Heaven And Hell by Black Sabbath
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After kicking vocalist Ozzy Osbourne out of the band in 1978, Black Sabbath knew they would have to strike back with a powerful record if they were to retain their credibility. They recruited Elf vocalist Ronnie James Dio, whose melodramatic vibrato shuddered with menace, and in 1980, they released Heaven and Hell
, their most potent offering since Master of Reality
. Faster and more theatrical than Sabbath's earlier oeuvre, Heaven and Hell
features the dynamic seven-minute title track, which builds from a lazy throb to a high-octane roar, and the dynamic "Die Young," which segues from an uptempo saunter to a flamboyant midsection strangely reminiscent of Queen. Although the album helped build Sabbath a younger, more enthusiastic fan base, Dio only remained with the band for one more studio album, after which Sabbath's star slowly began to fade. --Jon Wiederhorn