Archive for tony iommi

TONY IOMMI – Happy Birthday From Metal Odyssey!

Posted in celebrity birthdays, classic rock, guitar legends, guitarists, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music birthdays, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Back on February 19th, 1948, Tony Iommi was born. Tony Iommi turns a young 64 today. Guitar Legend. Founding member of Black Sabbath. Metal Legend. What more can be said about what Tony Iommi has accomplished for the evolution of Heavy Metal? One more thing can be said, however:

HAPPY

BIRTHDAY

TONY IOMMI!

LONG LIVE TONY IOMMI.

Stone.

BLACK SABBATH “Cross Purposes” – 1994 Album Revisited, Some Metal Thoughts…

Posted in Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

BLACK SABBATH – On February 8, 1994, Black Sabbath released their seventeenth studio album – Cross Purposes via I.R.S. Records. Of course this is not the original lineup of Black Sabbath heard on this album, with the exceptions of Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass). Nor is the late and legendary Ronnie James Dio present here. Tony Martin (vocals), Bobby Rondinelli (drums) and Geoff Nicholls (keyboards) join up with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, to make what I consider a formidable Black Sabbath lineup, that created some intense and memorable Heavy Metal with Cross Purposes.

It never bothered me in the least, each time Black Sabbath changed it’s band lineup around. The constant Metal presence of Tony Iommi, with his signature tones and riffs roaring from his Gibson guitar, has given every Black Sabbath album one of it’s mighty trademark sounds regardless of lineup changes. Am I wrong to feel this way? Of course not, it’s my personal Metal opinion. I’m a lifetime Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler fan, so when this album was released I was thrilled to hear them and their new songs. For sake of Metal argument, I’m a fan of every musician and vocalist that Black Sabbath has ever had. I’m guilty of being a fan of the entire Black Sabbath musical tree… Metal be thy name.

Adopting the band name of Heaven & Hell back in 2007 never swayed me to love the music of Black Sabbath anymore than I already do. Legalities over a band’s trademark name like Black Sabbath certainly surrounded around money, more than it did anything else… that’s understandable and completely logical. So, if one can get past the fact that Black Sabbath was an interchangeable band from 1983 through 1995, (counting the classic Ronnie James Dio aka Heaven & Hell lineup with 1992’s Dehumanizer in the mix), then one can focus on the music and appreciate what Tony Iommi and his Black Sabbath band(s) have truly accomplished with Heavy Metal.

Check out below, the black & white promo music video for Black Sabbath – The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, which was released back in 1994:

Cross Purposes was released in 1994, a time when the Grunge explosion was beginning to lose some steam. It seems (at times) that the 90’s decade gets a bum rap on Heavy Metal releases, only I beg to differ. Heavy Metal was alive and well during the 90’s, only it was not covered by the mainstream or held the arena and stadium limelight compared to those colorful 80’s. Truth be told, it’s like that now, only Heavy Metal is considered “the comeback kid” by some, where I consider this genre’s perseverance to be the result of it’s loyal fan base, along with relentless and exceptionally talented bands that never say die. Cross Purposes was an album that surprised me then, with it’s completeness resulting in being a quality album and it still entertains me now with it’s Old School heaviness.

Cross Purposes has that Sabbath doom vibe sprinkled all over the top of the songs, with the main incubus to this dark sound being Tony Iommi himself. Yes, Geezer Butler is evident in his playing on this album. That Geezer Butler was on this album alongside Tony Iommi, makes a world of difference in capturing that Sabbath vibe. Tony Martin (along with Ray Gillen) may very well be the most unsung lead vocalists from any of the Black Sabbath lineups. I really admire Tony Martin’s vocals, they are of the Classic or Old School era that fits right into what Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes have done with this same band. (Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio are the two untouchables who’ve fronted Black Sabbath, in my Metal opinion). This is herculean company to be in, Tony Martin can look back and realize he was part of a family line of not just talented vocalists for Black Sabbath, they all are immeasurably historic to Rock Music itself.

Geoff Nicholls always has added that impending and dark atmosphere for Black Sabbath with his keyboards. It’s no different on Cross Purposes, with atmosphere playing a key role in making this album spill over with once again… that Sabbath vibe. Tony Iommi was and forever will be the “Riff King” to my ears, Cross Purposes is potently stocked with his patented riffs. Cross Of Thorns is the song I’ll point out as my favorite on this album, with all of it’s Sabbath glory exploding from it’s dark sound and slow to mid-paced tempo. I can confidently say there isn’t a song on Cross Purposes that is fast forward material. Cross Purposes is an album worth checking out and getting familiar with if you already haven’t. Sure, this album is not the greatest Black Sabbath album ever recorded, still it is a legitimate offering of Heavy Metal, played by an excellent group of musicians, from a decade that supposedly squashed our beloved genre.

