitar solo – though with a little more drama than usual, thanks to accents from some orchestral string players. Momo, who plays an Iommi signature model guitar, takes the first solo on the song, while Jimmy Crutchley (who introduced Iommi to Momo) plays bass, Ash Sheehan handles the drums, and Iommi’s longtime producer Mike Exeter plays keyboards; Rebecca Rose and Julianne Bourne play cello and violin, respectively. The musicians filmed the song’s clip, which features copious cologne imagery, at Sudeley Castle near Gloucestershire, England.
“The only trouble is, when I was outside filming, I had an audience,” Iommi says during an interview in which he also discussed his future music plans. “All the people that go around viewing the castle were standing there watching me, looking like, ‘What’s he doing? Oh, dear.’”
Watch the video for “Scent Of Dark” below, and read the complete interview with Tony Iommi at Rolling Stone.