Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Black Sabbath - Live Evil CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


Prog Related

3.43 | 140 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I normally don't review live albums, but this is an exception. This might actually be my favorite Black Sabbath album, of all.

E5150 starts off gloriously evil, and the crowd can barely be heard (a plus, in my eyes). My main point of enjoyment here, is how absolutely heavy everything sounds in comparison to the studio versions. Dio is amazing, and he sparks a brilliant performance. To me, the songs sound more evil than normal, and it is more in your face and punching hard. Tony lets out even more than I recall, and Neon Nights is damn fiery!

I think Iommi deliberately made everything more distorted here to make this the most evil and powerful Black Sabbath record possible. The way his guitar work dances all over while Dio roars confidently is spectacular interplay. Dio's screams are shocking and I adore them. I also don't make it any secret that I much prefer Dio to Ozzy, and that might affect my grading a bit.

Crucify me if you will, but this album's version of N.I.B. has to be the ultimate version of the song, and is terrifying. More brutal Stomping ground for Dio and Iommi. It is so blistering and heavy. In fact, I prefer all the Dio covers of Ozzy classics to their originals, all for one exception which I shall talk about, later. The album adds so much in the way of musical ideas you won't hear on the studio albums, and everything feels like a studio album. That is my idea of a perfect live album. One that has more power and fury than the cold studio renditions, while not shoving the audience down your throat. Children of the sea is fantastic. Everything is clear, and powerful. Dio is impassioned, and it is classic. Voodoo is rocking, and interesting. Everything feels so vicious. The soloing is magnificent. Iommi shreds at the end tastefully.

The opening to Black Sabbath is great. The synth roll is a nice touch to the soft solo. This then begins building into ...hell. Yes, this song becomes the bleakest, blackest recording I have ever heard from Sabbath. Dio sounds like the keeper of the gates of Hades. And when he screeches No! chills run down my spine. And his laugh is pure evil, in the best way.

The 10 minute version of War Pigs is an absolute beast. Dio fits so well, his powerful operatic vocals are exuberant and fitting. His snarls are captivating. Iommi shows off, and deservedly so. The drum solo at the end is great. It goes on for a bit too long, but live shows tend to be excessive. It is stomping, anyway.

Another Classic covered by Dio, and another one in which I feel it shames Ozzy's version. For one, Dio sounds more demonic without recording help, than Any other Black Sabbath vocalist could with said assistance. Again, the whole song feels more visceral and heavy, darker and blistering. As evil as Sabbath should be at the top of their game. The soloing is mind blowing, and Iommi is one hell of a guitarist.

Mob Rules roars from the pits, and storms the house violently. It is a short stab of fast paced metal between the monolithic slabs of dark metal that is Iron Man and the following track. It is harder and faster than the album counterpart.

The 20 minute long epic Heaven and Hell/Sign of the Southern Cross medley is astonishing, captivating, and the essential sabbath jam, outstripping Satan and riding the winds of flame. The solo is inspired, and feverish. As always, Dio packs a vocal punch. His interplay with the audience is not intrusive, and this is perhaps the album's highlight, culminating in an obscenely enjoyable shredding storm from Tony. My jaw dropped the first time I heard it. A brutal aural attack if I have ever heard one. The added lyrics to the second part of Heaven and Hell are fun and a great addition. Where he roars "Hell!" Exuberant.

The album is almost an hour and a half long. This means there is a lot of material on here, and so much of it is high quality first rate material. Each song here I prefer over the studio versions. Each Dio cover of Ozzy era I prefer over the original, except for Paranoid (which I didn't care for, even when Ozzy sang it) both versions are ok, the song suited Ozzy over Dio, in creation. Does this mean that Paranoid is the worst thing here? Yes. But, it is three minutes long, and still a decent song. The guitars are fat, and fit well. The solo rips the original's solo, though, so there! Plus, it ends with the opening riff to Heaven and Hell, just to mix things up.

The album closes with Children of the Grave, another Ozzy classic, and quite good. Again, I enjoy it more than the original. It is thick, distorted, fired up, and Dio is a vocal wizard. Sure "fluff" closes the album in a finalizing manner, but I never understood why it was there. not that I'd gripe over half a minute of the album end section and fade out.

In closing, this is the zenith of Black Sabbath, and absolutely essential to fans. The songs are complex structured, powerful, visceral, and much different form their album counterparts. The production is good for a live album, and everyone here is in top form. My absolute favorite Black Sabbath album. Four Stars

Alitare | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this BLACK SABBATH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.