CD Scavenger Hunt (November update)

In an attempt to not only keep track of my purchases, and to also keep this post from being two months late, I am actually going to add to this post throughout the month! A genius of an idea…..not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before. The added bonus is that I can clear up some desk space. I should really take an updated picture of my desk because I have a pile of purchases, a pile of promos, the pile of press releases and then my own notes…..and that’s just on the left side! Then there’s the pile of CDs that I want to upload into iTunes on the right…..don’t get me started on that. So here’s November’s buying update……

Ebay

Johnny Crash – Neighborhood Threat (1990) – $18 used: I have been on the search for this CD for about 8 years…..for a decent price. I used to go to this record store from around 1997 to 2002 when it finally closed and I used to get a ton of great used CDs every weekend. This was back in the day when the Internet, Ebay, Napster, and trading in used CDs for cash were all really a new thing (at least here in Rhode Island!). Anyway, I used to scrounge the used racks and I could come away with about 20 used CDs for $100 and they were all Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. You don’t know how many times I debated buying this CD and how many times I put off grabbing it because I found something else “more important”. Once that specific store closed it’s doors, I never saw another Johnny Crash CD. You can get one online through various outlets but Ebay has always seemed the easiest but I never bothered to pick one up because I thought that $20+ for it was too much, especially when I had seen it for $5 used in person. As the years have gone by, the amount of copies on Ebay have dwindled and the price has gone up. I have had this album on my Saved Searches for at least a couple of years and, one day last week, a notification came via email of a new listing with a BUY IT NOW price of $15 + $3 shipping. I jumped on it immeadiately!

Newbury Comics

The Big Four (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth & Anthrax) – Live From Sofia, Bulgaria (2010) box set – $55: Nothing would be better than to see the Big 4 of Thrash on tour in the U.S. but, for now, this live set from the 2010 European Tour will have to be enough. I grew up listening to all four bands so this was a no-brainer purchase for me, the only thing that bothered me was the price because $55 is expensive. I could have settled for the 2 DVD set for $20 but I wanted the audio as well so the 4 CD/2 DVD box set was the only option. Also included in the box set besides the CDs, DVDs and the box is a set of four photo cards (one for each band), a full color booklet and a guitar pick. The price really had me debating the purchase because I can get three or four different new releases for that amount but I reasoned that I was get more bang for the buck with one set. Plus, the regular price was $75 and waiting to use gift cards I will eventually get for the holidays would technically make it free…..but also $20 more expensive. I ended up saving $20.

Kiske/Somerville – s/t (2010) – $18: I have been wanting to pick this album up since it was announced first, because of Michael Kiske’s involvement (I’m a Helloween fan from way back in the ’80s) and second because Amanda Somerville jumped on my radar with her beautiful voice. I thought the concept was interesting in pairing the two singers and then I read a ton of positive reviews…..every once in a while I get an album stuck in my head that I just need to have, this was THAT album. The album came out a few weeks ago and I had been eyeballing it through the usual online stores but the price always floated up around $20 with shipping…..then the CD got a proper U.S. release and was on sale the first week. Unfortunatelt, the record store only stocked one copy the day it came out and someone managed to get to the store before me that Tuesday! This turned out to be one of the more pricey CDs I bought recently because I missed out on the initial sale price but I ended up with a comparable price compared to online and I didn’t have to wait for the mail.

Dio – Dio At Donnington, UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (2010) – $12: It’s been a rough time for me being a big fan of Ronnie James Dio and all the bands he fronted over the years, his death earlier this year affected me greatly because he was a big musical presence in my Metal journey of the last three decades. Besides groing up with the Dio band, I became a HUGE fan of his era in Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell and he led my favorite Rainbow lineup. One of the things I did after news of his passing was to listen to Ronnie’s collective work even more so there was a comfort in the music. This was a must have live set for me, not just because Ronnie is gone, but because I wanted to get my hands on an official release of both these legendary Dio shows at the Monsters Of Rock at Donnington. I hope that Ronnie’s wife Wendy continues to release classic archival material of Ronnie because his music is so great. Regular price was $18 for the 2 CD set so I saved $6 grabbing it on release day.

Helloween – 7 Sinners (2010) – $10: Like I mentioned up above, I started as a Helloween fan back in the ’80s with both KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS albums but somewhere in the early to mid-’90s I lost touch with the band. Some of the best Helloween albums have been released since 1998 when I rediscovered a lot of my old favorite bands when I got my Internet connection: 1998’s BETTER THAN RAW, 2000’s THE DARK RIDE and 2007’s GAMBLING WITH THE DEVIL. It just seems like Helloween just keeps pumping out record after record every couple of years, 7 SINNERS is their sixth studio album since 1998. I received a digital promotional copy of the album a couple of weeks prior to the release but there was a problem downloading the album so I never got to hear it! I would have spent the money on the proper CD for my personal collection anyway (this happens a lot!) and getting the CD on the day of release for $9.99 helped out a lot. Regular price was $16 so I saved $6.

GWAR – Bloody Pit Of Horror (2010) – $10: Didn’t GWAR just release an album last year? They did, LUST IN SPACE (2009). Nice to see the band trying to take over the world again as quickly as possible with two new albums and two world tours in two years. GWAR are the originators and bands like Mushroomhead, Lordi and Slipknot are capitalizing on an image that GWAR started all the way back in 1988! This was on my list of new releases to buy but it came out the same day as the new Dio and Helloween albums, then I found the Kiske/Somerville album, and I decided that I was going to spend too much money. Money is never an issue for me as long as the bills are paid and the family is fed but it’s getting close to the holidays and I didn’t want to overdue it…..I bought it anyway! The way I looked at it was that I would come back in a couple of weeks and have to pay the full price ($15) so I would be saving $5 by picking it up now. Plus, spending $10 now or in two weeks still means you’ve spent $10!

