Heaven And Hell Neon Nights: Live In Europe

Heaven And Hell Neon Nights: Live In Europe
Neon Nights: Live In Europe is a tough case for Heaven & Hell. Recorded during their last performance, before frontman Ronnie James Dio was diagnosed with, and eventually passed away from, cancer, there's a pervading bittersweet air. Hearing the band roll out timeless classics such as "Bible Black," "Falling Off the Edge of the World," their namesake tune and "Neon Nights" is compelling due to the commingling of melancholy, nostalgia and their spotless delivery. At that, knowing this was intended to be released before Dio's death makes it that much more interesting; it's not just a posthumous cash-grab and the band are clearly proud of their performance. Still, it's important not to allow overt praise to infiltrate this disc due to the taboo nature of slagging the recently departed. One can imagine every banger adoring this affair, akin to how those who called Michael Jackson a paedophile went running for a re-release of Thriller after he shuffled off this mortal coil. Truth is, while Neon Nights: Live In Europe is the perfect document of an immaculate performance, it also captures a bunch of old metal dudes who don't have the same amount of gusto or bounce in their step. Slow and methodical, it's clearly one of the more lumbering Heaven & Hell gigs. Technically it rules and the song selection is amazing, but in terms of energy, it does little more than confirm that these guys are getting a little too long in the tooth. (Armoury)