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Up and Coming: Heaven and Hell - 95%

boblovesmusic, April 7th, 2009

This is a classic band in disguise as a new band and man this kick ass! That classic but new band is the legendary Heaven and Hell! While the band name is new, you might know these guys better as Black Sabbath. Well the Black Sabbath that featured Dio, Toni Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice (and Scott Warren)! A few years ago, this lineup reunited to do tour together and perform songs from those days under the name Heaven and Hell (as not to infringe upon the original Ozzy-fronted lineup). The creative and metal spark was so strong that this group of metal legends decided to record a new album. This song comes off of that album that comes out in April.

These musicians are still in full glorious metal form! Dio sounds the best in years, still incredibly powerful is his vocals while not being overly aggressive. Just the perfect blend of melody and evil. Iommi is still a master of the riffs, churning out powerful, awesome, crushing audible doom. Geezer is in full form laying down the low end backup to Iommi. Vinny Appice isn't the most incredible drummer in the genre, but his simplicity works well with the music created by the band. This song is an awesome combination of pure doom heaviness, rock sensibilities and evil storytelling. With lyrics like:

"He reached for a book all bound in leather
Something that he knows he's never read
And the first page says beware you've found the answer
The next one says I wish that you were dead..."

A little cliched, but still awesome! (totally love that part!) The track is a natural evolution and continuation of the style and sound they created with the three songs they did for The Dio Era best of package. The song starts off slow and haunting before exploding into dooming epic-ness. It's infectious and wonderfully singalongable (I found myself singing along with it). It's weird, the first couple listens I absolutely loved this song, but after awhile it started to drag in parts. Now it's one of my favorite songs and I'm totally excited for the new album. It's a perfect and brilliant addition to the Black Sabbath/Dio legacy!

A new chapter... - 91%

Sabbath1776, April 2nd, 2009

...To the anticipated follow-up to Dehumanizer. It starts off with a melodic duo of Iommi on acoustic guitar and a soulful vocal passage by Dio, which builds into a crescendo of classic Iommi riffage, supported by the unspectacular but always reliable Vinny Appice, and the ever solid Geezer Butler.

Surprisingly a rare acoustic piece with haunting wails layered underneath, along with a mellow Dio is how they decided to start this monster. The haunting electric guitar then leads into a Sabbath doom assault (That conjures up thoughts of the ever so great Candlemass, which carried the life of doom after Sabbath's creative well dried up) with Dio vocalizing his passion in true form. The main riff is relentless, and one of the best that Iommi has written since the classic, Dehumanizer. Geezer undoubtedly makes his presence felt, keeping it on the ground.

After a few verses of powerfully sung fantastical lyrics and a typically catchy Dio style chorus, Iommi reveals a solo that fits the occasion. Then it's back to the grind. Another verse and a few more choruses then unexpectedly Iommi breaks into a more traditional solo that fades out, ending this killer song that really took me by surprise with how great it is.

Overall, I give Bible Black a ninety-one percent for the writing and execution of the killer music found within. Minus nine percent for Vinny Appice, being the most basic mucisian, contributing the least.