W.A.S.P. – s/t (1984) – $10 used: ever since Newbury Comics opened a store about 3 miles from my house, i never go to the Warwick, RI store anymore. True Rhode Islanders hate going anywhere if it takes longer than 15-20 minutes and the ride to Warwick, with traffic, can be 25 minutes. Needless to say, unless there’s other things that need to be done in the area, I don’t go down that way. After pulling a double shift at work, I came home to find that my wife was heading to Warwick to check out some holiday dishes for Thanksgiving…..the bribe for me to join her and the kids was Dunkin Donuts and a stop at the Warwick Newbury. This was a good trip because I found a lot of used bargains and this W.A.S.P. debut started it off. A little backstory here….. Back in 2003 when my wife was pregnant with our second daughter, she was out of work and we were cutting as many corners as possible. One thing I started to do was sell CDs I found on Ebay…..once my inventory was gone, I took a long look at my collection. I had all the original pressings of all the W.A.S.P. albums from the debut through CRIMSON IDOL but I also had the 1999 reissues with bonus tracks (the same reissues they keep re-releasing in different packaging every year!). Needing cash, I put the lot on Ebay and I think I scored $100! Over the years, I have regretted selling my original pressings because I think the reissues sound inferior so I’ve been on the hunt. When I saw this CD in the used bin, it was a definite purchase.

Tipton, Entwistle & Powell – Edge Of The World (2006) – $5 used: Here’s a disc that I passed up on four years ago and I have never seen cheap since the original sale price. Back in 2006, Glenn Tipton re-released his 1997 solo album BAPTIZM OF FIRE with two bonus tracks that were actually the Japanese bonus tracks from the 1997 release. I already had the original album so I didn’t bother but what did get my interest was this album that was released at the same time. So you have Glenn Tipton, The Who’s legendary bassist John Entwistle, legendary drummer Cozy Powell and keyboardist Don Airey working on a bunch of songs that weren’t done for BAPTIZM OF FIRE. Originally, this was supposed to be the band on BAPTIZM but the label got involved and these songs, and the lineup, got shelved. So the tracks finally see the light of day after close to ten years and 8 years after Cozy’s passing and 2 years after John’s. I never picked this up back then because I figured it would always be available, and it was, at $18 regular price. After a couple of years, the album disappeared off store shelves and I forgot about it…..$5 now is a great deal!

707 (featuring Kevin Russell) – Trip To Heaven (2000) – $4 used: I have this rule that if you’re going to rummage through the bargain bins, go through all of them thoroughly…..you never know what you might find. I’m an old school record store guy so I recognize a lot of obscure bands from my days as a kid flipping through racks of vinyl and cassettes, I recognized 707 right away. You may remember 707 from the early ’80s with their single ‘Mega Force’ but I remember them as being on Casablanca Records (KISS’ label). The band also got some publicity when Tod Howarth joined Frehley’s Comet and you may remember  singer Kevin Chalfant being a part of the band too. I wasn’t sure what kind of release this was but at $4 used, I figured that I could take a chance. Turns out Kevin Russell and 707 have been putting out some new material and re-releasing the old stuff.

Kotipelto – Waiting For The Dawn (2002) – $3 used: Bargain of the day! How can you pass up any Metal CD for $3? I recognized the band name as Timo Kotipelto from Stratovarius so I new that this was going to be some sort of Power Metal album. The album was released in 2002 on Century Media Records so I knew it had a regular release a few years ago but I didn’t remember Timo being solo. I grabbed this anyway, taking a chance again, but there was a second copy at the same price. Now the wheels are turning in my head…..could I sell this on Ebay? Good thing for cell phones! Turns out that this album sells for around$5 at auction so there wasn’t much upside to buying both copies but at least I got a great bargain! Perfect CD, as if it had never been played. No cut-outs, no wrinkles on the booklet, even the jewel case was in mint condition.

Sharon – Edge Of Time (1999) – $5 used: Another bargain! I’ve seen this album before back when it first came out in 1999 and I was a twice a week regular at 2 Guys Music in Warwick. That was a great place to get an education about what was coming out on European labels like Frontiers, SPV, Limb, Escape, Z Records etc. This CD came out in 1999 on Limb Music and distributed by SPV so I knew that I had at least found a Metal CD. What sold me right away, aside from the low price, was the gold sticker on the front of the jewel case that described the album as “sharp and timeless Melodic Rock & Metal”. That’s enough for me! From what I can tell, this was Sharon’s only release and the sound is a little dated from what the reviews say. I took the chance figuring that Melodic Metal from Germany, on a good label, can’t be all that bad. Plus, I checked Ebay on my phone and there weren’t any copies available for less than $9!

Domain – Stardawn (2006) – $9 used: Another awesome bargain! I would probably have to put this ahead of the Kotipelto CD as “bargain of the day” because this is a 3 disc set! STARDAWN was released in 2006 on Limb Music/SPV and it’s a 3 disc set including the STARDAWN album, a 16 song best of CD from 1988-2005 and a 9 song DVD titled SEVEN DAYS IN KOREA (LIVE 2005). I never let a nice set like this go: a 5 panel digipak, full color booklets, full color packaging, 2 CDs, a DVD and it’s a limited edition for Domain’s 20th Anniversary limited to 4000 copies worldwide. I didn’t see a serial number to designate which number out of 4000 I own but this STARDAWN collection isn’t something I’ve seen in local stores before.  Taking a quick look at my collection, it looks like I’ve picked up two or three Domain albums over the years but I don’t think I really have given the band much listening time.

Black Country Communion – s/t (2010) – $18: I ended up paying full price for this one because I passed on it the first couple of weeks after the album’s official release and, when I went to buy it on this trip, the sale price was gone. The sale price when this CD came out was $12.88 so I ended up paying $5 extra but I still felt OK about the higher price because I’ve heard such good things about this record. You’ve got Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian…..that’s as solid a lineup for a band as I’ve ever seen. Supergroup? Yeah, I’d say so…..it’s safe to say each musician is at the top of the list among their peers. I had this on my list just for Glenn Hughes, one of the greatest Rock singers of all time! The added bonus here is that the CD came with a bonus DVD that includes a video, interviews, behind the scenes in the studio and a photo gallery. If the album is as good as I’ve read, I’ll forget all about the high price.

Halford – Crucible (Remixed & Remastered) (2010) – $11: I picked this up to complete the Halford collection of remasters and because there were two copies, this one on sale and the other at regular price of $15. The sticker on the CD promotes the CRUCIBLE album remixed and remastered including four new tracks but, if you look closely, the four new tracks are really the two bonus tracks for the limited edition of the original pressing and the two bonus tracks for the Japanese import of the original pressing. This was one of those purchases that could have waited because I already have all the bonus tracks but, I was looking for something to buy and the sale sticker was calling my name. All the Halford remasters/reissues are top quality so I assume this one is more of the same. I haven’t opened it yet but when ido I will sit there and compare this to the original. Saved $4.

