Heaven & Hell - Live from Radio City Music Hall Review

by Zane Ewton

The rock reunion of the year for everyone that hates Sting touched down at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY. The collaboration of Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice on a few new tracks to be included on a Black Sabbath compilation The Dio Years was a welcome surprise and a nice snapshot on one of Black Sabbath's best periods.

A full-fledged world tour is just icing on the devil's food cake. The bad blood appears to have cooled and finally the Dio-fronted Sabbath takes a stab at a top-notch live album.

The March 30, 2007 concert was the band's first on U.S. shores in 15 years. The spooky lead-in of "E5150/After All (The Dead)" smashes right into "The Mob Rules" and Heaven & Hell becomes hotter than hell. Dio's voice is even more powerful than his recent solo tour, with all of the characteristic power and force. He is also quite chatty at this show. Almost too chatty.

Iommi, Butler and Appice sound absolutely fantastic. Clear, crisp and as bludgeoning as ever. Black Sabbath with Dio was a lean, mean metal machine with just enough creepy elements to keep the monsters at ease. They could not be better this night in New York. The band wanders a here and there, specifically in the middle section of "Heaven & Hell" but otherwise its all one monstrous riff and screaming solo after another.

All of the best songs from Heaven & Hell, The Mob Rules and even Dehumanizer are here for your pleasure. Not to mention the respectable new tracks "The Devil Cried" and "Shadow of the Wind".

From the initial kernel of Iommi and Dio getting together to write a little something for the compilation through a name change and this tour that just keeps chugging across the globe, Heaven & Hell has done the band reunion thing perfectly. No ridiculous promises were made, tickets were reasonable and the band just stepped up and blew people's brains out the back of their heads with the power of rock. That is all we ever wanted.

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