Sound — 9
This was the follow-up album to "Heaven & Hell" which was released the year before. This is an excellent album in my opinion (due to the fact that I prefer Dio-era Sabbath to the Ozzy era). This album is their heaviest one yet, and has a good mix of really rockin' tunes & softer epic ones. I've always enjoyed this album mostly because of Dio's vocals, but Tony Iommi's playing got so much more intense and inspirational, especially in songs like the title track!
Lyrics — 8
Ronnie James Dio comes on as strong as ever in this one, and really helped Sabbath evolve into a truly heavier band in the future. The lyrics represent the songs extremely well & always seem to have an anthem-style feel to them, which really gets you into the them, and makes you crave more. In songs like "Mob Rules" & "Turn Up The Night" (the opening track), he really shows off his heavy vocal capabilities, where as in others like "The Sign Of The Southern Cross", he shows his softer side.
Overall Impression — 8
This a great Sabbath album, but doesn't quite compare to the likes of it's predecessor "Heaven & Hell". And of course, the inevitable "It's Not Ozzy" Sabbath fans will dislike it, but musically, Dio Sabbath always seemed more mature & interesting to listen to in my opinion. My favourite tunes are the opener, "Turn Up The Night", the title track & "Slipping Away", where both Dio and Iommi shine at their best. I really love the evolution that Iommi exemplifies on this album, especially lead-wise. However, some of the tunes don't flow as well as most on previous albums which is it's downfall for me. If this album were stolen/lost, I would most definitely replace it, simply because it's too enjoyable to be forgotten about. But I intend to take really good care of it since it's quite rare.