Halford – Live in Anaheim DVD (2010) – $15: For some reason, this DVD wasn’t released at the same time as the CD. I picked up the live album when it came out but this DVD came out a few weeks later and really flew under the radar. I could have pre-ordered this through the Halford website but I figured there would be a sale price and I could save a few bucks. The release date came and went and there was no mention in my weekly e-newsletter from the record store and there were no copies stocked in the store. About a month ago, I noticed that three brand new copies were in stock but regular priced. I decided to wait because there were three copies and there was no need to rush for it. A week later there were two copies…..two weeks after that I notice that there is only one Halford DVD left. I wasn’t going to risk another week, who knows who would buy it? This DVD includes the Anaheim concert obviously but also a documentary that includes four songs performed in Japan.

Black Sabbath – The Eternal Idol (Deluxe Edition) (2010) – $35: OK, the price on this may stagger you but this is the standard price for this UK import. I’m not usually sucked into buying these “deluxe editions” that seem to be coming out for every single band now but I do have a few but there were some serious bonuses and the new editions were released in the U.S. I already own THE ETERNAL IDOL (1987), and I’m a big Sabbath fan, especially post-Ozzy, but there was one reason why this deluxe edition way high on my want list…..the sessions with Ray Gillen on vocals. Back in ’87, Ray Gillen (ex-Badlands) was the singer for Black Sabbath having taken over for Glenn Hughes during the tour for THE SEVENTH STAR (1986). The band hit the studio after the tour but for some reason it wasn’t working out with Ray Gillen on vocals…..Tony Martin eventually came in to replace Ray (who went to Badlands with Jake E. Lee) and just re-cut the vocals. The Ray Gillen sessions have been widely circulated in bootleg form but this is the first time Tony Iommi has allowed these recordings to be officially released. Another cool bonus is the two B-sides from the proper album: ‘Black Moon’ and ‘Some Kind Of Woman’. I was so worried about having to order this online that I bit the bullet and bought this right away…..and this was the only CD I bought on this specific shopping trip.

Issa – Sign Of Angels (2010) – $16: This is one of those albums where I heard a track and had to have it. Issa is a new artist on Frontiers Records and, obviously, it’s female-fronted melodic Hard Rock. I had a digital promo of the album, downloaded it to iTunes, listened to it once and accidently deleted it! So I checked out the video for the second track on the album, ‘I’m Alive’, and I just had this idea in my head that I had to have this album! The problem was I saw only one copy in the record store when the album was released and I hadn’t seen it since. I didn’t want to pay the high import price online for a new artist that I only really new by a video but I ended up paying the same price when I found a fresh copy about a month later. I’m a sucker for female-fronted bands but this is an impressive album, push this back 20 years and it’s a major hit.

Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: Live In Europe (2010) – $10: This is the live CD of Heaven & Hell’s performance at the 2009 Wacken Open Air festival on the tour for THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (2009). My favorite Black Sabbath lineup is the one with Ronnie James Dio so I would have snapped this live album up anyway but, with Ronnie’s passing still fresh, it was even more important to me to buy it. There’s just something about Ronnie James Dio that has really hit home with me over the last ten or twelve years and he has crept up into my Top 10 favorite artists/bands. Doesn’t matter if it’s Sabbath, Rainbow, solo, Elf or gueat appearances, I just have had a need over the last decade or so to collect all things Dio. Now that he’s gone, I want even more Dio music. Anyway, I saw this tour in Boston the same summer so it’s a nice way to re-live a great show. Saved $5 on the CD…..there was also a DVD released the same day.

Firewind – Days Of Defiance (2010) – $12: With Gus G. touring as Ozzy’s new guitarist, I completely forgot that a new Firewind album was coming out! Newbury Comics didn’t forget because there were at least ten copies available all with nice sale tags. I have a couple of Firewind CDs so I put this on my list and ended up going back and picking this up right away instead of waiting another week. You know what your getting with Firewind…..European Power Metal and excellent guitar work from Gus G. Usually I don’t get too excited over a new Firewind album but I must have had a Gus G. hangover after seeing Ozzfest and re-visiting the Dream Evil album that was released earlier in the year. Gus G. is having a pretty good year in 2010! I’ll tell you what sold me on picking this up right away…..there was something else released the same day that wasn’t in stock when I got to the record store so I spent the money I had on Firewind and still saved $4, regular price was $16. And that item was…..

Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: Live In Europe DVD (2010) – $10: The DVD version of the new Heaven & Hell live album was released the same day as Firewind but the store only stocked two copies of the DVD and I got to the store an hour after it opened so I missed out. I got the CD no problem, there were plenty of copies of that available but the DVD is what I really wanted. I wanted to see the show one more time because I had seen the Boston tour stop and it was a great show. I had the guy at the counter check the next delivery date, which was the next day, so I had it reserved. Show up the next day and the DVD didn’t come in, only more live CDs so my pal at the counter took my name and number and promised me a copy ASAP. Another 24 hours and I get a phone call from the store that my DVD is in so i made my third trip to the record store in two days for one DVD…..at least I got it and saved $5 in the process, regular price was $15.

David ‘Rock’ Feinstein – Bitten By The Beast (2010) – $10: And the Ronnie James Dio releated releases keep on coming! David ‘Rock’ Feinstein is Dio’s cousin and was in early Dio bands like Ronnie & The Prophets and Elf with RJD but you might remember Feinstein best from his days with The Rods. I remembered reading a year or so ago that Feinstein was working on two new albums: a solo album and a new Rods album both with performances from Ronnie. The album was going to be released by Ronnie and Wendy Dio’s label, Niji Entertainment, and Ronnie not only performed a song, ‘Metal Will never Die’, he helped Feinstein mix and master the album before his death. I probably would have picked this up eventually but because of Ronnie’s death, the Dio radar is up and I have to have more Dio related music. Picked this up on sale for $10, regular price was $14, so I saved $4.

