I do not consider a Black Sabbath without Ozzy to be Black Sabbath, and therefore, once Ozzy left ship after the awful Never Say Die, Black Sabbath died. However Tony Iommi and the rest still had the right to use the Black Sabbath moniker, and therefore they hired Ronnie James Dio on the vocals, and came up with this slab of 80’s metal godawfulness, generically named Heaven and Hell. Oh my gawd, guys, that’s all you could come up with? I would have preferred a name like “At the Gates of Durmdand Land the Fire of Christ Burns” or some usual shit like that. At least those names stand out, stupid and cheesy though they are. And the cover with Angels smoking cigarettes? So that is how you want to mock Christianity? There have to be stronger ideas, cmon, there’s nothing wrong with a cigarette as long as you are not puffing it into somebody else’s face.
Well, it’s a good thing that I don’t use album covers and names to rate an album, the name of the site being “That Doesn’t Sound Right”, so the use of anything else other than the ears to evaluate an album is strictly prohibited. Even based on what I heard, this is not an album which merits recommendation, being nothing more than a typical 80’s metal recording, 4/4, generic chord progressions, generic solos, the works. To top off the generic nature of the music we have Mr Metal Singer Dio, who I used to like when he was with Rainbow. He is the name you associate with heavy cheesy metal singing, works sometimes, sometimes it doesn’t.
Apparently Dio brought along some B Sides outtakes from a Rainbow recording session along with him, for example, listen to songs like Children of the Sea, Neon Knights, Wishing Well, Lady Evil and Walk Away…..whoa…..that’s almost the whole album!! Generic is the word, by lord!! The remaining cuts deserve special mention: Die Young for having the most hilarious and cheesy vocals by Dio ever and Heaven and Hell for being on almost all the Greatest Hits Collection of Black Sabbath. Oh, there is “Lonely is the Word”, which is passable and noticeable for its change of tempo and melodious guitar work.
So there you have it. Reviewing Black Sabbath albums w/o Ozzy is the height of vellapanti (slang word in Hindi meaning “joblessness”). I am working on the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene right now, and that is going to take some time, while in the meantime why don’t you readers go and check out more of That Doesn’t Sound Right !
Recommended Songs- Heaven and Hell.
Update: I wrote this review on the 15th of May. On the 16th Dio died, battling stomach cancer. I would like all readers to up and do a smart salute to the man, devil horns and all. Thank you RJ Dio for all the music and all the head banging. For people not familiar with his works, I recommend you start with the album of Rainbow which has “Catch the Rainbow” on it, I am forgetting which one. I am not familiar with his “Dio” catalogue, and I do not recommend his Black Sabbath albums, where apart from a couple of classics (like the title track on this one), the riffs are so poorly constructed, that no matter how he strained himself, he just couldn’t save the damn things. The only consolation for him must have been that his replacement, Ian Gillan, added to the shit factor, rather than reducing it, on such great songs as “Zero the Hero”.
PPS-Due to laziness it gets published today, that is the date you see above.
More BLACK SABBATH reviews HERE.
More METAL reviews HERE.
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