Black Sabbath

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Summer of 1977…

I had just met the neighbor kid in the apartment complex we had just moved into. He invited me over to hang out and listen to music one afternoon. He asked me if I liked Black Sabbath and I told him that “Iron Man” was a cool song but that was about all I knew. He then proceeded to play Master of Reality. The music was like an adrenaline shot to my senses. I was hooked immediately and had to have more and find out all I could about Black Sabbath.

Over time I managed to collect their music and it became a part of my regular listening schedule. I couldn’t explain it but the music reached me on many levels. And then, as quickly as I had found them, there was news of a band split.

Back then (before up to the minute news from the internet) rumors began circulating of Ozzy leaving the band. This unfortunately became truth.

It came to pass that Black Sabbath had hired Ronnie James Dio to sing and Ozzy launched a solo career. I was a long time Rainbow fan and was curious to see what Dio would bring. I was positive that Ozzy would have some cool stuff as well.

Let’s talk Black Sabbath first. With the addition of Dio they brought us Heaven and Hell. I like this record but it brought about a sense of change to the Black Sabbath style. I always felt that this record took them in a more pop rock oriented style. It wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t MY Black Sabbath that I’d grown to love. It proved to be the same with the Mob Rules. They had just failed to reach as had been done with their previous work. I like both records and still listen to them today but not nearly as much as the earlier work. And then Dio was gone.

To be honest I left them at that point not even bothering to listen or seek out their music. Black Sabbath was lost to me at that time.

Ozzy went on to great success as a solo artist. He surrounded himself with stellar musicians and made some good records. Like Dio era Sabbath it was different. Ozzy tried to cultivate the Prince Of Darkness image but it failed to reach me. The music while great again, in my opinion, leaned a little more towards the pop rock side.

I know, I know, I can just see some of you rolling your eyes at this. Change is ok and sometimes can be good. It was good for Ozzy’s career and not so much with Black Sabbath. Sabbath eventually reunited with Dio for Dehumanizer before parting ways again.

Eventually Ozzy and Sabbath got over the past and reunited for 13 (without Bill Ward), but, for me, the magic just wasn’t there anymore.

Over time we lost Dio to cancer, Ozzy’s solo career kind of came to a slow down, and Sabbath again had some infighting leading to a permanent split with Bill Ward. But, as I have said in other conversations, that is band business of which we as fans have no part.

All in all, it’s been a good ride with Sabbath and Ozzy. I will always have and cherish the early music they made. Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy, and Never Say Die! will ALWAYS be the definitive Sabbath albums for me. I will still continue to support anything Sabbath or Ozzy does because that’s what we as music fans do. I don’t have to love it but without that support it will go away. The bands that were influenced by Black Sabbath are countless.

Thank you Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward for the hours upon hours of enjoyment you have given to me over the years. You four will forever be Black Sabbath in my heart and mind. To all of the others who have had a hand in the Sabbath legacy: Geoff Nicholls, Craig Gruber, Vinny Appice, Ian Gillen, Bev Bevan, Ron Keel, David Donato, Eric Singer, Dave Spitz, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, Bob Daisley, Tony Martin, Cozy Powell, Laurence Cottle, Neil Murray, Bobby Rondinelli, Mike Bordin, Adam Wakeman, Tommy Clufetos, Rick Wakeman, Gerald Woodroffe, Don Airey, Brad Wilk thank you for being a part of such legends. Zakk Wylde, ZAKK SABBATH?!?!?! That’s what I’m talking about!

Dio, you just rule, period.

 

It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s mother#$%*ing SABBATH!!!

-the Hellion

 

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Clutch Frontman, Ex Black Sabbath Drummer Join Forces In Dunsmuir

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Remember those great concept albums like The Wall, Tommy, 2112, Operation Mindcrime…you get my drift. Well Dunsmuir has a brought a new one into the mix with their upcoming release Dunsmuir.