Yngwie Malmsteen – Relentless (2010) – $12: Can anyone tell me why Yngwie has to release new albums so close to the end of the year? He did the same thing with his last record a couple years ago and I totally missed it! Anyway, I’m a Malmsteen fan all the way back to Steeler and Alcatrazz so I usually buy Yngwie’s new records but I wasn’t going to initially because I was sent a digital promo…..or so I thought. I get a lot of promos, mostly digital downloads and, if I like the band or album, I usually go buy it because I’m a collector. I got an email from Yngwie’s promotional people offering a digital copy of the album for review but, when I followed the links, I got a digital stream that wasn’t downloadable. I like to download this stuff into my iPod and listen to these album’s on the go but I was chained to my computer to hear RELENTLESS. Now I get the whole priacy thing and I don’t question an artist from trying to avoid it but it was just an inconvenience…..so I didn’t bother with it. I even forgot the album was released! I happened to see it when I grabbed the Feinstein CD and noticed the good sale price, regular price was $18. I didn’t want to pay such a high price knowing that I would end up grabbing this eventually so i bought it and saved $6. By the way, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens is back on the vocals.

Total = $298

Total (year) = $1758

Average Price (per item) = $10.72

Total CDs (year) = 149

Total DVDs (year) = 6

Total Box Sets (year) = 7

Total LPs (year) = 2

Dio – At Donington, UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (2010)

Dio – At Donington, UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (2010, Niji Entertainment Group)

CD 1 – (1983)

  1. Stand Up & Shout
  2. Straight Through The Heart
  3. Children Of The Sea
  4. Rainbow In The Dark
  5. Holy Diver
  6. Drum solo
  7. Stargazer
  8. Guitar solo
  9. Heaven And Hell
  10. Man On The Silver Mountain
  11. Starstruck
  12. Man On The Silver Mountain (Reprise)

CD 2 – (1987)

  1. Dream Evil
  2. Neon Knights
  3. Naked In The Rain
  4. Rock And Roll Children
  5. Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll
  6. The Last In Line
  7. Children Of The Sea
  8. Holy Diver
  9. Heaven And Hell
  10. Man On The Silver Mountain
  11. All The Fools Sailed Away
  12. The Last In Line (Reprise)
  13. Rainbow In The Dark

Band Lineup (1983):
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitars
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Vinny Appice – drums
Claude Schnell – Keyboards

Band Lineup (1987):
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Craig Goldy – Guitars
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums
Claude Schnell – Keyboards

Executive Producer: Ronnie James Dio

Country: USA

Total Time CD 1 = 46:42
Total Time CD 2 = 50:12

Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio MySpace page
Ronnie James Dio Facebook page

DIO AT DONINGTON, UK: LIVE 1983 & 1987 is the first posthumous release by Heavy Metal legend Ronnie James Dio. Sadly, Ronnie lost his battle with stomach cancer on May 16, 2010…..but his music lives on and this live album is a perfect way to document the rise and peak of the Dio band in the early to mid-’80s. At the time of his death, Ronnie was still working and this live album was one of the projects he was working on. Unfortunately he passed before work was complete but his wife, Wendy Dio, had the album finished and released. Niji Entertainment (Ronnie & Wendy’s company) will continue to release archival material in the future.

This live set combines both appearances by the Dio band at the Monsters Of Rock Festival at Donington in 1983 and 1987. The 1983 CD is a concert in support of Dio’s first album HOLY DIVER and the setlist is highlighted by four songs (‘Stand Up And Shout’, ‘Straight Through The Heart’, ‘Rainbow In The Dark’, ‘Holy Diver’) within the first five sandwiching the Black Sabbath standard ‘Children Of The Sea’. The band has the second opening slot after Diamond Head kicked off the festival so time was a factor I’m sure but the band still had time to rip through Rainbow’s ‘Stargazer’ and Sabbath’s ‘Heaven And Hell’ before the final Rainbow song, ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ with a touch of ‘Startstruck’ in the middle. I could do without the guitar and drum solos respectively but, back in the ’80s, these were mandatory parts of the set. The band is tight…..Ronnie sounds incredible and Vivian Campbell shows that, back in the day, he was a premier Heavy Metal guitarist.

The 1987 live set promotes the DREAM EVIL album and is represented by three songs (‘Dream Evil’, ‘Naked In The Rain’, ‘All The Fools Sailed Away’). Dio’s return to Donington in ’87 was at a time when the band was at their commercial peak and the earned them the co-headline slot just before Bon Jovi (imagine that?). By this time, the Dio band was on album #4 and each one is represented with the bulk coming off the HOLY DIVER record but THE LAST IN LINE (1984) is represented by the title cut and SACRED HEART (1985) by ‘Rock And Roll Children’. No solos this time around, it would have been nice to hear Craig Goldy due a solo just so I could compare it to Vivian’s  on the 1983 disc, but I’ll take the extra songs anyday! Nice to hear one of my Black Sabbath favorites, ‘Neon Knights’, open the show to go along with the ‘Heaven And Hell’ & ‘Children Of The Sea’ staples but the cool Rainbow track is ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ to go along with ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’. The band is tight as they should be because the only different piece is guitarist Craig Goldy (replacing Campbell) but it’s not really different as Craig had been friends with Ronnie for a while.

The packaging is a three panel digipak with full color photos and a full color booklet that includes an essay by writer Dante Bonutto but it’s really a basic style package. The extras that were included are two replica all access passes for each Monsters Of Rock show.

Bottom Line:
It’s sad that Ronnie James Dio has passed away but his music lives on and this live document of both performances at Donington are a great way to celebrate his legacy. The music is crystal clear and the band is firing on all cylinders at each performance, especially Ronnie, who’s vocals are truly superb. If you are a Dio fan, I would highly recommend this live album, one of the better live albums I’ve heard in a while.

Favorite Songs:
All the songs are classics on both discs but it’s very cool to hear ‘Stargazer’ on the 1983 set and the DREAM EVIL songs and ‘rock And Roll Children’ live on the 1987 set.

2010 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10

My favorite time of year is here again…..Halloween!

It’s a tradition here at Heavy Metal Addiction to have a Halloween Top 10 and this year is no exception. This all started with the 2007 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10, then I skipped 2008 but the overwhelming emails came to do a new one so last year I did the 2009 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10. I have been through my collection again and I tried not to repeat the same songs again except for a couple that will always be in the Top 10. I always search out a new pumpkin picture to post at the top and, since we lost Ronnie James Dio to stomach cancer earier in the year, I thought this pumpkin I found on Facebook was a fitting tribute.

So here it is, in no particular order (except the #1 spot), the 2010 Heavy Metal Halloween Top 10…..

