on 5 March 2006
This is beyond doubt BS`s finest moment. Iommi has the best guitar sound he ever got on record. Martin Birch`s production is flawless. He made sure that the band had great sounds something that is sadley lacking on all Sabbath`s earlier recordings. Dio gives one of the finest vocal performances on a Heavey Rock/Metal album ever. Check out "Neon Knights" for proof of Dio`s abilitys. Sabbath never sounded so complete as they do on this album. Dio`s vocals gave the rest of the band a new lease of life & insperation & it showed. "Die Young" was the single at the time & shows Sabbath using Keyboards to great effect. "Heaven & Hell" is still one of the best Metal songs ever written. "Walk Away" has one of the most commercial overtones to it Iommi ever wrote. "Children Of The Sea" has one of those glorius Dio lyrics, " On a misty morning, On the edge of time reaching for the stars we blind the sky". There`s not a bad track on this album & in a strange way all the tracks show slightly different aspects to Sabbath. By the time the tour got to the UK cracks were starting to show. Mob Rules wasn`t the follow up that had been hoped for & Dio split in acrimoney to form his own band. But this album still stands testomony to what was even for a short while the finest Metal band around with one of the truely classic albums of all time...."The world is full of kings & queens, who blind your eyes & steal your dreams...it`s Heaven & Hell" Buy now
on 15 October 2005
Heaven & Hell marks a defining moment in the life of one of the premier rock bands in the world. In a post Ozzy era, Sabbath faced the challenge of not only seeking to keep their sense of direction, but also in their quest for a new frontman. However after a few phone calls - enter Ronnie James Dio, who having just left Rainbow, stepping into this formidable role with grace & stature. The album represents one of the finest rock banquet's of all time. A perfect blending of classic rock and mysticial imagery, that has become the Dio trademark. From the blistering opening of Neon Knights through to the classic anthem - Heaven and Hell, this album pulls no punches. Not only did the album breath new life into the band, it also attracted a whole new generation of Sabbath fans. Even after 20 years this album still feels as fresh as it did when it was first releashed. Heaven and Hell, although reveals the band in a new musical light, would give Sabbath a new lease of life that they have enjoyed ever since.
on 19 January 2013
Never been a massive fan of Black Sabbath as Ozzys singing wasn't always up to much. Loved to listen to Ronnie James Dio with Rainbow so decided to give this album a go. Fantastic. Ronnie's singing is perfect alongside Tony's wonderful guitar playing. And have to say I'm very impressed with bass playing by Geezer Butler. Some great songs and this album was a steal for £5.00.
on 21 June 2008
Stunning album. Very strong musically with an excellent production.
Continues the progressive themes of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath with an iron clad attitude. Dio gives a great vocal debut and the band never sounded so polished and focused as here!
Die Young, Neon Knights, Heaven & Hell; all great songs BUT my favourite is the closing track, Lonely Is The Word - what a monster of a song! Great riffs, huge vocals, strong bass & drums and perhaps my favourite guitar solo of ALL time! Love Iommi's playing, so much emotion as well as power, and any Sabbath fan should rate this break highly. It's a truly epic solo with some amazing notes, as much about feeling as technique ( Dragonforce, take note!!). It's really cool how it fades out (the solo lasts at least a minute or more) and the keyboards then come to the surface as the track ends. The keyboards are used subtly on the album to great effect, adding to the atmosphere.
Even if hard to find, this album, along with Mob Rules, is as essential as any of the Ozzy era.
on 14 September 2001
A huge return to form - rejuvenated by pint sized wonderthroat Ronnie James Dio exactly as Purple had been by David Coverdale a couple of years earlier. Neon Knights and the title track are classic straightforward Sabbath, Children of the Sea, Die Young and Lonely is the Word married this riff-fest to the drama of Dio era Rainbow beautifully. Iommi's guitar playing takes another step forward here, and his solos throughout are the best of his career. His work on all of the above is almost operatic in scope, drama and fluency.
All together, this was Sabbath's most coherent, consistent and vital album, it showed the so called 'New Wave of British Heavy Metal' up for the spotty bed-wetters they really were.
on 30 July 2010
My very first concert was Black Sabbath on the 1980 Heaven and Hell tour. I was deaf for about two days after, but that concert is one I will never forget, just brilliant.
Well Black Sabbath after Ozzy, was it possible?
