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Black Sabbath - Live Evil CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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3.43 | 140 ratings

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3 stars Live Evil, the live album following the 2 Dio-fronted Sabbath albums was the first album I purchased. Ever. Of course I had plenty of cassettes, and I had the classic Rainbow and the Ozzy Sabbath albums, but as far as I knew (we're talking 1986 something and there was no internet back then remember) both bands were dead and buried since 1978 when their front men had left.

Big was my surprise when I browsed through the second hand vinyl box and discovered that Black Sabbath had not only continued to exist but that Dio - DIO! - had taken the role as front man. I put my weeks drinking money (yes Metal was more important then food) on the counter and rushed home like a madman. The experience was holy.

However, I must have expected another 'Rainbow On Stage' experience and that it was certainly not. First of all the sound is really bad, especially the drums sound like the kit was made up of cardboard and tin cans. The guitars could have been sharper and the bass would have benefited from less presence/reverb. But my mayor disappointment at first was with the vocals. It took me quite some time to get used to Dio's rougher voice on this album. His clean operatic delivery from Rainbow is far less prominent here and sacrificed to the obviously heavier nature of the music. I gradually came to like it though and the era with Dio has become my favourite Sabbath snack.

The songs from Heaven and Hell and The Mob Rules are here in blasting versions, be it that Heaven and Hell suffers from Iommi's extended solo indulgences. But Neon Knights, Children of the Sea and Voodoo rock the house. The same can be said for some of Dio's interpretations of the classics. Especially on NIB and Iron Man Dio sings the dust off Ozzy's versions. The Black Sabbath version is ominous. Not as macabre as Ozzy of course but a good alternative approach. Paranoid and War Pigs disappoint though. They do not seem to fit Dio's voice. Or should I put that the other way round?

I think this album is essential for Sabbath fans, but not to the rest of the world obviously. Not like their debut, Master of Reality, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules were.

But can I give 'just' 3 stars to my first proper album? :-/ It's hard but I guess I'm gonna have to.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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