Archive for Black Sabbath

Review: Heaven And Hell – The Devil You Know [2009]

Posted in Heaven And Hell with tags on April 26, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-heaven-and-hellThe original lords of darkness are back with an album that is purely sinister, an instant classic, that melts your face with gloomy rhetoric and riffs of impending doom.

Tony Iommi’s guitars on The Devil You Know, are still iconic, still to be imitated by thousands of budding and veteran ax men throughout the world. The vocals of Ronnie James Dio are sincerely menacing assuring that Heaven and Hell’s sound stays true to the former Black Sabbath namesake.

Whether the band is producing an evil ballad (“Bible Black”), a sludgy gem (“Atom and Evil,” “Rock And Roll Angel”), or a sped up headbanger (“Eating The Cannibals,” “Neverwhere”) the glory remains in the souls of these heavy metal legends. The Devil You Know certainly holds its own against, and is on par with, the group’s classic records Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules -Meds

45-starsHeaven & Hell is Ronnie James Dio (Vocals), Tony Iommi (Guitars), Geezer Butler (Bass), & Vinny Appice (Drums).

Recap: “That Metal Show” Episode 5 [12-13-08] Mike Piazza

Posted in That Metal Show with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2008 by gearsofrock

metalshow_logo1That Metal Show starring hard rock guru Eddie Trunk, comedian Jim Florentine, and Inside The NFL’s Don Jamieson aired its fifth episode on VH1 Classic last night at 11 p.m.

Episode 5 began with the question, “Do people care about new music from classic hard rock bands?” Florentine made the point that the classic bands only play one or two of the new tracks live and he disliked the trend of rerecording and/or remastering old records. “That is why I ripoff Columbia house,” said Florentine.

Jamieson cracked that “Christine Sixteen” is now in the nursing home. The hosts agreed that the bands that have stuck to their guns such as Metallica, AC/DC, Judas Priest, and Motorhead still release albums that are worth buying and hearing live.

piazzaBaseball’s all-time greatest hitting catcher, Mike Piazza was this week’s special guest who is a die hard Heavy Metal fan.

“Johnny Bench is here?” joked Jamieson as Piazza was introduced.

Mike Piazza talked about his first Kiss concert between 1977 and 1978, as well as his uncle’s role in introducing Piazza to the universe of rock.

Trunk and Piazza told a story about a Guns N’ Roses show they attended at Madison Square Garden in 2001. Axl Rose did not make it on stage until 12:30 a.m., so Piazza and Trunk hung out at the open bar for far too long. Piazza did some entertaining drunk impressions of himself from that night.

Rose took the stage wearing team jerseys of the local team’s top players throughout the performance. He wore a Messier, Strahan, Jeter, and even a Metrostars jersey. A highly offended and intoxicated Piazza yelled at Rose while standing on his seat for most of the set. Later, at the meet and greet, Piazza confronted Rose who was very apologetic. Florentine joked, “That is why Axl has been isolated for the last 12 years.”

Trunk and Florentine interviewed Brian Johnson and Angus Young of AC/DC during a pre-recorded segment. They asked them the typical questions: Where have you been? School boy attire? Practical jokes…etc. A coffee chugging Young was barely audible throughout the short interview but he said that he couldn’t play without his uniform on. Throughout the interview Florentine seemed obsessed with Young’s rear end.

Trunk went 2 for 4 on this week’s “Stump The Trunk.” A familiar “Gary from the Bronx” [asked a question on a previous episode] stumped Trunk on a Sabbath Bloody Sabbath question, and another dude stumped him on a Spaghetti Incident question. Trunk answered Florentine’s young nephew’s question correctly as well as a Dokken bass player question posed by Jen of Long Island. Trunk’s seasonal average is now .474 (9/19).

amazon-rules-of-hellThe “Pick of the Week” is a Black Sabbath box set, The Rules of Hell, which features all of the Dio recordings. “I’m not gonna get it again,” said Florentine referring to the show’s opening discussion about re-issues.

The “Email of the Week” concerned the 80’s Kiss guitarist Vinny Vincent. Trunk talked about a sex change rumor and how Vincent sued Kiss for songwriting credit. Piazza did a Gene Simmon’s impression about Kiss’s superior lawyers winning the suit.

This week’s “Throwdown” was the “Battle of the Brits: Judas Priest or Iron Maiden?” Piazza and Florentine sided with Maiden while Jamieson and Trunk went with Priest. They seem to purposely split 50/50 every episode. Trunk argued that there would be no Maiden without Priest, and Jamieson added that, “they don’t mind working with a gay guy.” The debate broke down into better replacement singer, “Blaze or ‘Ripper’ Owens.” Predictably, Tim “Ripper” Owens dominated that quick discussion. The audience sided with Priest however the hosts never asked the audience how they felt about Maiden.

Season 1 Episode 5 featuring Mike Piazza is enjoyable, entertaining, and interesting but too short. Piazza was not as involved in the episode as Mike Portnoy, and I am sure Piazza had plenty of funny stories to share. Hopefully, there will be future specials that are one hour in length. Since, they filmed a couple shows a day, there were familiar faces and boobies in the audience; I am pretty sure Gary from the Bronx asked a question in an earlier episode and I know for a fact the large chested blond from last week was in attendance.

Watch the full episodes of That Metal Show on vh1classic.com now.