In case you’ve been leading a sheltered life in a bomb shelter, here’s the lowdown on Dunsmuir: Neil Fallon (Clutch) on vocals, Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell) on drums, Brad Davis (Fu Manchu) on bass, and Dave Bone (The Company Band)on guitar, have put their various talents together to form Dunsmuir, and the result is FANTASTIC to say the least.

Dunsmuir tells the tale of the various fates met by the survivors of a 19th century ship wreck.  What had been intended as a voyage of scientific discovery, quickly devolves into a struggle to survive the natural world, and the supernatural. This tale is successfully told by the mood and tempo of the 10 tracks on this album:

1. Hung On the Rocks
2. Our Only Master
3. The Bats (Are Hungry Tonight)
4. What Manner of Bliss
5. Deceiver
6. …and Madness
7. Orb of Empire
8. Church of the Tooth
9. The Gate
10. Crawling Chaos

     The album has a straightforward no bullshit Rock N’ Roll feel to it. Great mix of vocals, guitar,  bass, and drums with one not overshadowing the other. The mix is stellar and you don’t lose anything when you crank it to outrageous volume. The flow is great as the story is told. The lyrics do a great job of placing you within the story of the brave adventurers of the tale and it translates well. This is an album that is worthy of a road trip with the volume and the windows down AND an evening at home with your favorite beverage and a great pair of headphones. While meant to be taken as a whole, there are a few tracks that call out to me: “Hung On the Rocks” with its catchy licks and chorus reaches out and tickles my ears. “Crawling Chaos” embodies chaos in your ears and yet somehow makes sense. “Church of the Tooth” carries with it an ominous doomy sound which I thoroughly enjoy.

     Dunsmuir delivers some solid Rock N’ Roll in a time when others have given Rock its death sentence. This album gives the middle finger to the naysayers and does its part in proving them wrong.

     Their self titled full length album is set to be released July 22nd via Hall Of Records with presale to begin on July 8th.   The album will be released digitally via iTunes only and the LP will only have a pressing of 1,000 copies with a signed lithograph poster of the album cover and available only at:  http://www.indiemerch.com/Dunsmuir

    Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DunsmuirBand
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/dunsmuirband
Twitter:        http://www.twitter.com/DunsmuirBand
Official:        http://www.dunsmuirband.com
YouTube:    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCav_GlS4rhekNZsOZTp3SzA

          You DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS ONE!!!

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

     -the Hellion

 

 

Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute – DVD thoughts and review

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September 27 1980- My friend Brett came over to my apartment to hang out with me on my 16th birthday. He smiled as he handed me a wrapped package. I eagerly tore the wrapping off to discover the Blizzard Of Ozz record. “I knew you loved Sabbath so I saw this and figured you would enjoy it.” We raced to my room and found ourselves entranced by the music. I was most impressed by the guitar playing album on this record. The passion and power of the guitar playing on it was enough to make me weep. Brett and I instantly became Randy Rhoads fanatics. A lot of our friends were Eddie Van Halen nuts through and through, but there was something a bit more magical about Randy Rhoads for me. We read everything we could find and tried our best to wear out my copy of Blizzard Of Ozz.

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When Diary Of A Madman came out in late 1981 I was there at the record store and raced home to hear what Randy had come up with to blow our minds, I was not disappointed in the least. This record too found itself being quickly worn out on my turntable. Again, I read every bit of press, had the posters, t-shirts, and all of the necessary accessories. Brett and I even figured out the secret codes on the album. Then, miracle of miracles, Ozzy was coming to our town!!! I did odd jobs to earn my $8.50 for my ticket. We went and positioned ourselves in front of Randy and witnessed a show that has yet to be repeated. The way Randy commanded the stage was sheer magic, and the way he played the songs live was utter brilliance. We left the show elated and sold that Randy was the greatest guitar player ever. Then, three months later he was gone, and I openly wept.

