If I was asked to name some albums that for me was as close to classical or traditional Heavy Metal as possible, Heaven And Hell
would surely be one of them. Not only is it in my opinion the best Sabbath album ever, it's also a milestone in the Metal scene.
An incredible strong album that shows both nerve, epic features, attitude, melody and fantastic composed and performed songs, tracks so tight and powerful that the temptation to turn up the volume and just surrender to the groove while the ground shakes beneath is too big.
When talking about Black Sabbath
in general it seems as if the conversation most of the times concentrates on the first years with Ozzy, I'm just of the opinion that there are a whole bunch of Sabbath albums of just as high musical quality as the first ones. Saying this I must admit that the first Ozzy albums had a really special sound and feeling about them, but there was more glory ahead.
The theme of this review is the first post-Ozzy release, the re-mastered version of Black Sabbath
's ninth album Heaven And Hell
. In the next section I'll make short description of the songs.
hits you right on, leaving you wanting more, much more. The fantastic up-paced driving rhythm, a huge well sung chorus, a stellar guitar solo sparkling with catchiness and some world class tight bass lines make up this in all aspects perfect track. I feel very at ease when I hear this song, and let me just say that it goes perfect with a cold beer.
The epic touch on the album lies especially in the two songs Children Of The Sea
and Heaven And Hell
Children Of The Sea
starts of with some calm acoustic and lead guitars and Dio
's magical vocals. The slow and extremely grooving main rhythm soon sets in and we are on our way into another brilliant classic. The hard and tight drums works perfect in connection with the slow guitar riff. The gloomy chanting chorus gives the track a mystic touch and the bass lines are brilliant.
It still amazes me how phenomenal the bass performance by Geezer is, he is one of my all time favourite bassists and his work on this record is stunning. The bass is always present and it lays the perfect tight line in every song, but it does so much more than that, it builds, broadens and creates all the time.
Heaven And Hell
has those genius vocal parts in the songs slower parts, not to mention the fantastic bombastic refrain, poetic philosophical lyrics that makes you twist your mind, Iommi
's stellar guitar work in the mid-section and the up-tempo ending part with outstanding lead guitar passages.
One of the biggest Metal anthems ever created, every single element making up a genius whole.
has a hard rhythm and a great direct approach. The chorus is very melodic and Dio
's hard vocals are sung with great diversion. The bass is one element making this song a lot better than it otherwise would have been; the groove laid down is just amazing and ground shattering. It's even higher produced than the guitar in some part of the song, how often is that the case generally speaking? The song has a rocking base and it's hard to sit completely still while this one blast through the stereo.
follows a faster path, some mean bass chords and very tight drumming is central elements. The harmonious guitar leads adds a quite melodic touch to another great track.
has always been one of my favourite Sabbath songs; there is just something magic about the catchy chorus and the hypnotizing mid-section featuring a melodic vocal part combined with a mysterious keyboard atmosphere. A fast song that feeds on pure energy.
With Walk Away
we are treated with a more down to earth and slower track, high on groove once again thanks in particular to the bass. I nevertheless think it's the album's least amazing song due to a chorus that is a bit simple and the fact that it isn't as interesting as the other cuts. Tight and hard rocking in all respect though.
Lonely Is The Word
is a very special song, relying on a strange but perfectly fitting guitar riff, solid drumming and deep bass lines. It's the songs unconventional and very original style and mood that makes it such an amazing track.
The depressing feeling of the song and lyric is delivered with such a passion from Dio
that it simply must be heard to fully comprehend, solitude and sadness is delivered in a very impressive style. The jamming guitar part in the mid-section adds to the special feeling and the huge keyboard incorporations at the end works splendid. Iommi
really shows how good a guitarist he is here, the extensive lead stuff he delivers is no less than extraordinary.
The great lyrics are perfectly balanced with the mood in the songs, all lyrics came from Dio
's hand and they have a mysterious, passionate, symbolic and capturing edge (as always).
Another impressive fact about this album is the phenomenal production, every aspect on this album is nearly perfectly produced, I love the extremely tight and heavy sound, just listen to the bass and you know what I talking about. Martin Birch is a genius producer and together with his work on Iron Maiden's Piece Of Mind, this one ranks up there with the best produced albums ever in my book, taking the year of making into consideration the accomplishment seems even more incredible.
Each song has its own special approach making this a very durable album that easily can be heard over and over. This album leaves an impressive legacy, magic musical craftsmanship found in abundance.
Written by Tommy
Friday, October 3, 2003Show all reviews by TommyRatingsTommy: 9/10
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