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Absolutely Fucking Brilliant - 95%

headbanger54, September 15th, 2008

“In the misty morning, on the edge of time.....”

My friends and I found ourselves embarking on one hell of a journey. Our destination was roughly two hours away, and our prize to be collected was immeasurable by mortal standards. Why? Well my friend, we were on our way to witness the gods of heavy metal perform. Starting off by breaking our necks to the bay area thrash of Testament, followed by the purest and oldest of heavy metal from the lords of evil Heaven and Hell, and then we were to have another thing coming when the almighty Judas Priest took the stage. The performances were all utterly amazing and it is one show that I will never forget. I had acquired this live CD for Christmas this past year and for some reason it didn’t have as much of an impact on me as I thought it would have.

“....What do you say to the dead....”

I’m not sure if it was my sub standard knowledge of Black Sabbath during the Heaven and Hell era that shunned away the immense entertainment that this CD has to offer, or if I was just too ignorant to really get into it. I know, Thor probably deserves to smash me for not knowing much about the band that started heavy metal, but my extent of it only runs through their first three albums which I think had misconstrued my experiences with this CD. But something happened that night at Mohegan Sun, I had experienced a revolution within my world of heavy metal.

“......well I’m not afraid, I’m not alone......”

Everything that night, from Iommi’s relentless riffing and mind blowing soloing, to the heavy thudding of Butler on the bass was something that I have never experienced before in a concert environment. It was a new era of excitement within my understanding of heavy metal and anytime that I wish to have that night back, to go back to those few hours of heavy metal bliss, I simply pop this CD in and turn it up all the way. This CD manages to capture everything that I had experienced first hand that night. It never ceases to amuse me, these are all legendary, classic, and mammoth sized songs which all deliver endless hours of entertainment. Now hopefully you are truer to the faith than I and have a better understanding of Black Sabbath and you have heard all of these songs before so that I don’t need to go into detail about the songs. But in a live setting these songs fulfill more than ever imaginable and capture your mind and soul and refuse to let go until the album is finished. And that is quite a feat for something that almost hits the two hour mark. Every time I throw this in I get flash backs to the show, the brilliance of it all. Dio, whom to people outside of metal would consider “too old” or “too weak” to perform live. Bullshit! Dio was, is, and forever will be an amazing vocalist. He still has all the energy, the passion, and the lust for huge riffs in every song. Speaking of huge riffs, everyone should know of the main riff in the title track “Heaven and Hell.” Dio entices the crowd into singing along to the riff, something that he also did at our show, something that is surreal to experience live.

The entire band looks, and more importantly sounds great! After all these years of rocking out these guys still manage to kick ass and they do it with authority! From the show that I have been to and from this CD alone one can easily tell that there is no stopping or even slowing down for these heavy metal veterans. The production here is great as well! You get a real heavy and clean sound from all of the instruments with Dio soaring above all the noise and chaos. Even when most bands lose their bass in the mix, you can clearly hear Butler grooving away. The crowd sounds are also a nice little effect that only trip you more into thinking that you’re there. Now I highly recommend this to any long time fan of Sabbath, or even for someone who has never even listened to metal before. This amazing piece of art is one that will surely convert them into the faith.

“....If you listen to fools...THE MOB RULES!”