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         Now in March of 2015 I find myself watching a DVD about people who were influenced by Randy and his music. Kelle Rhoads let us into the world that he and his brother developed their musical skills in by walking us through the legendary Musonia Music School. Kelle told us of  how his mother, Delores, influenced Randy to audition for Ozzy. He also shared some moments of the younger Randy and himself performing is the school. I really felt the emotional bond and the sense of loss Kelle has for Randy when he showed the room where Randy taught guitar. It was stated that the room has been restored to the way it was when Randy packed up and left for his gig with Ozzy. It is truly a room frozen in time.

     The legendary Bob Kulick hosts Bob’s interaction with Kelle was enlightening and I learned new things about Randy. Bob spoke with drummer Frankie Banali and I learned things about the formation of the Ozzy solo band that I never knew. Dana Strum? Frankie’s involvement? You have to watch it and see. Hearing the stage stories from my friend Rudy Sarzo was amazing as well. Bob talks on with George Lynch, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa, Joel Hoekstra, George Lynch. Bruce Kulick, and Jon Donias. They all tell how Randy affected them musically.

     This DVD has led me to appreciate Randy “the person” more than I previously had. It is quite obvious how much his peers loved and respected him.  I am glad that the time was taken to produce this in tribute to the great Randy Rhoads who continues to live on inside me and others who listen and truly appreciate his musical legacy.  Please be sure to pick this up and allocate an hour and a half to learn about and share the life of this great musician and human being, you will NOT be disappointed. Randy truly is immortal.

     it’s loud, it’s beautiful, it’s Randy Rhoads

     -the Hellion

Announcing “Immortal RANDY RHOADS – The Ultimate Tribute” – A Celebratory Album Feat. All-Star Guests SERJ TANKIAN, TOM MORELLO and More‏

Announcing “Immortal RANDY RHOADS – The Ultimate Tribute”

A Celebratory Album Feat. All-Star Guests SERJ TANKIAN, TOM MORELLO and More

 

Out March 3, 2015 via UDR Music

 

The Late Legendary Guitar Hero Memorialized in Sensational Cover Tracks

 

Featuring an All-Star Line-Up of Music Greats:

TOM MORELLO

SERJ TANKIAN

RUDY SARZO

FRANKIE BANALI

VINNY APPICE

TIM “RIPPER” OWENS

CHUCK BILLY

ALEXI LAIHO

GEORGE LYNCH

GUS G.

BRUCE KULICK

DOUG ALDRICH

DWEEZIL ZAPPA

         BERNIE TORME              

JON DONAIS

BRAD GILLIS

… and More

 

Album Includes Bonus DVD w/ Artist and Producer Interviews and More

 

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One of the most venerated guitarists ever to grace hard rock music, the late, great Randy Rhoads (heralded as the legendary lead guitarist forOzzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot) will be celebrated in the truest of fashions with the release of Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tributeon March 3, 2015 via UDR Music.

 

A collection of 11 classic Rhoads co-written songs, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute is performed by twenty top contemporary artists, including old friends and performing partners Rudy Sarzo and Frankie Banali, his brother Kelle Rhoads and more designated musicians like Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Vinny Appice, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Chuck Billy, Alexi Laiho, George Lynch, Gus G., Bruce Kulick, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa and others.

 

The album was produced and compiled by the Grammy-award winning guitarist and producer Bob Kulick at his own studio.

 

Along with the album, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute will also contain a bonus DVD available in the digipack version, including interesting interviews with some of the involved artists, hosted by Bob Kulick and a feature on the Musonia School of Music, a teaching school on North Hollywood, California, set up by Randy’s mother and run by his brother Kelle Rhoads.

 

Pre-order details coming soon! Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute will also be available in double vinyl gatefold and digital formats.

