Heaven & Hell

Sweden Rock Festival - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

As with the weather, in music Sweden Rock was also saving the best for last.
Ending this years’ Sweden Rock on the Festival Stage was none other than Heaven & Hell, the reunited Black Sabbath from the Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice era.

Nothing had been saved on this show, where the first thing we saw was an enormous stage setup with wicked gargoyles adorning the sides of the stage and a great iron fence placed in the back.
And the band of course. The legends were here.
I know I have seen Black Sabbath with Ozzy and later Heaven & Hell with Dio (which I prefer by far) before, but I can never get enough. And why should I? These men; Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice; they know exactly what they’re doing, they deliver a rock-solid show every time they even get near a stage, and they wrote all those classic songs which still hold up today. What can you put up against something like that?
Nothing but a big old smile on your face, I tell you, for the mere fact that they still have the interest to go out and do what we all want them to do; which is simply to play another show!

As this was the last band for the festival I’m sure everyone was up to see them, the sea of people was huge (in addition Sweden Rock had broken its own record this year in the amount of visitors), and as the master frontman Dio is he led us through the set with an experienced hand.
He knew how to keep things interesting between songs, he knew when we should sing along in them, an even the two solos were well-placed and formidably executed.
The first was from Appice in the song Time Machine, where he put every inch of that gigantic drumkit of his in use, and the second was delivered later on by Iommi as a lengthened intro to the song Heaven & Hell.
Together with these two the set varied between classic Sabbath songs (who can forget the feeling as they started off with The Mob Rules?) and newer ones made under the Heaven & Hell banner, like Fear and Follow The Tears from their brand-new album The Devil You Know.

Some have criticized a low sound volume on the music; this was not something I noticed during the concert, but I remember the problem from several other bands I saw play at this stage so it can’t be ruled out. Then again, it was very well-mixed and I have to say I prefer quality over quantity when it comes to these things (a good mix is probably the best).
Other than that I have no critique of the show except that it felt a bit unreal at times. There were several times during the show where I felt I needed to pinch myself in the arm as I said to myself;”That’s Tony Iommi. And Geezer Butler. They’re right there!”
I don’t think I need to explain further how excellent in every way this was…


The Mob Rules
Children Of The Sea
Bible Black
Time Machine
Solo (Vinny Appice)
Falling Of The Edge Of The World
Follow The Tears
Die Young
Solo (Tony Iommi)
Heaven And Hell
Neon Knights

Latest uploads: