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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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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars.This is one of my top three SABBATH records, and yes I have quite a history with this one. I bought it in the early eighties on cassette and it got plenty of air play as I drove around the beaches comfortably numb. Dio is one of my favourite vocalists, and this is the record where I like him best. He wasn't just their new singer though he also wrote the lyrics putting his stamp on BLACK SABBATH in more ways than one. The cover art of angels playing cards and smoking is one of a kind. I heard Kim Mitchell (MAX WEBSTER) recently on the radio talking about playing(solo) at a festival in Sweden last year and watching Dio(solo) play later at the same show, and just being in utter amazement at how good he was. He couldn't believe what he was witnessing. Coincidently Kim, Ronnie James and I were all born July 10th.

"Neon Knights" hits the ground running,an absolutely killer opening track that SABBATH has become famous for on their classic records.This is uptempo and relentless. Dio is freaking incredible. Iommi rips it up 2 minutes in. "Children Of The Sea" is my favourite track on here. It opens with acoustic guitar as Dio sings softly.Ward pounds his way in as Iommi's riffs come crashing in. Butler's bass is punishing as Dio belts it out. Iommi is so fluid 3 minutes in. 4 minutes in the intro acoustic guitar is back but this time with synths, as Dio again sings softly. Check out Dio 5 minutes in along with the powerful riffs from Iommi to end it. "Lady Evil" is a mid paced tune with some nice guitar work from Iommi. This one and "Walk Away " are what keep me from giving this 5 stars.

"Heaven And Hell" is my second favourite track and the longest on here. This is in the classic SABBATH mold, dark and heavy. Dio sounds so menacing. Some atmospheric guitar 3 1/2 minutes in, a minute later it becomes so powerful as the tempo picks up. This is insane ! Ward is leading the way as Iommi starts to shred. It ends with acoustic guitar melodies. "Wishing Well" is a brighter, uptempo track with more atmospheric guitar 2 minutes in. "Die Young" is a top 3 track for me. It sort of follows the pattern of "Children Of The Sea" with the contrast between calm and loud. It opens with synths as guitar rises out of it almost crying. Drums come pounding in as Iommi lights it up. Dio is very passionate here in this fast paced section. Calms right down after 2 minutes again with soft vocals. They're kicking it again a minute later. Iommi offers up some blistering solos to end it as Butler's bass throbs. "Walk Away" features a powerful vocal display. Ward is busy in this catchy song. It's ok I guess. "Lonely Is The World" is dark and heavy with great riffs. Iommi's solo after 2 1/2 minutes goes on and on as synths come in. Ward is great and so is this song.

This really is essential BLACK SABBATH and should be in every metal-head's collection.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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