  1. Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’
  2. Alice Cooper – ‘I Love The Dead’
  3. King Diamond – ‘Trick or Treat’
  4. Type O Negative – ‘Black No. 1′
  5. Iron Maiden – ‘The Number Of The Beast’
  6. Judas Priest – ‘A Touch Of Evil’
  7. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Diary Of A Madman’
  8. Dio – ‘Master Of The Moon’
  9. Alice Cooper – ‘Go To Hell’
  10. Black Sabbath – ‘After All (The Dead)’

Bonus Track: Moonspell – ‘At Tragic Heights’

Jorn – Dio (2010)

Jorn – Dio (2010, Frontiers Records)

  1. Song For Ronnie James
  2. Invisible
  3. Shame On The Night
  4. Push
  5. Stand Up And Shout
  6. Don’t Talk To Strangers
  7. Lord Of The Last Day
  8. Night People
  9. Sacred Heart
  10. Sunset Superman
  11. Lonely Is The Word/Letters From Earth
  12. Kill The King
  13. Straight Through the Heart (live)
  14. Song For Ronnie James (video)

Band Lineup:
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Tor Erik Myhre – Guitars
Jgor Gianola – Guitars
Tore St Moren – Guitars
Nic Angileri – Bass
Willy Bendiksen – Drums & Percussion
Tommy Hansen – Keyboards

Producer: Tommy Hansen

Country: Norway

Total Time = 66:17

Jorn Lande
Jorn Lande MySpace page
Frontiers Records
Ronnie James Dio 

Nothing was more shocking for me than the announcement on May 16, 2010 that Ronnie James Dio, one of my all-time Heavy Metal heroes, had passed away after fighting a valiant effort against stomach cancer. I grew up listening to Dio’s music with Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio so the news really hit home s it reverberated around the globe. At 67 years old, one of the greatest Rock singers of all-time was gone.

About a week later came a press release from Frontiers Records announcing the new album from Jorn Lande titled DIO. It was a little shocking to see a press release of this kind so quickly after RJD’s death and it looked like a very convenient marketing ploy to capitalize on his death. Fans worldwide started to voice their criticism on message boards and forums towards Jorn Lande and Frontiers Records for what seemed like an obvious cash-in but that turned out to not be the case. Jorn Lande has always been very vocal in his admiration of and influence from Ronnie James Dio and this tribute album was started back in the Spring of 2009 with the full cooperation and blessing of Ronnie James & Wendy Dio and Niji Entertainment. Even though it was a planned release to pay tribute to his hero, Jorn took a lot of heat for announcing DIO because it was just too soon after Ronnie’s death.

DIO is a 13 song collection of one new song, ‘Song For Ronnie James’, and twelve Dio classics taken from his work in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and the Dio band. What makes this tribute record stand out is the song selection. Most tribute records feature the most obvious and famous songs in order to sell product but Jorn Lande went the extra mile in my opinion by picking out some deep tracks. Some obvious song choices would have been ‘Holy Diver’, ‘The Last In Line’, ‘Heaven & Hell’ and maybe ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ but they aren’t here! Instead we get some deep tracks like ‘Lord Of The Last Day’ from MAGICA (2000), ‘Push’ from KILLING THE DRAGON (2002), ‘Night People’ off DREAM EVIL (1987) and a medley ‘Lonely Is The Word/Letters From Earth’ from Black Sabbath’s HEAVEN & HELL (1980) and DEHUMANIZER (1992) albums. Five of the songs come from Dio’s first album, HOLY DIVER (1983) and two come from DREAM EVIL but I was surprised that Jorn picked nothing from THE LAST IN LINE (1984).  I was also expecting at least two each from Ronnie’s days in both Rainbow and Black Sabbath but it’s great to have the focus on Dio’s solo career because it’s just as legendary as his previous works. The performances are mostly a straight rendition of the original tracks so the entire album is completely familiar…..the only difference is really Jorn’s voice, which is in top form as always. The lone original, ‘Song For Ronnie James’, is OK…..basically an average song when compared to Jorn’s original material. Most of the lyrics are song and/or album titles and it’s meant to be a tribute to the master. I can’t really fault it but it’s not really my favorite either.

Bottom Line:
Everyone knows that I can’t stand cover songs included on new albums of original material but I like tribute albums…..strange isn’t it? Aside from the questionable timing of the press release and album release, DIO is a solid tribute album with a decent song selection and excellent performances. Ronnie James Dio always insisted on high quality and Jorn Lande has learned well from his master because this is a highly listenable record and a cool overview of the legend’s career. ‘Song For Ronnie James’ isn’t the greatest original song but it’s listenable so it gets a pass. If you’re a fan of Ronnie James Dio or Jorn Lande then it’s an album worth checking out.

Favorite Songs:
The deeper tracks are the best ones. The Black Sabbath medley of ‘Lonely Is The Word/Letter From Earth’ is excellent as is the Rainbow cover ‘Kill The King’. If I had to pick the best four covers of Dio originals, I’d go with ‘Push’, ‘Sunset Superman’, ‘Sacred Heart’ and ‘Night People’…..the deep tracks!

Press Release: Frontiers Records to release new album DIO by Jorn in Europe (July 2, 2010) and the U.S. (July 27, 2010)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Frontiers Records to release “Dio”, JORN’s offer to the musical legacy of the great singer

Napoli, May 2010 – The Norse God of Metal. The leader of the renaissance of classic Hard Rock on its highest level. One of the most prolific and sought-after singers of today, whose vocal talent has reserved him a place amongst the greatest giants in the history of Rock. This is Jorn Lande and now he offers his talents to honour the musical legacy of Ronnie James Dio, with his new album aptly entitled “Dio”, to be released on Frontiers Records on July 2nd in Europe and July 27th in the US.

Handpicking some lesser known tunes of the Dio era, along with some of the true classics, Jorn offers a fine collection of songs that present the music of the Man and the Artist, with a unique twist. In Jorn Lande’s own words: “Throughout the years I have had the privilege of  both meeting and working with many of the musicians that have inspired me on my musical journey. Ronnie James Dio has inspired me through decades, and this man’s influence continues to add colour to my creative spirit. Ever since the first time I heard his royal roar back in the 70’s, I have been fascinated by this extremely talented man’s creative force and dedication to music. His career has been going on for so long and includes so many great songs, that it was a challenge to decide which songs and what era to focus on. I ended up focusing on the DIO era”.

