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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Heaven and Hell

Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell

Review by Gary Hill

With Ronnie James Dio’s passing, Heaven and Hell are done. That’s why this one two punch of CD and DVD release are so great. It’s probably the final musical document we’ll have of the live power of the group. For those who don’t know, Heaven and Hell was the name the reunited Dio era Black Sabbath took when they hit the road. The disc includes Sabbath classics and newer songs from Heaven and Hell and it really rocks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mob Rules

The guitar kicks this one off in fine fashion and Dio really screams. It is really a powerhouse and works very well in this live telling.

Children Of The Sea
One of the cooler songs the Dio lineup of Sabbath ever did, this cut alternates between mellower and harder edged sections. Dio sounds positively Gothic on it.
I
This smoking hot stomper is a killer! It’s one of the best numbers on show here. The introduction and mid-section are made up with a mellower, but very meaty, bluesy jam.
Bible Black
A dramatic balladic approach makes up the first section of this cut. They power it out into a real screaming jam as they continue, though. This thing is turned into one of the coolest jams of the whole set. It’s quite involved and powerful.
Time Machine
This metal stomper is strong, but not at the level of the last cut. They weave a cool instrumental section into it, though.
Fear
A new song, this has a more modern feeling to it in some ways, but is still classic Heaven and Hell (or should I say “Dio era Sabbath?”). Again, it’s a potent cut, but perhaps not up to the same level as some of the other material on show.
Falling Off The Edge Of The World
I’ve always dug this track. It’s got a great mellow and hard edged counterbalance between the two sections and is almost prog rock at times.
Follow The Tears
This track starts with a dramatic section that has a modern sound to it, but then we get something closer to very early Sabbath (but with a harder edge).
Die Young
Another Black Sabbath classic, they provide a little harder rocking rendition of the track than the studio version was. It’s a great tune, though, and works quite well.
Heaven and Hell
They extend this cut out to a seventeen minute plus jam with the addition of audience sing alongs and an extensive instrumental exploration.
Neon Knights
Another fiery rocker, this makes a great closer.
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