 

 

Full track listing with performers:

 

1. Crazy Train

Vocals: Serj Tankian

Gtrs:  Tom Morello

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums:  Vinny Appice

 

2. Over the Mountain

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: Jon Donais

Bass:  Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Frankie Banali

 

3. Mr Crowley

Vocals: Chuck Billy

Gtrs:  Alexi Laiho

Keyboards: Kelle Rhoads

Bass Rudy: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Vinny Appice

 

4. Believer

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs:  Doug Aldrich

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Vinny Appice

 

5. Back To The Coast (Quiet Riot)

Vocals: Kelle Rhoads

Gtrs:  Bruce Kulick

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Frankie Banali

 

6. I Don’t Know

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: George Lynch

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen

 

7. S A T 0

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Rhythm guitars: Bob Kulick

Lead guitar: Dweezil Zappa

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Vinny Appice

 

8. Killer Girls (Quiet Riot)

Vocals:  Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: Joel Hoekstra

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen

 

9. Goodbye to Romance

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: Gus G.

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen

 

10. Suicide Solution

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs:  Brad Gillis

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen

 

11. Flying High Again

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs:  Bernie Torme

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums:  Brett Chassen

 

 

A lover of classical music, Rhoads had taken initial steps into rock’n’roll as a 16 year old when he formed a band, that soon became Quiet Riot. Rhoads was vaulted to the limelight in 1979 when Ozzy Osbourne chose the relatively unknown guitarist to help shape a new future for him via his band, Blizzard of Oz. The result saw Rhoads co-script two of the most famous albums in hard rock history, Blizzard Of Oz and Diary of A Madman, and rapidly ascended the stairway of fame and recognition for his virtuoso playing and writing. Famed for the way he fused classical flavors with technically-excellent hard rock, Rhoads became one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock.

 

When he tragically passed away on March 19, 1982 in a plane accident, Rhoads was only 25 years old, but thankfully, the legend of his work, ethos and their continuing influence on a whole new generation of guitarists, has never dimmed.

 

Celebrate the life and legend of Randy Rhoads with Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute.

 

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

     -the Hellion

 

 

Dewey Bragg talks about MӦTH!

Catching up with Dewey Bragg, vocalist of Kill Devil Hill and the supergroup MӦTH!

 

     Also check out their  video for the track “Womanizer” :

     Catch up with MӦTH on the web:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mothsounds/171245566260834

http://mothsounds.com/

https://soundcloud.com/moth-5

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s MӦTH!!!

     -the Hellion

Revolver Magazine and Guitar World Magazine Reveal RONNIE JAMES DIO “Rainbow In The Dark” Cover Track – Featuring Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci & Jason Christopher‏

Revolver Magazine and Guitar World Magazine Reveal RONNIE JAMES DIO “Rainbow In The Dark” Cover Track –

Featuring Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci & Jason Christopher

 

Grab this Track and More — Get the RONNIE JAMES DIO “This Is Your Life” Compilation – Pre-Order via iTunes

 

Win an ASG Series Dio Guitar from GuitarWorld.com!

 

This Is Your Life is the #1 Hard Rock/Metal Album // Top 10 Overall on Amazon!

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Album Artwork by Mark Sasso

his Is Your Life Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Ronnie James Dio With Renditions of his Greatest Songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio

Available April 1, 2014 via Rhino

 

 

Dual premiere alert! Today, Revolver Magazine and Guitar World Magazine have partnered up to reveal a stellar rendition of ‘Rainbow In The Dark’, performed by Corey TaylorRoy MayorgaSatchelChristian Martucci, and Jason Christopher. The track appears on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute compilation This Is Your Life, available April 1, 2014 via Rhino in physical and digital versions. Take a listen now at Revolvermag.com or GuitarWorld.com!

While visiting GuitarWorld.com, make sure to enter to win an awesome ASG Dio Vision Guitar! The guitar features a solid basswood body and set neck, a rosewood fingerboard, Mother of Pearl inlays, and more. View a full description at ArtistSeriesGuitar.com, and enter to win via GuitarWorld.com now.

