Released by Eagle Rock Ent
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Classic Heavy Metal!!!
Ronnie James Dio – lead vocals
Tony Iommi – guitar
Geezer Butler – bass
Vinny Appice – drums
02. The Mob Rules
03. Children of the Sea
05. Bible Black
06. Time Machine
08. Falling Off the Edge of the World
09. Follow The Tears
10. Die Young
11. Heaven and Hell
12. Encore: Country Girl
13. Neon Knights
It is with great privilege and sadness that I bring you the last live recording of Heaven & Hell with the late Ronnie James Dio. In reflecting back on a career that has expanded 6 decades proving to any metal fan that age was never a factor and it was always about the music. His timeless voice was the benchmark by which so many rock and roll children open their ears and hearts. From metal icon to legendary vocalist to family man, Ronnie James dream works will always be recorded in the hall of rock’s history amongst the best that have ever graced the scene.
It seems just like yesterday when I was still a naive and stupid kid just discovering Metal for the first time and remembering seeing the Holy Diver infamous cover of the band’s mascot Murray beating a cleric, ahh memories… or how can one erase the memory of the first time listening to Ronnie belch his muscle with that infectious stroke of genius hook on “Dont Talk To Strangers”. From his early days in Elf to Rainbow’s legendary lineup, his legacy will live on forever.
And to prove the caliber of musician that he was I’m sure the transition from Rainbow to replacing Ozzy in Sabbath wasn’t an easy one, but as Tony Iommi saw it, it was time for a new musical direction and Dio was the right man for the job. The highly successful Heaven and Hell album was released in 1980 and it pretty much brought Sabbath back into the limelight reassuring the legion of metal fans that the prince of darkness replacement could hold his own. After a couple of more records Dio went his own way with his solo career and continued carrying the metal torch for years and it wasn’t until rumors in 2006 when it was said Ronnie would join Geezer Butler and Iommi along with Vinny Appice in what was later the moniker of Heaven & Hell.
Of course the rest if history after the guys recorded “The Devil You Know” in 2009 to critical mass acclaim and later as we found out recently it would all come to a complete stop as the passing of Dio left a myriad of metal fans heart broken..myself included.
But thanks to the folks over at Eagle Rock we bring you the bittersweet last recording of the guys at the July 30, 2009 concert at the Wacken Open Air in front of thousands of hungry feeding metal fans from all over Europe.
One of the band’s ultimate staples opens up the set list in “Mob Rules”and it hits a stride out of the get go with these old gizzards tearing up the place apart with their uncanny chemistry that has seemed to last eons. A true homage to the devoted fans of the band is heard in the echoes of “Children Of The Sea” another Sabbath staple. I always thought the single “Bible Black” of the come back album “The Devil You Know” ringed true to the image of the band, and in concert it sounded evil as hell. An awesome live edition of “Falling Off the Edge of the World” off “Mob Rules” is another standout as Iommi tears the cover off his freaking Epiphone guitar.
The everlasting and memorable notes in “Die Young” made me reflect on Ronnie’s life once more as it’s message gives way to the real breathtaking cut of the classic “Heaven and Hell”. The guys completely make this staple into an amazing rendition including once again Tony Iommi displaying an array of superior guitar talent that puts any veteran to shame as well as Geezer thumping his trademark bass gallop all the meanwhile Ronnie breaks back in the middle of the song to ignite the wonderful pyrotechnics with his blaring vocals.
I know already in some circles the music industry has capitalized from the timely passing of Ronnie, but the truth is that This DVD was already in the works before Dio passed away plus this piece of footage is essential as it proves again that even at their age the band could pull together on stage and sound magnificent. Along with the live set you get some one on one interviews with the band and a special tribute to Ronnie James. The video quality is phenomenal and shot with high def cameras and the audio soundboard is sparkling clean.
For some time I thought about writing a special editorial piece on Dio, his legacy and the music he has left behind, but could not put it into words. Perhaps we will let the music speak for itself and for years to come every metal head out there will reminisce on what his illustrious career had to offered. I will only have a few things to say that I couldn’t ever put into finer words. Someone far wiser then me once said “We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” Ronnie you will forever be the guiding light in the tunnel of darkness and for that we thank you. Essential!!!!…..
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 10/10