Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

Album Reviews

Interviews with band

  1. Heaven and Hell

Overall Rating

Music Styles

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Founded: N/A
Ended: Active



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London has Stones Avenue. Melbourne has AC/DC Lane. And New York City has Dio Way, the metropolis' heartfelt tribute to Ronnie James Dio, the diminutive American rock legend with the booming metal-opera voice and a heart of gold.

"There's nothing like appreciation, it's wonderful," nods a softly-spoken Dio, now based in Los Angeles. "It's something I never asked for but I accepted it with open arms. To reward me like that was very special."

The gong recognises Dio's contribution in helping put hard rock on the musical map, from his 1970s days in Elf and Richie Blackmore's Rainbow to replacing Ozzy as Black Sabbath's frontman on Heaven and Hell (1980) and Mob Rules (1981) to his own group Dio through the 1980s and 90s.

"I'm the only person who really needs to know when I'm good or bad," he adds. "But it's certainly wonderful that they've praised a long career of trying to be good - all of the time."

In 2006, Dio reconvened with his former Sabbath band mates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice to perform a 98-date world tour under the moniker Heaven and Hell, their first shows together in 15 years. Such was the positive chemistry on the road they decided to record the project's debut studio album The Devil You Know, released in May.

"At the end of that tour the question came up, 'does anyone want to do an album?'," explains Dio. "We enjoyed the touring so much it seemed such a shame that we had to stop."

With Iommi's doomy riffs creeping through such tracks as Bible Black and Atom & Evil, the pundits declared the album a lesson in the way metal was and the way it should be. A digital recording never sounded so old school.

"It's so much different than it used to be having to cut tape and tape it back together and splice it here and splice it there," says Dio of the sessions. "These days it's done so much easier but of course I miss the old days when it was great to be in studio and puke on the desk and do all that stuff. Ha!"

Despite his Alice Cooper-esque grasp on metal's theatrical absurdities, Dio has been good to the genre over the years and in return it's been good to him.

"I just like the heaviness of all, the darkness of it all, the overpowering-ness of it all," he summarises. "And as a songwriter, to be able to write that way and not have to write tunes that say 'I love you baby', it was the perfect medium for me. It sparked my imagination.

"It's the really the reason why I started to play and it's certainly the reason why Tony and Geezer and Vinny started to play because we wanted to be a band. We love making music with other people, people who could play guitar when we couldn't, people who couldn't sing when we could.

"Being able to live through your passion and to have the stage to say what you want to say both lyrically and musically, that's always been the same for me in my desire to want to do that and to be really good at it. And that's what'll make me to do it forever."



Mark Knopfler

2013-05-08 - Lodz, Atlas Arena 19:30 165-616 PLN

Roger Waters The Wall

2013-08-20, Warszawa, tickets: 242 zł - 1310 zł

Sonisphere Festival

2013-10-12 - Wroclaw 19:30, tickets: 165-1616 PLN

Iron Maiden

2013-08-20, Warszawa, tickets: 242 zł - 1310 zł

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