Don’t be the last in line – reserve your digital copy now via iTunes here, or physical via Amazon here. As a bonus with your iTunes pre-order, you’ll get a free, instant download of Motörhead and Biff Byford of Saxon’s rendition of Rainbow’s ‘Starstruck’. In addition, all digital versions of This Is Your Life, will include a newly recorded version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Buried Alive’ re-imagined by Jasta, the side project of Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta. This track will be exclusively available on the digital versions.

Local to New York City? Duff’s Brooklyn is hosting the official This Is Your Life east coast listening and release party this Saturday, March 29th at 10:00PM. The event is free and you must be 21+ to attend. Duff’s Brooklyn is located at 168 Marcy Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For more information, visit www.duffsbrooklyn.com.

In other Dio event news – on March 17th, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund hosted its 3rd annual Awards Gala at the Avalon nightclub in Hollywood, CA, and raised in excess of $90,000 for cancer research and education. Thank you to all who attended and donated! The event included all-star performances from Halestorm, Oni Logan, Rowan Robertson, Jimmy Bain, Brian Tichy, Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Tim “Ripper” Owens, Craig Goldy, Bjorn Englen, Simon Wright, Scott Warren, Corey Taylor, Christian Martucci, Scott Ian, Duff McKagan, Jason Christopher, Roy Mayorga, and more – and awards were presented to distinguished honorees for their contributions to spreading awareness of Fund’s important work. The red carpet was star-studded, with appearances from Rob Halford, Pearl Aday, Vinny Appice, Mark Boals, Ann Boleyn, Dewey Bragg (Kill Devil Hill), Maxwell Carlisle, Mikey Doling (SNOT), Lita Ford, Jeff George, Rita Haney (Dimebags Hag), Kathryn Hanneman (Jeff’s/Slayer widow), Nik Kai, Sin Quirin, Jack Russell (Great White), Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Vext (SNOT), Mark Zavon (Kill Devil Hill), and more.

 

This Is Your Life is a tribute album created to raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund(www.diocancerfund.org), which features an all-star group of his friends and fans performing 13 of their favorite Ronnie James Diotracks. The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable fund dedicated to supporting cancer-prevention research, raising awareness and educating the public about the vital importance of early detection and prevention, and was co-founded by Dio’s longtime manager and wife, Wendy Dio. 100% of the monies received from this album by the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund goes directly into cancer research.

Produced by Wendy Dio, widow of Ronnie James Dio and Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer FundPresident/Founder,  This Is Your Life includes contributions by such metal heavyweights as MetallicaScorpionsAnthraxGlenn Hughes and Rob Halford, as well as appearances by many of the musicians who performed with Dio over the years. See below for a full tracklisting, chock full of renditions by today’s most stellar classic, heavy metal and hard rock artists!

Ronnie James Dio This Is Your Life Track Listing:

  1. “Neon Knights” – Anthrax*
  2. “The Last In Line” – Tenacious D*
  3. “The Mob Rules” – Adrenaline Mob
  4. “Rainbow In The Dark” – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher*
  5. “Straight Through The Heart” – Halestorm*
  6. “Starstruck” – Motörhead with Biff Byford*
  7. “The Temple Of The King” – Scorpions*
  8. “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” – Doro
  9. “Holy Diver” – Killswitch Engage
  10. “Catch The Rainbow” – Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren*
  11. “I” – Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy*
  12. “Man On The Silver Mountain” – Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren*
  13. “Ronnie Rising Medley (Featuring A Light In The Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer, Kill The King)” – Metallica*
  14. “This Is Your Life” – Dio

Digital Bonus Track: “Buried Alive” – Jasta*

* Previously unreleased

 

The Hellion Rocks Photography

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They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well circumstances led me to pick up a camera in September of 2012. I have since spent a lot of time learning and will always be learning to understand the art of photography. I have put a selection of my shots up on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/117375233@N02/ I would dig it if you checked them out and gave some feedback. Any feedback is appreciated as we can only learn from it.  – the Hellion