HEAVEN AND HELL 30 Years of Heaven and Hell – Live in Europe (Eagle Vision)

Well, that title is a little misleading, isn’t it? Technically, the metal band Heaven and Hell, consisting of Ronnie James Dio (vox), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Vinny Appice (drums), were only in existence from 2006 to 2010, a mere four years. Of course, this band is actually one of the numerous incarnations of metal maestros Black Sabbath, with the “30 years” reference pointing to the number of years passed since the Black Sabbath album, Heaven and Hell (when Dio made his debut as Sabbath vocalist), was released. Iommi insisted on the name change so as not to confuse the public over the Ozzy Osbourne-led Sabbath version.

With the recent demise of Dio, this DVD has taken greater significance as a tribute to the much acclaimed heavy metal singer, well known for his time with Rainbow and his own band, Dio (besides Sabbath) and also for having popularized the “devil’s horns” hand sign (you know the one), now emblematic of heavy metal in general. For Sabbath and Dio fans, this DVD is undoubtedly essential, as the band is in fine form throughout with dynamic renditions of its most popular songs viz. Children and the Sea, Mob Rules, Neon Knights and of course, Heaven and Hell.

Of particular interest is an interview with Dio concerning his time with Sabbath – the highs and lows – including a rather frosty relationship with Tony Iommi. There are also interviews with the other members about Heaven and Hell, as well as the death of Dio. On this issue, Iommi is guarded and unemotional, whilst it is clear that Butler and Appice considered Dio a dear friend. All told, it’s a value-for-money DVD especially for fans of Ronnie James Dio. Rest in peace.

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