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The Rules of Hell

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When Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne as Black Sabbath's lead vocalist, the American rock singer appeared to be signing up for an impossible task. Ozzy was one of the most beloved frontmen in rock history, and his inimitably disaffected wail was an integral part of the Sabbath architecture. Against all odds, Dio not only lived up to fans’ massive expectations but deepened and expanded Sabbath’s legacy in the process. The Rules of Hell contains the four albums Dio recorded with Sabbath, all of which are essential: 1980’s Heaven and Hell, 1981’s Mob Rules, 1982’s Live Evil, and the underrated 1992 reunion album Dehumanizer (arguably the best of them all). Under Dio’s leadership, Sabbath became less of a doomy stoner’s dream and more of a mighty rock battalion. Dio kept the band on the vanguard of a changing heavy metal scene, and he put his imprint on the group without discarding Ozzy’s legacy or commercializing the group’s sound. On the contrary, the tracks here are some of the most uncompromisingly heavy songs ever recorded by a major-label rock band.

Customer Reviews

Don't pay attention to the first review

All of Dio's matterial with Sabbath is solid, if you are a new fan know that there was another era in Sabbath outside of the doom and gloom era that fizzled out towards the end with Ozzy. The Ozzy albums are classics, but the last few pale in comparison to the rejuvination of Sabbath under Dio. With Dio in the fold their song writting became more agressive, and the musicianship was raised to another level. There will always be Ozzy fans, and Dio fans of Sabbath, but there are some of us that love everything that they've put out regardless of the singer. Again, everything here is solid, and if you don't have these albums, it's a good way to take them all in at once.

Ronnie James Dio Rox!

i'm sick and tired of all you people slamming Dio because he doesn't sound like Ozzy. not trashing the Ozzman or anything but he was the one who pursued a solo career. Ronnie James Dio is the one who made Sabbath what it was and is remembered as. and to the afi931 or whatever... the jonas brothers sound way worse than Dio ever would.

Finally, the fans get what they want

Black Sabbath created Heavy Metal. Many associate Sabbath only with Ozzy and dismiss the rest. That is unfortunate, as Dio breathed new life into this band that was dying on the vine in the late 70's. Dio kicked off his brief tenure with the Heaven and Hell album; a true classic that is every bit as powerful and inspired the eraly Ozzy records. This box recognizes that the real fans not only appreciate these Dio era releases, but consider this music just as valid, as heavy and as awe-inspiring as the early material. The remastering is long overdue and simply amazing. Put in Heaven and Hell and listen to Children of the Sea or the title track and you will feel the difference immediatly. Amazing. Mob Rules was the follow up album and it was kicks off with the "Turn up the Night" riff that is as thunderous and memorable as Iommi ever dreamed up. The recoding most in need of this remaster, however, was Live Evil, which always sounded muddy and confused in its original format. It now sounds crisp and the music cuts right through and sounds great. Live Evil also has one of the coolest album covers ever, check it out. The pacakge comes cased in a sturdy black slip case holding all 4 releases (Live Evil is a double disc, creating 5 total) in jewel cases. I hate it when box sets go cheap and give you these discs in cardboard slip cases, like they did with first Sabbath box set. The music is insanely good, don't let others fool you - these discs are NOT just for the hardcore fan, they are inspired heavy metal that stand on their own. No comparison to Ozzy required. The only reason I give it 4 stars is that there is no new material, no demos, no hefty box set book, no DVD. There are new liner notes, but nothing else that we didnt already have. The remastering, though makes the price well worth it. If you are just buying this download and the packaging doesnt matter to you, then this is 5 stars. Highly recommended. (now, go crank up "I", "TV Crimes","Neon Nights","Mob Rules" and "Heaven and Hell" and see how great these discs are!).


Formed: 1968 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An English hard rock institution whose influence on heavy metal cannot be overstated, Black Sabbath not only pioneered the genre, they helped launch the career of one of its most colorful and controversial characters in Ozzy Osbourne. The band distilled the smoke and strife of its industrial hometown into a punitive blast of doom-laden heavy blues-rock via bass player Geezer Butler's dystopian lyrics, which leaned heavily on the occult, and guitarist Tony Iommi's seismic riffing. When paired with...
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