“Niiiiiice”, says Louis Balfour – you know, the jazz critic in The Fast Show comedy sketches. Well, Soen’s Memorial (Silver Lining Music) is niiiiiice – a decidedly serious sandwich full of delights, earworms, and all-around expertise.
Ghost Cult caught up with guitar legend Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big) all about his new record, “The Dio Album” – out this week from Music Theories / Mascot Label Group. Paul discussed the inspiration he draws from Ronnie James Dio, guitar and bass parts from DIO, Black Sabbath Rainbow and more, making his new album, his playing regimen, and more!
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.
At seventy-three years old, Ozzy Osbourne has virtually nothing left to accomplish and even less to prove. TV personality, singer/songwriter, occasional actor and co-founder of an entire genre of music, if there’s anyone in the world of hard rock and metal who deserves to put their feet up with a pair of comfy slippers and a hot cup of cocoa then it’s the lovable Brummie seemingly incapable of using a television remote control.
Although 1976’s Technical Ecstasy (Vertigo/BMG) is unlikely to ever be viewed as a top tier release among most Black Sabbath fans, the fact that it exists at all goes to demonstrate the Birmingham foursome’s resilience and determination in those early days, if not the focus.
Having stayed with Black Sabbath until 1983’s unfairly criticised Born Again (Vertigo) album, founding member Geezer Butler returned to the band in the early nineties but with a growing desire to prove himself as a solo artist. After leaving again in ’94, the iconic bass player and moustache enthusiast teamed up with former frontman Ozzy Osbourne for a while before eventually going it alone to form G/Z/R.
The last of a groundbreaking run of undisputed classics, Sabotage (Vertigo/BMG), often gets overlooked during debates about the studio legacy of legendary metal pioneers Black Sabbath. Considering the seismic impact of the band’s previous five releases, this isn’t entirely surprising but Sabotage has always deserved more time in those conversations.
While Black Sabbath fans tend to agree on most things, the argument over singers Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio still rages on. Just who was the better frontman? Most will obviously side with the former but there are still those who insist Dio will always be number one. Ozzy was responsible for six of the finest albums in the annals of heavy metal but Dio rescued that same band (at least temporarily) from total collapse with two hugely important albums of his own.
We caught up with music legend Burton C. Bell (ex Fear Factory) of Ascension of the Watchers for a new podcast, to chat all about his new album Apocrypha (Dissonance Productions). We chatted about the history of the band, the lead up to making this new album, Burton’s songwriting process, how he derives inspiration from film scores and soundtracks, his bandmates Jayce Lewis and John Bechdel (Ministry, Prong), the spiritual side to his lyrics and themes he writes from, the concept of “modern analog” and how it influenced the recording, memories of the late Paul Raven (Killing Joke/Prong), some thoughts on other projects like City of Fire and G/Z/R, and much more. Order the album here, and check out our chat.
In a new interview with legendary Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler spoke Ricky Aarons from Australia’s Wall Of Sound, in a new interview about how he is spending his time during the pandemic. According to the interview, Geezer lives in Los Angeles and has done some traveling, but mainly he is writing a memoir of his time growing up in the UK. You can read a quote from Geezer on this below. As we previously reported, Butler’s three solo albums — “Plastic Planet” (1995), “Black Science” (1997), and “Ohmwork” (2005) — will be made available for the first time ever on vinyl, with both CD and LP using newly updated cover artwork, via BMG on October 30.