Track Listing For Cross Purposes:

I Witness

Cross Of Thorns

Psychophobia

Virtual Death

Immaculate Deception

Dying For Love

Back To Eden

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

Cardinal Sin

Evil Eye

LONG LIVE THE METAL OF BLACK SABBATH.

Stone.

Heaven & Hell “Neon Nights – 30 Years Of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe” Is Heavy Metal Elite

Posted in Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

HEAVEN & HELL – Back in 1982, an elite group of musicians known as Black Sabbath released a double live, molasses heavy album titled: Live Evil. In 1982 those two vinyl disks were like gold, to a then sixteen year old who knew a whole lot about nothing. Going on three decades later, that Live Evil album still is gold to this same dude, who knows a little about something. Fast forward to 2007, the legendary lineup of Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Vinny Appice (drums) returned to public view known as Heaven & Hell, with their Live From Radio City Music Hall double live album, released on Rhino Records. This legendary foursome was back… albeit a name change. Taking on the name of one of the most prolific Heavy Metal albums ever to be recorded, Heaven & Hell was now this bands identity.

Yes, Bill Ward was the amazing drummer on that phenomenal Heaven And Hell album from 1980, a legend without discussion. However, Vinny Appice is one quarter of Heaven & Hell and always will be. I won’t dare compare the Live Evil album of ’82 to this newly released Heaven & Hell: Neon Nights, 30 Years Of Heaven & Hell, Live In Europe, (released November 16, 2010, on Armoury Records for Niji Productions). There is nothing to gain by comparing this band to itself, some three decades prior. I am not the same person I was three decades ago… the past is a memory and the future is today.

This historic Heaven & Hell concert was recorded at the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany, back in 2009. Yes, the late and ultra-legendary Ronnie James Dio does sound older on this newly released live album, only his vocals still gives me the same euphoric chills now as he did so many years ago. While listening to Neon Nights-Live In Europe, I realize I’m listening to a man who was a fighter, a man who was not going to back down to any illness that may invade his body. I think of my father, who is currently battling cancer, I think of his strength and will to live as well. I could only hope and pray that I can be as strong and courageous as these two amazing men.

It is the human factor that comes across so strong and vividly on this new Heaven & Hell album, I’m listening to a band that was with me all those years when I was lost and now listening to a band when I was found. The images and memories just come alive for me, as I keenly listen to this Heaven & Hell album… memories of seeing DIO on the Dream Evil tour of 1987, remembering holding, listening to and staring at my Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll album, while being introduced to real Rock ‘N’ Roll at an age where it was most important. I reflect on that first time I heard the opening riff from Tony Iommi, clearing the path for Voodoo and how it made me a believer in what Heavy Metal does for my soul.

No, this is not going to be a standardized album review of this new live Heaven & Hell album. I can’t find it appropriate in my heart or soul to give one. Instead, this album is a celebration of what these four men, these musicians, have given to me and an untold number of other fans for three decades plus… their music speaks louder to me now than it did in 1982. I’ve found my new piece of gold that I’m holding, listening to and staring at in 2010, the only difference now it being a CD, the one constant is… it’s Heaven & Hell.

* To donate to the Ronnie James Dio “Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund” and find out more about current DIO albums and merchandise, just click on the link below:

Ronnie James Dio.com

Track Listing For Neon Nights – 30 Years Of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe:

Mob Rules

Children Of The Sea

I

Bible Black

Time Machine

Fear

Falling Off The Edge Of The World

Follow The Tears

Die Young

Heaven And Hell

Neon Knights

LONG LIVE THE MUSIC OF HEAVEN & HELL.

REST IN PEACE, RONNIE JAMES DIO.

Stone.

The greatest Heavy Metal album of all time is…

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, Black Sabbath, classic rock, cool album covers, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, ozzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

527399Well, I have finally reached the pinnacle in my decision process for The Greatest Heavy Metal Album Of All Time. Please reference my past posts on this topic, you will find many great & legendary Metal albums that I personally nominated for this prestigious label. Without further delay, in my Metal opinion, and only mine alone, I have chosen: Black Sabbath – “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”      

Please note that this is my opinion, anyone out there can have his/her own choice for this topic. It boils down to personal preference, especially when it happens to be Metal. Here are my reasons for why I feel this way about this incredible album:

1. It is my belief that Doom Metal, Stoner Metal and real Metal all began with Black Sabbath. “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” just signifies musically, what Metal was and where Metal was heading, back in 1974. 

