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Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell CD (album) cover

HEAVEN AND HELL

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

4.03 | 390 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars While its progressive elements are minimal, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more solid, entertaining, and rock-solid slice of metal excellence than Heaven and Hell.

Many of the elements that come to mind when thinking of Black Sabbath are absent here-- the doom, gloom, psychosis, etc. has been left behind in favor of upbeat, melodic, and catchy rockers, thanks no doubt mostly to the incomparable Ronny James Dio, whose lyrics and vocals here are some of the best in his career. Dio sets the bar very high here with his characteristic gruff, masculine, and powerful dynamic. Although the content is pretty standard for Dio, his mix of mysticism, gypsies, hellfire, and being awesome just seem to work, without any hint of pretense. While somewhat anachronistic, this is the sort of metal lyricism that I love-- over the top, fun, and badass.

But while Dio almost steals the show, its the original Sabbath crew that really makes Heaven and Hell the success it is. Iommi's guitar playing is revitalized on these tunes, cranking out massive riffs, solos, and melodies throughout. From the chugging might of the opener "Neon Knights" to the soloing over tempo changes in the title track-- Iommi provides the wall of sound which crushes the listener with this album's heaviness. The rhythm section gives an exceptional showing as well, laying down solid foundations of bass grooves and crashing drums.

While all the songs on this album are at least fun listens, "Heaven and Hell", and especially "Die Young" stand out to me as essential metal songs of the '80's. While the "new" Sabbath may not appeal to those who cling to Ozzie's style, but for those of us who love to rock and feel the speed of life on our faces-- Heaven and Hell is an excellent addition to our music libraries.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |

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