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Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.07 | 661 ratings

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3 stars Right after the release of "Technical Ecstasy" album Ozzy quit the band and replaced for some live dates by former Savoy Brown singer Dave Walker, then Ozzy returned in January 1978. In June 1979, Ozzy quit the band for the second time for a solo career, replaced by former Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio (b. June 10, 1949). Also during this period, keyboardist Geoff Nichols became a regular part of the band's performing and recording efforts, though he was not officially considered a band member until later. There was again, another major shift in the music of Black Sabbath. This was mainly due to the vocal quality of Dio had been a major trademark for Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Having known Dio vocal characteristic, Black Sabbath tried to suit the music so that in this album the music is much harder than any Sabbath album before which typically starts with something slow / bluesy. This can be heard even from the opening track "Neon Knights". But the second track "Children of the Sea" (5:30) brings back the traditional Black Sabbath music especially through the riffs and drum work. I can sense that with this track the blend of Dio into Black Sabbath has worked perfectly well. The third track "Lady Evil" (4:22) demonstrates powerful bass lines by Geezer Butler.

"Heaven & Hell" (6:56) is a very nice song with an intro combining Iommi's typical riffs with Geezer dynamic bass guitar work to accompany Rainbow-like singing style. Geezer bass guitar work is quite obvious throughout the track. "Die Young" (4:41) starts with an ambient nuance demonstrating keyboard and guitar work followed with a hard rocker rhythm which accompanies Ronnie James Dio singing in relatively fast speed tempo. It's quite interesting rock track with nice musical breaks exploring keyboard and vocal line. "Lonely is the Word" (5:49) concludes the album beautifully, because the music flows naturally with some bluesy touch.

The result was a commercial resurgence. In the U.S., the album was a million-seller; in Britain, it was a Top Ten hit that threw off two chart singles, "Neon Knights" and "Die Young." (At the same time, the band's former British record label issued a five-year old concert album, Black Sabbath Live at Last, that was quickly withdrawn, though not before making the U.K. Top Five, and reissued "Paranoid" as a single, getting it into the Top 20.)

Overall, it's a very good hard rock music with combined styles of early Black Sabbath and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, mainly due to Dio vocal characteristic that had become Rainbow's trademark. I recommend this album for those who love hard rock music. Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace and earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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