BLACK SABBATH — Heaven And Hell (review)

BLACK SABBATH — Heaven And Hell album cover Album · 1980 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Time Signature
Metal knights...

Genre: heavy metal

Enter the 80s. Exit Ozzy. Enter Dio. After the somewhat tired-sounding "Never Say Die", the energized "Heaven and Hell" is very refreshing and, while I have always liked Ozzy's unique voice, I do like Dio better as a singer - he is doubtlessly a technically much better singer than Ozzy ever was.

Musically, "Heaven and Hell" is less progressive and less psychedelic than the Ozzy-era albums generally were, and it is also less obviously blues-based. It starts out with the uptempo rocker, the now classic "Neon Knights", followed by the slower and more melodic "Children of the Sea" which also contains a darkly epic bridge. "Lady Evil" is another straight rocker, while the title track is relatively heavy, containing another one of those Iommi-style guitar riffs; it also serves as a blueprint for the pumping-bass-verse-power-chord-chorus style compositions that would later becore quite popular within traditional 80s heavy metal. "Die Young" is another "Neon Knight"-style uptempo rocker and, for my mony, a slightly better one, because it has a really nice mellow bridge followed by an almost epic sounding transition back into the main verse riff.

A lot of the songs on this album are, as mentioned, straight rockers much like on "Never Say Die" (although the style is a different one), but "Heaven and Hell" never becomes trivial and nor does it lose its captivating properties. I think that Dio fronting the band has a lot to do with this. His voice is simply so powerful that it adds a dimension that Ozzy couldn't (and I stress once more that I really like Ozzy's voice both on the eariler Black Sabbath albums and in is later solo work), which makes all the songs on this album remain interesting.

"Heaven and Hell" is a great metal album and belongs in any metal collection, and I think that especially fans of early Rainbow and traditional heavy metal in general will like it.
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