The album also includes an original song for which a videoclip, shot by Thomas Tjader (Pretty Maids, In Flames) was produced. Jorn says “I wrote ‘Song for Ronnie James’ as a tribute and a personal thanks to the man who has been my mentor for more than 35 years. This great man has affected my life and career in such a way that without his presence, I would not have become the artist I am today”.

The Song for Ronnie James videoclip can be watched on Youtube following this link:

Either as front man in German metal act Masterplan, which has achieved great success around the world, or as guest in  spectacular projects such as Tobias Sammet’s “Avantasia”, or in the Allen / Lande’s releases, Jorn  Lande is today a trademark for quality Hard Rock music. “Dio” is the new chapter in Jorn’s history and a sincere and heartfelt “thank you” to a great and influential Artist.

Dio” was mixed by Tommy Hansen, Jailhouse Studios, and the final tracklisting includes the following tracks: Song For Ronnie James; Invisible; Shame on the Night; Push; Stand Up And Shout; Don’t Talk to Strangers; Lord Of The Last Day; Night People; Sacred Heart; Sunset Superman; Lonely Is The Word / Letters From Earth (2010 version); Kill The King*; Straight Through The Heart (live). Song for Ronnie James (videoclip)

JORN
Jorn Lande: Lead Vocals
Willy Bendiksen: drums
Tore Moren: guitars
Jgor Gianola: guitars
Tor Erik Myhre: guitars
Nic Angileri: Bass

Weblinks: www.jornlande.com  /  www.myspace.com/realjorn  /  www.frontiers.it  /  www.myspace.com/frontiersrecordsusa

Geezer Butler’s comments about Ronnie James Dio’s final days

From Geezer Butler.com:

IN RESPONSE TO THE MANY REQUESTS FOR A STATEMENT HERE GOES:

It’s impossible to express in mere words the relationship Ronnie and I, Wendy and my wife Gloria had. He was much more than a friend, fellow musician, band mate. If I have a soul, then he is part of it. I truly believe God, fate, destiny, whatever it’s called, brought us together again in 2006, after not seeing each other for 14 years, to do one final tour, which turned into 3 major tours and an album. We were having a blast together, enjoying each other’s company more than we had ever done before, talking about maybe doing one more album, when fate intervened again. We were planning on doing a 2 or 3 part North American tour, after having toured South America and Europe in Spring /Summer 2009, but on the first leg of the North American tour, Tony’s hand ligaments were in a bad way, Vinny’s shoulder became dislocated, and Ronnie was having terrible stomach pains. We decided to cut the tour, get healthy, and carry on the following year. Tony and Vinny had successful procedures to fix their ailments, but Ronnie’s stomach pains were worsening. I saw him at the Dio Halloween party, but he wasn’t drinking, unusual for Ronnie who liked his tipple. He was telling me he had made an appointment with a specialist, to see what it was…..

Wednesday, 12th May 2010.

Wendy invited Gloria and I to lunch in Santa Barbara. A few close friends of Ronnie and Wendy, Omar, Simon, Paul, Tim, and Diana, had dropped by. Ronnie had no appetite whatsoever- the disease and the chemotherapy were taking an immense toll. As usual, we talked sports and had a laugh together- it would be the last time. That night, I had a beautiful email from him, that I will treasure forever. I sent him an email saying I’d see him during the following week.

Friday, 14th May 2010.

Wendy called to say she had taken Ronnie to hospital. The pain had become unbearable. We got to the hospital around 2 p.m. The doctor eventually sedated him. More and more friends were coming to visit- we took it in turns to hold Ronnie’s hand, and whisper our thoughts to him. Wendy wouldn’t leave his side- she stayed curled up on his bed the whole night. Gloria’s assistant, Debi, kept her company. I emailed Tony to prepare him for bad news.

Saturday, 15th May 2010.

There was no mistaking Ronnie’s room. There were around 25 to 30 friends outside his room. We knew the end was imminent. We all wanted to say our goodbyes. It was a day filled with tears and reflection. In the evening, the chaplain came, and we all gathered around Ronnie’s bed and prayed. Ronnie wasn’t going easily. At 11 p.m., most of us left, leaving Wendy her privacy to say her last farewell. The devastation was palpable.

Sunday, 16th May 2010.

7.46 a.m. As we were preparing to leave for the hospital, Gloria called Wendy to see if she wanted a coffee or any breakfast- she broke the sad news. Ronnie had just passed away.

Wendy Dio has been a true saint through all this. She has been with Ronnie every step of the way. Her courage has amazed us all. Even as I write, she is ensuring Ronnie has the finest send off possible. God bless you, Wendel.

Most people who were there for those last days chose to keep their thoughts private. I wanted to keep my thoughts private, too, but I’ve been overwhelmed by emails, and requests from the media and fans for comments.

I can truly say I’ve never known anyone to have such loyal, loving friends, fans, and family as Ronnie. He really was a special person, blessed with a unique voice and presence. He loved his fans- he would stay meeting and talking to them until the early hours of the morning. One of my fondest memories of him comes from last year, at the Sonisphere Festival,Knebworth. He noticed my sister and her husband at the side of the stage. During our opening song, he took the time to go over and hug them. Just a little thing like that made him special to me. Of course his music will live on forever, as will his influence. I have never seen so many tributes from so many musicians and fans, so many good wishes, no cynicism, just pure love and appreciation for a great man.

God bless you Ronald – thank you so much for the wonderful memories.

Love ya,
Geez

R.I.P. – Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

R.I.P. – Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

Ronnie James Dio passed away this morning at 7:45am after battling stomach cancer for the last 6 months…..he was 67 years old. Ronnie’s wife & manager Wendy Dio updated the Dio website with the following:

“Today (May 16th) my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

You can leave your condolences on Facebook.
———————————————————————————-

This is a very sad day for me because I am a huge Dio fan and I love all of his music. Cancer is a horrible disease, one that has touched more than a few in my family, so I can’t even imagine what Wendy Dio and Ronnie’s family are dealing with right now. When I read the news that RJD had stomach cancer last year, I was shocked, not because RJD had cancer but because one of my heroes had cancer. Musicians, athletes, actors, whatever type of celebrity…..the fans put these people on pedastals and they seem almost superhuman but they are people like the rest of us. It’s a sad day for the Heavy Metal world because we lost an icon and a supreme talent but we also lost a man who respected his family, friends and fans and seemed like a good guy. I will miss Ronnie James Dio because his music has meant a lot to me in my 30 years of being a Metal fan but it is with that music that Ronnie will live on. My deepest condolences go out to Wendy Dio and to Ronnie’s family, friends and fans. Rest In Peace Ronnie…..

