Sound — 9
I've been collecting albums on vinyl for a very long time now and every time I saw this album on the shelf of my I local music store I never really paid much attention to it. I never gave this line-up of Black Sabbath a chance until just recently. For the longest time I just refused to listen to anything that wasn't the original Sabbath and I though that it was a disgrace for Tony Iommi to keep using the name long after the original line-up fell apart. Then earlier this year I heard about the new Heaven and Hell live at the Radio City Music Hall album. Then I started to realize that it couldn't be that bad because It was half of the almighty Sabbath. The best heavy metal band to walk the face of the earth. So I decided to give it a chance. I picked up the live album and the DVD and I was hooked. I was very impressed. I had to go to my record shop and pick up this album after ignoring it for so long. The overall sound of this album is very good. The great musicianship his hard to overlook. Iommi's guitar work is nothing short of amazing on this album. The rhythm section is great too. Geezer and Vinnie Appice work well together. Then you have Dio who is never disappointing. This line-up brought a new sound to Sabbath. A more fast paced record that than all of the previous Sabbath albums. Very impressive.
Lyrics — 8
I think that this album and the one before it gave Ozzy and Tony a much needed break from each other. I think that the break lasted too long though. The songs that were included on the last few Black Sabbath albums with original members were just getting weaker and weaker. The chemistry just wasn't there anymore. So Ronnie James Dio was brought in. The back of the album say that all of the lyrics are by Dio but I'm sure that the rest of the guys had something to do with it. Some of the lyrics aren't as impressive as others on the album but that doesn't mean that they are bad. Every song on the album is good in it's own way. All of the lyrics match perfectly with the music. Dio is one of the greatest rock singers out there and I think that the Sabbath guys made a good decision choosing him as a front man.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is just as good as the one released before it. It's not as good as the first original Black Sabbath albums though. It's very impressive for only two original members though. They do deliver. My personal favorite song from the album is "The Sign Of The Southern Cross". Other good songs from this album include "The Mob Rules", "Country Girl", "Voodoo", and the instrumental "E5I50"(The title is "EVIL" as roughly translated from Roman numerals: 5=V, 1=I and 50=L). I love everything about the album. The only thing that I don't like is the fact that the original Sabbath couldn't continue to write the great material that they once were capable of doing. There is nothing better than the original Sabbath line-up which included Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi.