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Friday, April 15, 2011

Heaven & Hell: "Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell" Full DVD

The release of Heaven & Hell´s "Neon Nights" on DVD and CD would have served as cause for uninterrupted celebration and hope for the next chapter of the aging veterans' ever fattening book of heavy metal. But that celebration was interrupted and hope for a continuation of the saga dashed as Ronnie James Dio succumbed to his cancer on May 16, 2010.

This night was of course about more than Ronnie James Dio and the performances of Iommi, Butler, and Appice, as well as hidden keyboardist Scott Warren, were dead on as well, although Vinny has lost a little crispness over the years and the crackling fills that gave songs like "The Mob Rules" an extra kick in the ass aren't as powerful here.

Regardless, the sound is excellent and song selection notable for how well new cuts like "Bible Black" and "Fear" sit amidst staples like "Children of The Sea", not to mention "Dehumanizer" cuts "I" and "Time Machine", the latter two aging better than most would expect. In addition to fan favorite and final encore "Neon Knights", and a song in"Die Young" that sounds even more impressive 30 years later, it is the inclusion of the infrequently played "Country Girl" (the first encore track) and the monstrous, often overlooked "Falling off the Edge of the World" that are the real treats. Both tracks are taken from Side B of"Mob Rules", the latter featuring that swarming riff that still makes all those tiny neck hairs straighten up and break off. Of course, no Dio-led performance would be the same without a marathon-length rendition of the title track from "Heaven and Hell" and this version played at theWacken gig does not disappoint. Fans may also opt to purchase the CD version of the gig, one that leaves off intro "E5150" and "Country Girl".

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