Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell
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.

Neon Knights 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.

Lady Evil 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.
Wishing Well 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.

Die Young 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, 2003
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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by micado (Anonymous) - Thursday, October 23, 2003
u got it it is one of there best albums.....

Comment by Mads (Anonymous) - Friday, October 24, 2003
this is not better than Black Sabbath- Black Sabbath... that album is absolutly brilliant, the first album that ever made me more interested in heavy metal, other than the stuff mtv were playing in the 1980s...
Mads erdland Aanum

Comment by Semjaza (Anonymous) - Saturday, October 25, 2003
I think this is one of the three or four best albums ever made. When Dio arrived Sabbath finally sounded like a band named Black Sabbath ought to sound.
All due respect to Ozzy, but this and Mob Rules afterward are the masterpieces Sabbath never quite could do before. Or since.

Comment by lago (Anonymous) - Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Vuestra página es de lo mejor , ˇbastante "HEAVYRULA"!

Comment by R.J.WIH (Anonymous) - Tuesday, December 9, 2003
I think it's very good album, but Dio must come back to Raibow with Ritchie Blackmore! Thanks, no questions more!

Comment by stu (Anonymous) - Monday, February 16, 2004
BEST HEAVY METAL ALBUM EVER (not including any MetallicA stuff)

Comment by dpal (Anonymous) - Saturday, April 17, 2004
I think this one is Sabbath's best. But still it doesn't beat any of the three albums Dio did with Rainbow. Rainbow would have big chances of winning if there was a Most Underrated Band contest. Nobody beats Blackmore's solos!

Comment by Gabriel (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 23, 2004
I find it wierd that people can't judge an album for what it is without trying to compare it to previous albums. Heaven And Hell is a damn good album. Dio is a singer, where as Ozzy was a chanter. But it worked for each. This album shot life into a band that was in need of it. A classic.

Comment by Blackice (Anonymous) - Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Tommy, Wishing Well is actually a Black Sabbath original. If you listen to the song by free you will see it bears no resemblance to this song at all. And speaking of bass lines... Holy S**t! This one rocks. While the entire album is a masterpiece, I think this song is the best one on it. Thoroughly underated, completely awesome!

Comment by Tommy (Member) - Wednesday, June 9, 2004
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Hey Blackice.

Thank you very much for letting me know. Damn, I hate it when I make mistakes. I was actually a bit confused about that song, having for years thought it actually was a Sabbath song. I don't quite remember how I got to the conclusion that it was a cover, my research got messed up somehow I guess.
I have never heard the version by free, but you are right, this one is a whole different song.
I'll have it corrected.

Rock On

RevelationZ Magazine

Posted by Tommy
Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Comment by Christopher (Anonymous) - Friday, November 12, 2004
RJD is one of my favorite vocalists of all time. While I like some of his solo work a lot, he seems at his best when paired with another songwriter like Blackmore or Iommi.

This is my favorite Black Sabbath album of all time, and my favorite album that RJD has ever appeared on.

Comment by Oswaldo Franco R. (Anonymous) - Sunday, July 31, 2005

Comment by SAVA (Anonymous) - Saturday, February 11, 2006
First of all I must write this: "I HATE OZZY OSBOURNE'S VOICE!!!". His singing is TERRIBLE and becose of that I can't really listen the BLACK SABBATH records with him. That's way REAL BLACK SABBATH for me starts with this GREAT album. DIO and TONY MARTIN was to singers that best fits with those BLODDY METAL IOMMI RIFFS. "Neon Knights","Children Of The Sea" and "Heaven and Hell" are true classic of the Heavy Metal genre. Post-Ozzy BLACK SABBATH RULES!!!

Comment by Master Of Puppets (Anonymous) - Monday, May 8, 2006
Neon Knights-9/10
Children Of The Sea-9/10
Lady Evil-9/10
Heaven And Hell-9/10
Wishing Well-9/10
Die Young-8/10
Walk Away-7/10
Lonely Is The Word-9/10

Comment by Saini (Anonymous) - Friday, November 24, 2006
DIO + Black Sabbath = Magic. Please get together again and produce the best album again.

Comment by notrap (Member) - Friday, October 24, 2008
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Comments: 55
Ratings: 66

The "after Ozzy" period...This was a very important release for Sabbath.
Never Say Die! and Technical Ecstasy didn't sold well and everybody thought the band was dead.
Ronnie James Dio gave Sabbath a second chance and did one of the most impressive releases ever.
To be really honest, I didn't have this album on my top list in the 80's. I've learned to hear it over the years.
I was a big Dio fan those days. Holy Diver, The Last in Line and Sacred Heart were always in my playlist. But
Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules were always a little bit forgotten. They weren't heavy or fast enough...
However I've always respected this band for been the Hard Rock pioneers (along with Purple and Zeppelin).

I bought the Album this week and it's on my top playlist.
Just listen to Heaven and Hell, Children of the Sea or Neon Knights...
A true Metal Classic


Posted by notrap
Friday, October 24, 2008

Review by Tommy

Released by
Gimcastle - 1980

1. Neon Knights
2. Children Of The Sea
3. Lady Evil
4. Heaven And Hell
5. Wishing Well
6. Die Young
7. Walk Away
8. Lonely Is The Word

Heavy Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Black Sabbath - Official Website

Black Sabbath Tribute - A Danish Black Sabbath tribute band

Other articles
Band information - (Mads)

Mob Rules - (Tommy)

Seventh Star - (Hashman)

The Black Box - The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978 - (Hashman)

Master Of Reality - (Tommy)

Book Review - Black Sabbath: The Ozzy Osbourne Years - (Jonah)

Dehumanizer - (Stuart)

Mob Rules & Live Evil (2010 Deluxe versions) - (Michael)

Born Again (deluxe version) - (Michael)

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