2. Without question, for me, the ‘riff master’ of the Metal world then and now is and forever will be the legendary Tony Iommi.

3. Ozzy Osbourneno Rock or Metal vocalist has ever sounded like him, or even come close. Ozzy’s vocals are so unique, it is uncanny. I am not saying Ozzy is the greatest vocalist ever, what I am stating is that his vocals are a signature, a trademark if you will, of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” Ozzy’s vocals are so extraordinarily identifiable, just as Tony Iommi’s guitar riffs.

4. Not that this played any factor in my decision whatsoever – the album cover artwork is extremely cool, very much Metal. The artwork depicts a skull, demonic beings, a nightmarish snapshot of a piece of hell. Perhaps, I do not know officially for certain, this was the first album cover of any Rock genre which depicted 666 in it’s artwork. (Again, I would need to really research this).

My summary as to why I believe “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” to be The Greatest Heavy Metal Album Of All Time is this:

Black Sabbath “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is a tried and true Heavy Metal classic. Every song is a definitive statement of just how talented and forward thinking Black Sabbath was in 1974. These 8 songs are a journey of surreal riffs, post psychedelic musical heaviness, that molded Heavy Metal into what it has become today. The opener “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” has a lead riff that instantly prepares you for the remaining set of songs. The instrumental “Fluff” could only work for Black Sabbath on this album, it’s convenient yet prominent position within these songs makes complete sense. “Fluff” and it’s acoustic beauty embarks on the intelligence Black Sabbath held onto musically. Just look at how many Metal bands since, that have slipped in dreamy, mystical or macabre instrumentals for their respective albums. Ozzy Osbourne is so unmistakably eerie on vocals, he was and always shall be one of a kind. Tony Iommi delves into the world of heavy riffs, formulating one after another throughout, unknowingly becoming the Metal riff king for all time. Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums provide a legendary rhythm section, that shapes the dark moodiness of this beyond fantastic Metal masterpiece. I look at 1974, then I realize exactly how prominent Heavy Meal was then. It really was not an embraced genre as yet, Metal was truly in it’s infant stage.

“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was the Metal comet that stormed into the musical universe in 1974, making a collision onto a world of Rock & Roll that did not know what hit it. Legions of bands and musicians have been influenced by this album, if not, these bands/musicians are not into Metal and/or do not live on this planet. I strongly urge any and all Heavy Metal or Hard Rock fans to add “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” to their music collection, it is an essential and important work of Heavy Metal. The Greatest Heavy Metal Album Of All Time. 

Just as a sidebar, I struggled with this decision. I was steadfast in deciding on Slipknot “All Hope Is Gone” as the greatest ever. Then, I followed my Metal heart and realized, if it wasn’t for Black Sabbath and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” would there even be Metal music as we know it today?

fullsize            

Heaven & Hell “The Devil You Know” is Metal greatness!

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, Black Sabbath, classic rock, dio, Hard Rock, heaven and hell heavy metal band, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, horror metal, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, Power Metal, recent heavy metal albums, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, ronnie james dio, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

92776864Alas, I finally received via U.S. mail, on April 29, 2009, directly from Best Buy online, the brand new Heaven & Hell release – “The Devil You Know” – (I pre-ordered the CD/DVD version) and I am simply ecstatic over this Metal! I feel I am exonerated from all the praise and hype I have been giving Heaven & Hell for their embarking on making this new album. Greatness is not enough of a positive adjective to describe the Metal tunes on “The Devil You Know” – and I mean all ten songs are enormously great. My favorite tune on this album is “The Turn Of The Screw” – it sounds incredible with Tony Iommi on guitar, for Iommi seems as if he let his melodic side take over with the leads and solo. Ronnie James Dio sounds like he is thirty years old again on not just this tune, all ten of these tunes!

Am I going too far with the praise so far? In my personal Metal opinion, nope. Anyone, albeit fan or professionally paid music critic, who does not agree that “The Devil You Know” is Metal greatness should go out and start listening to dance club music from the 80’s. Heaven & Hell sound as if they have let out their finest and most creative ideas musically, for this new album. Oh, yes, the vintage Tony Iommi guitar riffs are abundant, with dark and doom ambiance aplenty. Lyrically, the songs are what you can expect from Heaven & Hell, with the legendary Ronnie James Dio leading the way vocally, accentuating each syllable with Metal precision. Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice sound so tight as a rhythm section, I would swear they play & practice music together weekly, for the past twenty five years! The old school Metal meets a current Metal groove is happening on this album, I find it extremely addicting.

