Heaven & Hell : Live at Radio City Music Hall
by John Kindred
The Ronnie James Dio-fronted Black Sabbath made its valiant return to the stage as Heaven & Hell and toured in support of 2007’s compilation album, Black Sabbath: The Dio Years. Along with fellow band mates, Vinny Appice, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler, Dio revisited a highly productive time period for Black Sabbath. Collectively, the music created by Black Sabbath in the early ‘80s redefined and reinvigorated the band after Ozzy Osbourne’s dismissal.
Their March 30, 2007 performance at New York’s City’s Radio City Music Hall was filmed in high definition and originally released on DVD by Rhino Records. This performance launched Black Sabbath on its 2007 world tour. Eagle Vision has taken that original DVD release and repackaged it in the Blu-ray format with additional bonus features.
After 15 years apart, the lineup of Dio, Appice, Iommi and Butler showed no dings in the armor. A little weathered, of course, but their music continues to strike a familiar chord. Dark and disharmonious, Heaven & Hell’s (Black Sabbath) allure is rooted in its use of the diminished 5th, which gives the music a dark and ominous feel. The band’s use of slower tempos, often at a brooding pace, built up the tension and anxiety in their compositions.
Live at Radio City Music Hall treats fans with 15 songs from the Dio-era Black Sabbath as well as new material from Black Sabbath: The Dio Years, “The Devil Cried” and “Shadow of the Wind.” Classics songs, like “Mob Rules,” “Neon Knights,” “Children Of The Sea” and “Heaven And Hell,” are all here for viewers to see and hear the band in all its majesty. The video and audio are superb.
The passing of Ronnie James Dio has seemed to open the floodgates of Dio-related material coming to the surface. Whether through the release of tribute albums or the re-release of older material, fans have the chance to pick up unique memorabilia. It is unfortunate that Heaven & Hell’s (Black Sabbath) plans, with Ronnie James Dio at the helm, for new material and tours will not come to fruition.
Ronnie James Dio
Blu-ray Track Listing:
1. E5150/After All (The Dead)
2. The Mob Rules
3. Children Of The Sea
4. Lady Evil
6. The Sign Of The Southern Cross
8. The Devil Cried
9. Computer God
10. Falling Off The Edge Of The World
11. Shadow Of The Wind
12. Die Young
13. Heaven And Hell
14. Lonely Is The Word
15. Neon Knights
Blu-ray Disc Features:
• “Road Movie” is a revealing behind-the-scenes look at the 2007 tour originally planned as a one-off that was so spectacularly successful, it not only solidified the lineup but spawned a new studio album, 2009’s The Devil You Know.
• “Hail The Gods Of Metal” takes the viewer into the inner sanctum of the Dio/Iommi/Butler/Appice chemistry.
• “Meet The Mob” shows just how beloved these musicians are to their fans.
• “Radio City” takes us on a tour of this most hallowed hall.
• “The Wisdom Of Dio” speaks for itself. These never-before-seen additional interviews are only available in the Blu-ray format.
Dolby Digital 5.1 – English
DTS HD Master Audio – English
PCM Stereo – English
Subtitles – English, French, Spanish
Hardrock Haven rating: n/a