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Black Sabbath - 'Heaven And Hell' (landmark album review) http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cd/ed/7f/Black-Sabbath-Heaven-And-Hell-72-1492803043.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 21, 2017    
 
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If you're unfamiliar with the album, then I envy you of your discovery and joyful first listen.

This is a Rocktopia™ landmark review (album review no. 4991, pls. click HERE for more information)


'Sing me a song, you're a singer; do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil'... Delivered with crystal cut perfection, the band name might've been familiar but the opening lines of the 'Heaven And Hell' title track gave declaration that Black Sabbath was now a very different beast. In Ronnie James Dio, the instrumental trio of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward now had a vocalist capable of taking them beyond the (admittedly genre-defining) Doomy dirge of their original Ozzy Osbourne-fronted guise to hitherto undreamt-of vistas.

Driven by Butler's constantly pulsating bass line, the aforementioned title track is an epic masterpiece. From introspective to anthemic, from Iommi's shimmering, dreamy solo, to the hard-driving foot-to-the-floor heads down Boogie that reels the number towards its breath-taking climax, it's simply peerless.

'Neon Knights' opens the album; up-tempo, surging, bristling with vitality – the argument for changing the band's name (as they would a quarter of a century later, to Heaven & Hell) having resonance, such is the difference in comparison to Sabbath Mk.I.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The swirling synths of Geoff Nicholls introduces the experimental 'Die Young', while producer Martin Birch deserves full recognition for capturing such potent alchemy.

With a bass-driven groove that the previous decade's Disco clubs would've lapped up, 'Lady Evil' continues this most unexpected metamorphosis, while 'Walk Away' is positively FM radio-friendly! Closer 'Lonely Is The World' is founded on the type of monolithic riff that Iommi's made his stock in trade, and tempo-wise is – along with 'Children Of The Sea' – the closest the album comes to bridging the gap with past releases.

If you already know 'Heaven And Hell', then please, revisit it – every listen is a gift. If you're unfamiliar with the album (more of which in a moment), then I envy you of your discovery and joyful first listen. As incredible as the album remains, what is as equally unbelievable is that much of the world's population are only aware of a shambolic reality show character's Black Sabbath catalogue. Aren't we the lucky ones?

Paul Rodgers, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Ian Gillan and David Coverdale; almost none finer – well, just the one...

Caesar Barton

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