By no means has Heaven & Hell released a retrospective Metal album that carbon copies the work they accomplished during the 1980’s, no way. In my Metal opinion, this is as current a Metal sound as any recent Metal album release, by any band. Heaven & Hell did not just step it up  a notch, they stepped it up with class and respect for us fans – by writing and creating what I consider the highest quality of Metal I have heard in recent memory. I feel Heaven & Hell did reach back to their roots, yet they combined it with the maturation of their musical talents, giving my ears not what Metal used to sound like but what Metal truly is. “The Devil You Know” has instantly become one of those Metal albums, where I cannot believe how great and intense each song is. No skipping over any tune or quick sampling here. Veteran Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell fans should be thrilled by this new album, new fans most certainly will be Metal impressed. It is not the cliche’ that Heaven & Hell has become of age, it is more that Heaven & Hell proves they are ageless.

Still waiting patiently for the new Heaven & Hell

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, Black Sabbath, classic rock, dio, Guitar, Hard Rock, heaven and hell heavy metal band, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

92776863In my last blog, in regards to the new release from Heaven & Hell, “The Devil You Know,” I mentioned I was hoping my CD/DVD version would arrive on the 28th of April, via U.S. mail. Well, gosh, golly, I received a confirmation of shipment email from Best Buy online – it informed me they (at Best Buy), shipped my CD/DVD out on April 27th. Shucks. I am not faulting Best Buy here at all, yet, when I pre-ordered the new Slipknot CD – “All Hope Is Gone” last Summer of 2008, it arrived in my mailbox right smack dab on the release date!! Go figure. I am a patient Metalhead. Always have been, always will be. Great Metal things come to those Metalheads who wait. 

Since I am on the topic of the legendary Heaven & Hell, let’s face it, Tony Iommi is the super king of Heavy Metal riffs. Stoner riffs, Doom Metal riffs, whatever you want to call it, the Metal masses have followed Tony Iommi’s formula of riff excellence for four decades now. Geezer Butler has his very own signature sound coming out of his bass, just like his partner in Metal, (Tony Iommi), Geezer brings the heavy doom and boom to his playing. Man, I cannot wait to hear the incredible Ronnie James Dio belting out the vocals on these brand new Metal tunes! My favorite Black Sabbath album of all-time is without question, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, in my opinion it really signified the status, of the Heavy Metal sound that this band was about. I am just so smitten, that these four guys are together again – releasing “The Devil You Know” and embarking on another world tour, even after touring last year. The truest spirit of Heavy Metal illuminates from Heaven & Hell, both from their music and lyrics. What an undeniable legacy, in my Metal opinion! Transcending the Metal music they are so talented for creating, Heaven & Hell exemplify that longevity does coexist with quality.

Heaven & Hell Day is Here! Heavy Metal fans rejoice!

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, Black Sabbath, dio, Guitar, Hard Rock, heaven and hell heavy metal band, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, horror metal, Metal, metal music, Music, new heavy metal album, recent heavy metal albums, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, ronnie james dio, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

92776862Obviously, it is April 28th, 2009. Today, the new album release from Heaven & Hell is unleashed on the glorious world of Heavy Metal!! It is going on twelve noon – (Eastern Standard Time/U.S.) for me at this moment – I am patiently awaiting the arrival of my new copy of “The Devil You Know,” via U.S. mail. I pre-ordered the CD/DVD version, through Best Buy (online). It seems that the CD/DVD version is a Best Buy exclusive, therefore getting the DVD part of the package is for me, a Metal bonus! Plus, get this – I pre-ordered about two weeks ago, the cost of “The Devil You Know” CD/DVD was $9.99 with free shipping!! (Now, with these tough economic times, that is a Metal bargain). This was such a cool deal, heck, I even bought my best buddy on the planet a copy too. My experiences with purchasing from Best Buy online has been truly, flawless. Best Buy really does offer continuous cool deals on a wide variety of Metal Music CD’s. Well, enough of praising Best Buy, I want my Heaven & Hell new tunes NOW!!

I have to wait until possibly 3:00pm est to get my hands on this new release, for I can never set my watch to the mailman. If I do receive “The Devil You Know” today, I will be the happiest Metalhead in North America. I have been listening to “The Mob Rules” this morning, man, it only got me more pumped up for this 2009 version of Black Sabbath (oops), I mean Heaven & Hell. I will also post my review for this album either tonight or tomorrow morning. (I am quite certain the review will be a good one). C’mon mailman, where are you dude?

%d bloggers like this: