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Tonight we’ve got a couple of important birthdays to celebrate!

First up, Robert John Arthur Halford (born 25 August 1951), best known as the ‘Metal God’, famed for his powerful wide-ranging voice as the lead vocalist for Judas Priest! Halford was born in Sutton Coldfield, but raised in Walsall, a town to the northwest of Birmingham (where the four original members of Sabbath hail from) in England’s West Midlands.

The band Bullring Brummies is made up of Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, vocalist Rob Halford (not long out of Judas Priest), Obsessed/Vitus guitarist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Fight guitarist Brian Tilse and Jimmy Wood on harmonica. Their cover of “The Wizard” on the first volume of the Nativity in Black, Black Sabbath tribute album that came out in the 19994 is their only recording, the musicians coming together specifically for this recording. According to Tony Iommi at the time, it was intended to be him / Butler / Ward on the track with Halford, as they had laid down tracks for the song. However I.R.S., Tony’s label at the time would not permit him to be included so he thought the project was dead. Gloria Butler, however, proceeded with Weinrich and Tilse being brought in to replace Iommi on the track. Upon discovering this, Iommi fired Gloria Butler, prompting Geezer Butler to quit Black Sabbath yet again.

Exactly two years after Staley’s body was found (April 20, 2004), Zakk Wylde‘s Black Label Society released ‘Hangover Music Vol. VI’ — a much more mellow affair than BLS usually produces. One of the songs contained within was titled ‘Layne,’ in honor of the AIC vocalist. Perhaps the eeriest part of this track is the sound of door-knocking at the end — which has been speculated as a symbolic representation of both the police knocking on Layne’s door prior to discovering his body and possibly himself knocking on heaven’s door. Also you hear a cat at the end of the song or what sounds like guitars mimicking a cats meowing, which supposedly represents Sadie, Layne’s cat, who was found in the apartment alive and well despite not eating for approximately two weeks and is now owned by Jerry. he knocking is when they come to check on Layne and ultimately find him.

Layne Thomas Staley (born 22 August 1967) was the lead vocalist and occasional rhythm guitarist and co-songwriter of Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. The band became known for Layne’s distinct vocal style, as well as the harmonized vocals between him and Cantrell. Staley was also a member of the supergroups Mad Season and Class of ’99.

By mid-1996, he was out of the public spotlight, never to perform live again. Layne struggled for much of his adult life with depression and a drug addiction, culminating with his death on April 5, 2002. And the rock world has never quite been the same, he is greatly missed. Another great taken too soon.


Ozzy Osbourne is set to perform “Bark at the Moon” during the Solar Eclipse at Moonstock 2017!

Moonstock is a four day Rock Festival (which is currently underway) at Walker’s Bluff in Carterville, IL. that leads up to the 2017 Solar Eclipse that will take place tomorrow. On August 21, 2017, a small portion of the United States will witness a type of total solar eclipse that hasn’t been visible in nearly forty years. To commemorate this event multiple KILO rock bands are performing in the festival or have already performed like Kyng, Saliva and Black Stone Cherry who kicked it off on Friday. Then yesterday Texas Hippie Coalition, Pop Evil, Theory of a Deadman, and Halestorm performed. Today and tonight Otherwise, All That Remains, Hellyeah and Five Finger Death Punch will take the stage. And tomorrow at approximately at 1:20 pm Eastern Standard Time, when light fades to darkness, the Prince of Darkness himself; Ozzy Osbourne will kick off his live set with the song Bark at the Moon! And his concert will wrap up Moonstock 2017!

“Waiting for Darkness” is the final track off of Ozzy’s third studio album Bark at the Moon (U.S. Edition) which was originally released in November of 1983. The album of course features former Mickey Ratt and Rough Cutt guitarist Jake E. Lee, who replaced guitarist Randy Rhoads after he was killed a year earlier in a plane crash. Bark at the Moon is also the only Ozzy studio album to feature drummer Tommy Aldridge, who just celebrated a birthday by the way. On Tues. Aug. 15 he turned 67. He was a fixture of Ozzy’s live band for several years in the early to mid-80s. He was fired after the recording of the album and replaced by the legendary Carmine Appice, (the brother of Vinny Appice who also played with Sabbath and Dio) Tommy returned mid-tour after Appice was removed by the Osbournes. The Bark at the Moon album peaked at number 19 on the Billboard album chart and within several weeks of release was certified Gold for over 500,000 sales in the United States. To date, it has sold over 3,000,000 copies in the US. The album was remastered on CD in 1995 and again (with a different mix) in 2002.

