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Great Black Sabbath Insight - 85%

Vegetaman, January 24th, 2006

This DVD (or VHS, depending on when you got it) is of high picture and sound quality and tells alot of stuff about the band that everyone except the most hardcore of fans probably know. Unlike The Black Sabbath Story Vol 1 which contained alot of stuff people already knew and just a few random video clips that had their moments but weren't too interesting, this one seemed like it had more energy in it. It could have been because it started with Ozzy leaving and the inclusion of Ronnie James Dio into the band as a lead singer for Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules... And then how it had come full circle back to Dio again for Dehumanizer all these years later after everybody had, as Vinny Appice put it "matured". This DVD also features scenes of the playing of the late Cozy Powell, who was a very memorable drummer.

First off, the interactive DVD menus are killer! Such sweet graphics. And it has band discography from this era, too! The DVD starts with introductions of band members with the song Supertzar (off of Sabotage) playing over it.

The true story itself starts with video clips being played intermittently between interviews and such. Like Ronnie is talking about how Die Young is the first song they wrote on Heaven and Hell and it was just Tony and Ronnie in a hotel room of some sort playing together when Ronnie went to see about joining the band. And also about how everybody was tossing back a few drinks and they decided to write a fast song, that became known as Neon Knights.

Then comes Trashed and Zero The Hero, which features Ian Gillan on vocals (from Deep Purple fame). Geezer then states how he'd become disillusioned with the whole thing and left after the end of that tour. This is the low point of the DVD, as they don't show too much of the video and it just kind of drags on. But there is a slight interview with Ian Gillan!

After that comes the high quality black and white music video for No Stranger to Love off of Seventh Star. It's a different (more soulful) sound for Black Sabbath to go in, thanks alot to vocalist Glenn Hughes. Tony's guitar solo in this song is very tasteful and more melodic than the ones of old that were more bluesy licks.

After that comes the promo video for The Shining, where they talk about how they got Tony Martin in at the last minute (after Ray Gillen, R.I.P.) and it is a very high quality song and video that it is a shame that this is the only way that I believe it has ever seen the light of day. It also features Geoff Nichols, the keyboardist in the video. Also a very monumental thing.

Around here, there's an interview with Cozy Powell (in fact, it's called "Cozy Powell's Last Words" on the DVD...) that you really just need to watch to get the full effect of what he has to say. But then Tony Iommi talks about how he was trying to renew the band's credibility since he had some good producers and band members again, and they go into the Headless Cross promo video which is kind of like The Shining video in how amazing it is... It's also a very big shame that it was not used publicly more.

From here it goes to the promo video for Tyr called Feels Good To Me. Not exactly a great metal video, but the song is kind of catchy and Tony Iommi plays his guitar solo on a spinning platform. It goes from being all arpeggiated and strummy to distorted and back every once and awhile and it makes the song really good.

After this is a studio take of Ronnie singing into a microphone with Computer God playing, possibly the best track off of Dehumanizer (since this was done when they were recording the album and touring), and then a small interview and then cutting back to the song.

Then there's TV Crimes, which has two videos. One is a band photo shoot, the other is an awesome studio shot of Tony Iommi laying down some riffage for the album (and some of Geezer later, too). The little ending fill low string fill is amazing and fast as lightning; it's almost scary to watch Tony play it.

After that, there's the video for the song I, which is a shot of their tour from Germany when Testament opened for them. Geezer can even be seen playing a five string bass, and the band looks pretty revieved and fresh at this point, with Vinny on drums. That's pretty much it for the DVD when this is over, except they play the solo for I during the ending credits which was very amazing.

There's alot of lightning effects they did for the scene transitions that are really cool with the album covers too, or Ian Gillan's scream when showing the cover of Born Again. I had hoped they'd include the video for TV Crimes (the music video, anyway) on the DVD, but alas they didn't. But still, if you're going to want to check out stuff about the backstory of Black Sabbath, then I'd say this DVD is a must. You can even hear a little piece of what each album is like, except that Born Again and Live Evil are both really just brushed over. And they left out about Bill Ward leaving mid-way through the Heaven and Hell tour, for some reason. But other than that, this is a pretty good DVD. In fact, I'm surprised they haven't made a third DVD to cover 1992-2006.