The answer to that is yes. Personally I think that this is Black Sabbath's best album. I know many will not agree with me, but if you take the album as a whole and not just individual tracks, then I think it can lay claim to that title. What was lost to the band with the leaving of Ozzy was more than made up for by the addition of Ronnie James Dio, who for me lies just behind Brad Delp as the greatest rock singer ever.
The album itself is as good now to listen to as it was 30 years ago and I think ranks as one of the best Heavy Metal albums of all time. Pick of the tracks is difficult but I will go with the title track because of the thumping fast paced ending with some great guitar work from Tony Iommi.
on 17 April 2010
I have owned all of the albums by Zeppelin and Purple for may years and have only recently bought all of the Black Sabbath albums. I do love most of the first 6 albums with Ozzy, but not because of Ozzy's singing but rather because of Tony Iommi's innovative and original guitar playing and sound. Therefore coming to Sabbath quite fresh at 41, I have no hesitation in saying that Ozzy is by far the worst of the holy trinity of British Heavy Metal singers with Plant and Gillan, not to mention Coverdale (and Phil Mogg of UFO) leaving him for dead. My favourite Sabbath album is Heaven and Hell in no small part due to Ronnie James Dio's impassioned vocals which are light years above Ozzy. This may be sacrilege to 50-something Sabbath fans but it's a cold fact. Ozzy's a great front man by all accounts but not in RJD's league as a singer. I also think Mob Rules is a grossly overlooked album-shoot me!.
on 25 June 2008
This album is a masterpiece it has alot of classics like Neon Knight, Children Of The Sea, Heaven And Hell etc. It's pretty sad about the debate between Ozzy and Ronnie why bother debating their both awesome vocalists and both made history in rock/metal, but in my personal opinion Ronnies is a much better vocalist and frontman but that my opinion. Onto the album it's a great album great songs and vocals and Iommis guitar playing is mindblowing, before i got this album i borrowed the album The Dio years of my friend and it blew me away and the first thing i noticed was how amazing Iommis guitar playing it's so different to other guitar players it's magical. Of course Ronnies is amazing as always. My favourite are deffinetly Neon Knights, Heaven & Hell & Children Of The Sea. The tracks no one seems to be mentioning Walking Away & Wishing Well are great songs may not be as strong as the other but they are great. So ignore the ozzy fans who are saying Ronnie is sh*t he's not he's an amazing vocalist and fits well with the band though Ozzy is a great voclalist he best albums were Black Sabbath and Paranoid i checked out some of his album after those 2 their nowhere near as good as those i did find some awesome tracks like After Forever and Sabbra Caddabra but thats really it. So if you're an ozzy fan who's stuck in the i hate dio zone then sadly you're missing out on some of the best metal songs ever realesed. This is a great place to start but if you havnt really heard much buy black sabbath's Self Titled album dont get me wrong this album is a masterpiece in metal but their self-titled album is the best place to start off with Sabbath as it's their first and a masterpiece. Buy this album if you have Sabbaths early stuff this album is breathtaking. Ignore ozzy fans who hate ronnie this album is a Masterpiece.
on 3 September 2012
Heaven and Hell is one of the very first records I ever bought - a year after release - and it has stood the test of time well. It is uneven, but that is because it contains four of the very greatest tracks every put on record. What defines its greatness is the space that the music seems to generate. Space that is filled by Dio's voice. It is an epic space, darkly immense - and his voice comes shining through it. Somehow Iommi makes the guitars sound hard enough for the contrast to really work. And unassuming as ever, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have a hugely strong sound, but give the music room to breathe and acquire its own individuality.
Black Sabbath were never going to feature in any Olympic opening ceremonies. They have always been under the radar of the mainstream, but for me they remain the greatest British band whether in the early years or in this incarnation. This record defines the distance between worlds of myth and imagination and the reality of the present day. And it does so because it is remarkably not self-conscious. It just embodies the essence and intensity that is the very soul of Heavy Metal and all that ever made that music great.
on 23 July 2007
Love this, always have and expect I always will. Okay so no Ozzy but think about this, if he hadnt left we never would have had Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a madman, etc...and never had this classic rock masterpiece. Im not too big (no pun intended) on Ronnie J Dio as a vocalist, but here, as on Rainbows Long live rock and roll, it just seems to work for me. The album is probably one of those sum bigger than its parts jobs, and I doubt any single track will be in your all time top 10. However as a whole it really delivers.