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Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live!(2007)
2007. Radio City Music Hall. Ronnie James Dio. Tony Iommi. Geezer Butler. Vinny Appice. Known collectively as Heaven & Hell. Their first U.S. show together in 15 years, this night was so transcendent, it spawned a tour, a studio album and plans for world domination but for the untimely death of Dio. Now, for the first time on Blu-Ray, that magical night—15 songs!—comes thrillingly to life.
For more about Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! and the Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray release, see the Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray Review
Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, May 23, 2011
Heaven and Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! is a bitter-sweet release. On one hand, it is great to have it as it is a terrific show; if you have already seen the old SDVD release, I guarantee you would be blown away by the quality of the Blu-ray release (the show was originally filmed in HD). On the other hand, it is an effective reminder that recently we lost one of the all-time greatest rock vocalists.
The band – Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Tony Iommi (lead guitar), Geezer Butler (bass), and Vinnie Appice (drums) – is in top form here. A lot of classic rock and heavy metal bands have been touring again in recent years, and I've managed to see just about all of the big ones live – Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Scorpions, and even Manowar – but none of them were overly impressive. Most of the guys have aged (Klaus Meine, for instance, is a shadow of the man he used to be) and, to be honest, they are simply not as good live as they once were.
On this show, however, Heaven & Hell, which for me are nothing but another reincarnation of Black Sabbath, sound mighty impressive. Dio's singing is pitch-perfect – and, yes, he gets even the high notes; there is no cheating on any of the songs he sings - while Tony's solos are impeccable. Geezer and Vinnie's support is also excellent. Indeed, from start to finish the music is loud and incredibly intense.
The highlights of the show are the songs where Dio shines - "Mob Rules", as intense as it always has been; "Sign Of The Southern Cross", a favorite of mine; "Die Young", with one hell of a guitar solo; and "Heaven & Hell", one of the very best heavy metal songs ever written.
The stage is neither too big, nor too small. There are no heavy pyrotechnics, and the fans are relatively close to the band. Naturally, from start to finish the energy in the venue is simply outstanding.
Note: The show was filmed at New York City's Radio City Music Hall on March 30th, 2007, and was the first U.S. concert by the classic line-up Dio/Iommi/Butler/Appice in over 15 years.
1. E5150/After All (The Dead)
2. The Mob Rules
3. Children of the Sea
4. Lady Evil
6. The Sign of the Southern Cross
8. The Devil Cried
9. Computer God
10. Falling off the Edge of the World
11. Shadow of the Wind
12. Die Young
13. Heaven & Hell
14. Lonely is the Word
15. Neon Knights
Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080i "live" transfer, Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment.
The show looks fantastic. The noise and light microblocking from the SDVD release are gone, while detail is greatly improved during the dark scenes. Motion-judder is never an issue of concern. There are no shadow issues to report in this review either. During close-ups, I also did not see any traces of the annoying light noise that occasionally pops up on some of these live releases. For the record, I did not see any purely transfer-related issues to report in this review either. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, and LPCM 2.0. I opted for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons with the other two tracks for the purpose of this review.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is excellent -- the bass is powerful and punchy, while the high-frequencies are not overdone. "The Mob Rules", "Shadow of the Wind", and "Neon Knights", for instance, sound absolutely incredible. Each song has terrific depth, and with the crowd noise in the back, it literally feels as if one is in the venue, watching the band perform live. For the record, there are no balance issues or strange voice/guitar overlappings.
The LPCM 2.0 track is most definitely not a match for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. "Heaven & Hell", for instance, sounds rather flat and anemic, while the bass during the opening of "Lady Evil" is pushed up way too much. The crowd noise also seems slightly stronger during selected songs.
Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Kudos to Eagle Rock Entertainment for bringing Heaven and Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! to Blu-ray. As far as I am concerned, it is one of the very best releases in their most impressive catalog. The show is outstanding and the presentation excellent. The Blu-ray is also very attractively priced. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live Detailed - May 9, 2011
It had been 15 years since the legendary lineup of vocalist extraordinaire Ronnie James Dio, guitar hero Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Vinny Appice played on a stage together as Heaven & Hell. Their celebratory return took place March 30, 2007 on ...
Heaven & Hell: Radio City Music Hall Live! Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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