Next week’s episode features Ace Frehley of Kiss.

5 Songs For Your Halloween Playlist

Posted in Black Sabbath, Type o Negative with tags , , on October 29, 2008 by gearsofrock

What ingredients make up a great Halloween song? Does one focus on creepy sounds and keys, ghoulish vocals, evil guitars, or disturbing lyrics? Here is a list of the five best rock songs for Halloween that incorporate at least several of the qualities listed above…

Top 5 Halloween Tunes

1. “Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath [Master of Reality 1971]—This track contains the ghoulish vocals, heavy and evil guitars, haunting but thunderous drums, and troubling lyrics, making it the #1 Halloween song. Sure, we could easily have placed the song “Black Sabbath” here, but the thoughts of “children” + “graves” equates to ultra disturbing evil. White Zombie’s cover is pretty sick too.

2. “Black #1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” by Type-o-Negative [Bloody Kisses 1993]—Very rarely can a band get away with making a dark 11-minute masterpiece about Halloween and hair dye. Fully equipped with the ultra creepy keyboards and Gothic vocals, this tune is forever a favorite treat.

3. “Welcome to my Nightmare” by Alice Cooper [Welcome to my Nightmare 1975]—Obviously, any Alice song will hold up just fine on this list. Actually, you can insert this entire record on your playlist.

4. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by The Eurythmics as performed by Marilyn Manson [Smells Like Children 1996]—In the 90s, Manson made the scariest music videos, often leaving the viewer with plenty of nightmarish material for bedtime. He even managed to turn this somewhat happy track into a horror show.

4. “Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie [Hellbilly Deluxe 1998]—Not only is this tune ghoulish, it makes you want to dance. Rob Zombie still carries the torch as rock’s supreme horror performer.

5. “Die, Die My Darling” by The Misfits [Die, Die My Darling 1984]—There was a toss up between this tune and “Last Caress.” Glenn Danzig and The Misfits still rule.

What songs make your top 5?

Flashback: Black Sabbath Debuts On The US Charts [1970]

Posted in Black Sabbath, Flashback with tags , on August 29, 2008 by gearsofrock

This time in 1970, Black Sabbath’s debut LP reached it’s peak on the US charts at #23 [source:rockhall.com].

There really are no words to describe the importance of this record on rock music. This album marked the official birth of heavy metal. I don’t think there is a rock and roll soul in the world that does not own this album in some form.

Check out this amazing footage of the band performing “Black Sabbath” in Paris, 1970.

Buy & Sell Tickets Online

Rock Show Countdown: #4 Ozzfest ’97

Posted in Black Sabbath, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Marilyn Manson, Ozzfest, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Rock Show Countdown, Type o Negative with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2008 by gearsofrock

Ozzfest ’97 featuring Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Marilyn Manson, Type-O-Negative, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Powerman 5000, and Coal Chamber at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, June 15, 1997

This quote from the New York Times sums up this legendary show:

This made the very premise of the concert one of rebellion, infusing it with the notion that rock-and-roll is more powerful than the state.

Backstory: I’ll never forget waking up super early on a Saturday morning to stand in line at the Ticketmaster window only to find out that this performance was CANCELED! What? Huh? NOOOOOO! It turned out that the state of New Jersey would not allow Manson to play this gig, so Ozzy sued the state in Federal court. New Jersey had no leg to stand on and the tickets finally went on sale a few weeks later. Whew. Then, after that silly fiasco, my parents asked me not to go because they heard a bunch of awful rumors about Manson killing 666 goats on stage or something like that. Well, my parents ended up losing that argument to this “rebellious” 17 year old.

As for the highlights of the actual show:

Fear Factory got the party started on the main stage early afternoon. I was a crazy Fear Factory head in these days. They put on a great performance, consisting mostly of songs off Demanufacture. “Replica” and “Demanufacture” were the best songs of the set.

Type-O-Negative ruled the main stage with solid performances off of October Rust, as well as classics such as “Christian Women” and “Black #1.” At the conclusion of the show, Peter Steele ripped out all his bass strings. He’s really strong.

Marilyn Manson went on during the daylight and still performed really well with his usual wild live antics like Bible-ripping and wearing practically nothing. Despite what the NY Times review says, the stadium was shaking during “The Beautiful People.”

Machine Head played on the second stage in support of The More Things Change. During Machine Heads final song, the power was pulled so Pantera’s set could begin.

Pantera was the sickest band to play and the highlight of rebellion with hundreds of people spilling on to the floor, and body-tackles administered by Giants Stadium staff to some of these people. Hey, Phil Anselmo invited them to come on down. Phil later thanked everybody for this support during a performance at Roseland Ballroom the following year (another classic show). Pantera sounded amazing by the way, with a setlist of classics and supporting The Great Southern Trendkill.

Ozzy Osbourne’s set was pretty good. It wasn’t very long since he had to play with Sabbath later. He seemed to be conserving his energy for most of the set. Joe Holmes was still on lead guitar duty at this point.

Black Sabbath was awesome and sounded way better than Ozzy’s solo set. Ozzy was also a little crazier too. I haven’t seen Ozzy perform this well since. There were laser light shows for tunes such as “Children of the Grave” and “Iron Man.” I left this show with a big smile and a $30 Black Sabbath tee-shirt.

If anyone has a bootleg from this show, please contact me at gearsofrock@gmail.com.