ALBUM REVIEWS: Black Sabbath Reissues – Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules

Photo credit: Mark Weiss with permission

Photo credit: Mark Weiss with permission

When Ronnie James Dio joined metal legends Black Sabbath in 1980 the former Rainbow frontman’s appointment couldn’t have come at a better time. Sabbath were a sinking ship. A drowning vessel from which enigmatic frontman Ozzy Osbourne had been trying to escape for some time. However, even though it was painfully clear that new blood had to be added to halt the band’s alarming deterioration the hostility that greeted Dio from some corners was quite shocking.

Continue reading

Black Sabbath to Release Deluxe Remasters of “Heaven and Hell” and “Mob Rules”


in 1980, Ronnie James Dio left Rainbow and joined Black Sabbath to form an unholy union of Heavy Metal greatness. Now BMG will release newly remastered versions of both classic Dio/Sabbath albums expanded with rare and unreleased music. Heaven And Hell: Deluxe Edition And Mob Rules: Deluxe Edition will be released separately on November 4th and November 18th, 2022. Each album will be available on 2-CDs, or a 2-LP set. Due to space constraints, both vinyl editions include a selection of bonus material from the CDs. The music will also be available via digital download and streaming services the same day. Pre-order the album now:


Continue reading

Listen to A Previously Unreleased 1979 Version of Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell”

The estate of late Black Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls has released a previously unreleased rehearsal recording of Sabbath rehearsing an early version of their classic song “Heaven And Hell” in 1979 during the pre-production sessions for the album of the same name. The track, which features Nicholls on bass, was uploaded to YouTube by Geoff’s stepson and executor of his estate, Gary Rees. Continue reading

Ronnie James Dio Passed Away Ten Years Ago Today

It seems unreal, but Ronnie James Dio died ten years ago May 16th, 2010. He died after a long bout with stomach cancer. His incredible voice enduring personality is synonymous with the metal genre. As a signer with his own solo band Dio, as well as Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, Rainbow, and Elf, he was the inspiration of countless singers to follow in his footsteps. Dio gave heavy metal a lot of its fantasy elements thematically in the Power Metal and Symphonic Metal genres. He is responsible for countless genre classics, both songs, and albums, including his first album with Black Sabbath, Heaven, and Hell (Vertigo). Countless Dio inspired bands to operate today named for his songs or lyrics, there are charity events, tribute tours, and charity events that raise money to try to cure the disease that took his life, and even a major metal festival stage at Bloodstock Open Air is named for his memory. Let’s raise a glass along with the horns to Dio today!

Continue reading

CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Black Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell” Turns 40

Black Sabbath, one of the greatest bands ever, was an act in transition as it entered the 1980s. Less than a year earlier they sacked their legendary lead singer Ozzy Osbourne and replaced him with equally great Ronnie James Dio, previously of Rainbow. The flailing former greats and the hungry vocalist reignited each others passion for Heavy Metal to create something incredible in Heaven and Hell (Vertigo/Warner Bros) The album not only gave the band a shot in the arm, but it also launched their second era with a bang, one their fans would never forget. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Dio – Late Era Reissues

One thing every metal fan can agree on is the eternal majesty of Ronnie James Dio. Whether you liked his music or not (and if you didn’t, then why are you reading this?), the simple fact is that the man’s talent was unquestionable. Whether you preferred his solo work or his time with Rainbow, or Black Sabbath, (or for you picky little contrarians out there – The Electric Elves, Ronnie Dio and the Prophets, or Elf), the fact remains that there is still a gaping void in the world of metal, even now, nearly ten years(!) after his death.Continue reading

The Third Annual Ride for Ronnie: Live At Harley-Davidson of Glendale, California


Eddie Money, by Meg Loyal Photography


The Third Annual “Ride For Ronnie” Motorcycle Rally and Concert took place earlier last month and raised $40,000 for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. Attended by motorcycle enthusiasts and rockers by equal measure; bikers, bands, and fans young and old represented to raise money in memory for late heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell, and Rainbow fame, who passed away from Gastric Cancer in 2010. Continue reading

Black Sabbath Retires As A Touring Band With Final Hometown Show

As the last bits of black confetti floated down from the rafters to the floor, three of the four original members of Black Sabbath posed for a photo while hugging tight in a semi-circle, and the roaring crowd behind them chanted for “one-more-song”. This was the scene for the closing seconds of the final show from the greatest band in metal history. Continue reading

Former Black Sabbath Keyboardist Geoff Nicholls Dies At Age 68


Word has come down that former Black Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls has passed away after a bout with lung cancer. Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi took to Facebook (post below) to express his thoughts on his loss and the loss to the music community. Continue reading

Petition Circulates Calling For A Statue Of Ronnie James Dio In His Hometown

Dio from Holy Diver video ghostcultmag

A passionate fan of late legendary singer and metal music icon Ronnie James Dio has started a petition at Change.Org, calling for the construction of a statue in his honor to be built in Porstmouth, NH. Dio was born and raised in Portsmouth. Metal fan Brian Kelly started the petition, which passed the 1000 signatures mark after just a few days and is fast closing in on the first milestone of 1500. The petition calls on the City Council and Mayor of Portsmouth to honor Dio as well. Using the hashtag #BuildDio, fans from all over the world have responded, even though Change.Org is a USA-based entity. Dio who passed away in 2010 from cancer at age 67 is widely known as one of the most talented and endearing vocalists ever in music, not just heavy metal. Singing for bands such as Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven And Hell, he has been emulated and influenced by countless other artists. As a result there are numerous awards in his name, stages at metal festivals bare his mark, tribute bands and albums; and of course the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund charity as well.


There is currently no statue of Portsmouth native Ronnie James Dio, paragon of Rock and Roll, anywhere in Portsmouth.

Ronnie James Dio is a hero and a champion of art and deserves to be memorialized forever on his native soil. This petition is to help bring a statue, bust or memorial of Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) to an agreed upon location in Prescott Park the South End of Portsmouth, NH

Dio was a musician that had, and still has, a great influence on many in the music industry. There are currently other towns and cities with Dio’s likeness, but at this time, his birthplace has nothing. Mr. Dio sold over 47 million albums in his life and is still selling today. He was a heavy hitter in bands like Elf, Rainbow, Dio, Black Sabbath and more. His contributions are undeniable. We have to do something.

This petition will help gauge and demonstrate interest in a tribute we can all agree upon. The tribute itself will be crowd or city funded (through provisions set aside in Portsmouth to pay for artistic installations) and multiple designs will be presented before asking for approval. We truly hope the city of Portsmouth will help us find the right tribute to one of the most influential musicians of our time.

We would like to set the statue in Prescott Park, the heart of the Arts in Portsmouth, honoring the legacy of this influential man. Preferably there would be a water feature on this memorialization considering our strong maritime tradition. We believe it should be constructed of metal (naturally). We would defer to the artists for all decisions, of course, and we are open to discussion.

We would love to see him him to be depicted as he was in the video for Holy Diver, sword in hand, ready to fight for the Arts and what is right. We understand this might not coincide with the wishes of all, so we will of course work with the estate of Mr. Dio to determine how they would like him depicted.

Please consider signing. Throw up some horns with your other hand when you do.


Sign the petition and get involved at this link: