^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

Dio's Last Stand: Heaven & Hell Live In Europe

Heaven & Hell Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell Live in Europe Eagle Vision, 150 minutes, $14.98.

When Black Sabbath 3.0 got together a few years back to record some new material for The Dio Years compilation, neither Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, nor Vinny Appice probably thought it would lead to two years of touring, and one live and one studio recording apiece, under the Heaven & Hell moniker.

The name change was a smart move. Fans knew what material they would get - and did so during incredible shows - and the band didn't have to drag out "Paranoid" and "Iron Man." About the only losers were Sharon Osbourne's lawyers, visions of billable hours dancing in their heads.

Filmed in July 2009 at Germany's huge Wacken Festival, Neon Nights is also unwittingly the band's swan song, with Dio's death this past May closing the book on this unit.

Although it has much historical value as the singer's last filmed performance, the overall music and performance quality suffers in comparison to 2007's Live at Radio City Music Hall.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Dio's voice is noticeably more tempered and not as strong, and the Butler/Iommi combination plays with the stoicness of a group that, by this filming, had plenty of stage time under its belt but lacked the something-to-prove fire of the previous DVD.

And while highlights include "The Mob Rules," "I," "Time Machine" and "Country Girl," the very understandable inclusion of several numbers from the then-new The Devil You Know simply don't stack up. Even the all quick-cuts camera work sometimes distracts.

However, hardcore fans will find much to appreciate in the bonus material. The first section features lengthy interviews with all four members, who pull no punches about the band and each other. Similar questions can elicit completely different, but fascinating responses.

A second section features brief but heartfelt tributes to Dio by the surviving members, with the revelation that another studio record was planned. A separate companion CD deletes "E5150" and "Country Girl" from the track listings.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.