Long live Rock ‘n’ Roll…..long live Ronnie James Dio!

– Steve

Start of vacation Mixtape

So I got to listen to a few CDs today but I got lazy and didn’t really want to change discs in the stereo so I plugged in the iPod and hit Shuffle. Here’s the first 20 songs…..

  1. Twisted Sister – ‘Leader Of The Pack’ (1985)
  2. Black ‘N Blue – ‘Action’ (1984)
  3. Saxon – ‘Denim And Leather’ (1981)
  4. D.C. Cooper – ‘Chained’ (1999)
  5. Mogg-Way – ‘Fortune Town’ (1997)
  6. Anvil – ‘Bondage’ (1981)
  7. UFO – ‘A Self-Made Man’ (1995)
  8. Dio – ‘Otherworld’ (2000)
  9. FarCry – ‘Heaven’ (2009)
  10. KISS – ‘Get All You Can Take’ (1984)
  11. Tygers Of Pan Tang – ‘Euthanasia’ (1980)
  12. Balance Of Power – ‘Miracles And Dreams’ (1999)
  13. Lillian Axe – ‘The 2nd Of May’ (2007)
  14. AC/DC – ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ (1977)
  15. Phil Vincent – ‘How Long’ (2008)
  16. Iron Maiden – The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner’ (1986)
  17. KISS – ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ (1987)
  18. Bullet – ‘No Mercy’ (1983)
  19. Black Sabbath – ‘No Stranger To Love’ (1986)
  20. Loudness – ‘Gravity’ (2008)

Bonus Track: Whitesnake – ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ (1984)

Heaven & Hell and Coheed & Cambria in concert at the Bank of America Pavilion (Boston, MA) – 8/28/09

I bought my ticket to the Heaven & Hell show back in early May but I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it last night with all the stuff I’ve had going on physically. About 5pm I decided to drag myself behind the wheel and make the hour drive up to Boston for the show. This was going to be my 4th time seeing Heaven & Hell since they reunited back in 2006 and I had 11th row! Can’t pass that up!

Coheed & Cambria setlist:

I’m going to be extremely honest here: I have no idea who these guys are! I’ve seen the albums in the stores, seen the ads in magazines but I’ve never heard one tune by this band. I figured they were a new band but they’ve actually been around since 2002. The band played 50 mins and was a big hit with the younger crowd that was in attendance…..I would say that everyone ages 12-25 new who these guys were. They got a great response from the crowd and I saw a ton of Coheed & Cambria shirts being bought. Maybe these guys are worth checking out?

Heaven & Hell setlist:

E5150
The Mob Rules
Children Of The Sea
I
Bible Black
Time Machine
(Vinny Appice drum solo)
Fear
Falling Off The Edge Of The World
Follow The Tears
(Tony Iommi guitar solo intro)
Die Young
Heaven & Hell (with extended solo)

Encore:
Country Girl
Neon Knights

Like I mentioned, this was the 4th time I was seeing Heaven & Hell since the reformed back in 2006…..I’ve always been a huge Black Sabbath fan, especially post-Ozzy, so hearing the classic Dio-era of the band in concert is a special thing. Call it what you want, it will always be Black Sabbath to me! So I got to my seat right after the Coheed & Cambria set: 11th row and dead center! I was so close I could see Iommi’s fake fingertips! Great seats!

The band started out with ‘The Mob Rules’, an absolute classic, and never stopped. One thing I have to say for the band, they deliver a high powered set that a lot of younger bands could learn from: Ronnie James Dio sounded the best I had heard of all four shows, Tony Iommi played brilliantly and effortlessly, Geezer Butler’s fingers flew up and down his bass and Vinny  Appice is one heavy hitter. You could tell the guys were enjoying themselves, a lot of smiles on the stage last night! Not a lot of talking in between songs, just quick song intros,  just pure Heavy Metal.

The setlist was pretty good but a little short. The band played the mandatory classics like ‘Heaven & Hell’, ‘Children Of The Sea’, and ‘Die Young’ along with three new songs off THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (2009): ‘Bible Black’, ‘Fear’ and ‘Follow The Tears’. I’ve had the new album since it came out and I really like it so it was good to get a few new songs in the set although I was surprised that they didn’t play any of the three songs off the LIVE AT RADIO CITY (2006) album. I figured they would play two tracks from the latest album and give us ‘The Devil Cried’ or ‘Shadow Of the Wind’. The new songs came off well live with great crowd response…..I did notice a run on the CDs at the merchandise stand after the show, a lot of young kids picking up the album!

The only complaint I have in an otherwise flawless performance is that it was too short. I think I say that about every show I go to because I enjoy the music so much but this one was short despite the 95 minute set. Heaven & Hell have some long songs and ‘Children Of The Sea’, ‘Falling Off The Edge Of The World’ and ‘Heaven & Hell’ take up close to a half an hour on their own, especially when you add in some extended soloing from Iommi. The new songs are also on the slower/longer side of things so you got a more quality than quantity…..I’ll definitely take that. Sometimes newer bands try to cram in a ton of songs and they suck performance wise. The encore had a abbreviated ‘Country Girl’ that was almost like a quick intro to the speedy ‘Neon Knights’ but it got a great response. A lot of old school Sabbath fans were commenting after the show that it was a pleasant surprise to hear ‘Country Girl’ live.

I enjoyed the entire show but there is always something that stands out and for me it was the two tracks that the band played from the underrated DEHUMANIZER (1992) album: ‘I’ and ‘Time Machine’. It’s great to see the band embrace their entire catalog and DEHUMANIZER is a great album. I saw Sabbath on that tour also so that album holds a special place in my Metal world alongside HEAVEN & HELL and MOB RULES. ‘I’ has been in the setlist since the reunion in 2006 and the band has seen fit to perform ‘Computer God’ and ‘After All (The Dead)’ at the other shows I’ve seen so getting ‘Time Machine was a complete surprise! Great songs! Great show! RJD mentioned that this show in Boston was the next to last show of the tour so it looks like I’ll have to wait until 2010 or early 2011 to see the band again.

Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009)

heaven-hell-the-devil-you-know-2009

Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009, Rhino)

  1. Atom And Evil
  2. Fear
  3. Bible Black
  4. Double The Pain
  5. Rock And Roll Angel
  6. The Turn Of The Screw
  7. Eating The Cannibals
  8. Follow The Tears
  9. Neverwhere
  10. Breaking Into Heaven

Heaven & Hell 2009

Band Lineup:
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitars
Geezer Butler – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums

Produced by: Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi & Geezer Butler

Total Time = 54:05

Heaven & Hell
Heaven & Hell MySpace page
Black-Sabbath.com
Rhino Records

Black Sabbath is the band that started it all…..they created Heavy Metal. I’ve been a long time fan of all incarnations of Sabbath whether it be with Ozzy, Dio, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes or Tony Martin on the mic. My favorite era by far is with Ronnie James Dio. Take a listen to the dual masterpieces HEAVEN & HELL (1980) and MOB RULES (1981) or the severely underrated reunion record DEHUMANIZER (1992) and you will hear classic track after classic track of monumental riffs and soaring vocals of early ’80s Heavy Metal. I was lucky to witness the the DEHUMANIZER lineup in concert in Boston way back in 1992 and that cemented my worship of the Dio-era Sabbath. Through all the reunions with Ozzy and the Ozzfest performances I saw of the original Sabbath, I still liked the Dio-era better. That’s not to say that the Ozzy-era is bad, it’s just as timeless, I just prefer the better singer. So with Ozzy holding the Black Sabbath name in check, I was glad to see Dio, Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice reunite their classic lineup of Sabbath even if they use the different name of Heaven & Hell.

The three new songs from THE DIO YEARS (2007) best of record were excellent and they translated well in concert…..I saw them twice! So when the guys announced in 2008 that they were writing new material for a brand new Heaven & Hell album, I couldn’t have been happier! THE DEVIL YOU KNOW  has been one of the most anticipated albums of the last year because the band is legendary and the players among the best of their craft. Who wouldn’t want to hear a new Black Sabbath Heaven & Hell album?

If I could describe THE DEVIL YOU KNOW in one word it would be “doom”. Tony Iommi has laid down the best Doom Metal riffs in the history of Heavy Metal and he continues on the new record not only with his heavy handed riffs but with his amazing solos. Ronnie James Dio is in top form vocally (as usual) and sounds better in his mid-60s than many of the Metal vocalists half his age…..his performance alone shows just how timeless he is and proves that he is still one of the best Metal singers on the planet. Geezer and Vinny lay down a solid backbone that throbs and pounds the music into your eardrums. This is one heavy album! More mid-tempo Doom rather than an all out Metal assault, I hear a lot of DEHUMANIZER and the slower parts of MOB RULES thoughout THE DEVIL YOU KNOW. The first two songs (‘Atom And Evil’ & ‘Fear’) are slow and sludgy but powerful, they have that mid-tempo heaviness and that epic sound but the best is saved for ‘Bible Black’. If you had to find this album’s ‘Children Of The Sea’ or ‘The Sign Of The Southern Cross’, then ‘Bible Black’ that song. The song builds on every note Iommi plucks from his guitar and Dio puts in the performance of the album. Listen to that main riff and you will be coming back for more!

‘Double The Pain’ picks the pace up a bit more and sounds a bit more straight forward than the epics that start the album…..the song reminds me of the DEHUMANIZER album. ‘Rock And Roll Angel’ slows down again and seems out of place with it’s title and lyrics, the music is fine but it sounds like a solo Dio throwaway. Maybe with a better title and better lyrics this would be a better song? The guitar work, especially at the solo break, is superb so I can’t really give it a bad grade…..good music always trumps bad lyrics! Geezer’s bass is the main thrust of ‘The Turn Of The Screw’, another mid-tempo Doom classic that displays all of the band’s strengths.

Six songs in and we only have one uptempo song with ‘Double The Pain’. The best thing about the Dio era albums was that for every ‘Heaven & Hell’ you had a ‘Neon Knights’. For every ‘The Sign Of The Southern Cross’ you had a ‘Turn Up The Night’. What’s missing for me so far is the fast songs that speed by fluidly and display a whole other side of the Sabbath, I mean Heaven & Hell, power. Thankfully all the prayers are answered with ‘Eating The Cannibals’, the song that is the ‘Neon Knights’ of THE DEVIL YOU KNOW. Dio displays his uptempo registers proving he can do the epics and the fast stuff easily in his mid-60s and the Iommi/Butler/Appice machine just wails. Younger bands should take a listen and learn a lesson, this is classic heavy metal at it’s best! More mid-tempo doom awaits with ‘Follow The Tears’, a song that sounds like it came from the DEHUMANIZER sessions, and the final track ‘Breaking Into Heaven’ but I find I really enjoy the faster ‘Neverwhere’ more.

Bottom Line:
Fans of Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell should definitely pick this up because it’s a classic album by a great group of top musicians. The band is firing on all cylinders with some of the best performances they have ever created together. After 30 years as a riff giant, Tony Iommi stills sets the standard for Heavy Metal guitarists and Ronnie James Dio displays the same versatile vocal range he’s had throughout his career with Rainbow, Sabbath, and his own band. I’ve read some criticism in some reviews that the album is too slow, too plodding, I’ve read the word “dinosaur” in a few. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is mostly slow to mid-tempo Doom laden epics but they are powerful and anything but boring (maybe ‘Rock And Roll Angel’ lyrically) and the three faster songs are very good with ‘Eating The Cannibals’ standing out the most. I say go out and pick this up, the band picks up where they left off in 1992 and the three song teaser from 2007. One of the best albums of the year for me!

Favorite Songs:
‘Bible Black’, ‘Eating The Cannibals’, ‘Neverwhere’, ‘Atom And Evil’, ‘Fear’

New Release Tuesday: Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know

heaven-hell-the-devil-you-know-2009

Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009) – $9.99: I was outside my local Best Buy at 9:45 this morning to get the new Heaven & Hell album because Best Buy had a bonus DVD of studio footage included with the CD. The sale price was phenomenal for a 2 disc set! I almost went across the street to Wal-Mart to get their version with the different cover artwork but I decided against it. I’ve been listening to this album all day!