“Bark at the Moon” is the title from Ozzy’s 1983 album of the same name. And again it will be the song he plays to kick off his live set tomorrow at exactly the same exact time that total solar eclipse is scheduled to take place, at approximately at 1:20 pm Eastern Standard Time!


Tonight, in honor of Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes Birthdays (both are former Sabbath singers) we go Deep Sabbath!

Ian Gillan, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist for Deep Purple was born on 19 August 1945 and he also was a lead singer for Black Sabbath, replacing Ronnie James Dio for one album only, 1983’s Born Again. When Black Sabbath recorded the album in May of 1983 at The Manor Studio in the Oxfordshire countryside Ian Gillan actually live outside the house in a marquee tent. Ian put up a big, huge tent that had a cooking area and a bedroom and whatever else. Ian also brought an immediacy to the songwriting process that was uncommon for Sabbath at the time. His tongue-in-cheek, double entendre lyrics were about sexual things or true facts, even about stuff that happened at The Manor right there and then, which was quite a departure from Geezer Butler’s and Dio’s lyrics.”

In 1984, Ozzy Osbourne actually stated that the Born Again album was the “best thing he’d heard from Sabbath since the original group (which included him) had broke up”.

Glenn Hughes, who’s been dubbed by many as “The Voice of Rock” was born on 21 August in 1952. He too is best known for being a bassist and vocalist in Deep Purple, and was also briefly the lead singer for Black Sabbath in the mid-80’s and recorded on the Seventh Star album, released in January 1986. As was the case with its predecessor, Born Again, this album was not intended to be a Black Sabbath record. It was originally written and recorded to be the first solo album by Tony Iommi, seeing as how he was the sole member left in the band. However, due to pressures by Warner Bros. Records and manager Don Arden, it was billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi due to the belief that it would sell more records with the already famous band name. Because of this, the album is a drastic (and intentional) departure from the trademark Sabbath sound! Many of the songs are very 80’s hard rock style, while some contain a bluesy feel. Musicians Eric Singer (now with KISS) and Dave Spitz contributed to the album, playing drums and bass, respectively. Additionally, this was the first Sabbath album to feature the band as a quintet, as keyboardist Geoff Nicholls was confirmed as an official band member the year prior.

There was a tour for the album, but Glenn Hughes only performed at the first few shows. He was fired five dates into the tour due to his intense cocaine addiction, and replaced by Ray Gillen, who completed the North American and European legs of the tour, though several dates in the US were cancelled. W.A.S.P. and Anthrax were the supporting acts on their North American tour.

Glenn Hughes currently fronts the supergroup Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham and over the years he worked on several solo projects with Tony Iommi as well as his own.


Tonight I am serving up another couple of KICK ASS SABBATH Covers!

Adrenaline Mob’s “Black Sabbath Medley” is a medley of the following Black Sabbath songs, Into the Void, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sweet Leaf, Killing Yourself to Live, and Electric Funeral. It comes from their album ‘Dearly Departed’ that was released in February of 2015 and is actually a mixture of both covers and a few rarities from the Adrenaline Mob vault. And the band is no stranger to Sabbath covers as they have also covered the Black Sabbath track, The Mob Rules as well as Dio’s Stand Up and Shout on their 2013 Covertà EP that consisted entirely of cover songs!

And if you aren’t familiar with Adrenaline Mob, they are a heavy metal supergroup that was orignally formed in early 2011 by singer Russell Allen (Symphony X), guitarist Mike Orlando and drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater). Over the years, the band has had a revolving door of musicians pass through it’s ranks. John Moyer, the bassist for Disturbed was also a member of the band for about two years, and Portnoy was later replaced by drummer A. J. Pero of Twisted Sister, who sadly on March 20, 2015, was found unresponsive on the band’s tour bus. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead from an apparent heart attack at the age of 55. And unfortunately tragedy has struck the band again! On July 14, 2017, the band’s RV was hit by a tractor trailer in Micanopy, Florida, while they were travelling to St. Petersburg for a concert. They had pulled off I-75 due to a flat tire. Their new bass player David “Z Rock” Zablidowsky (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Jeff Scott Soto band) was killed. Mike Orlando, Russell Allen, and Jordan Cannata were also seriously injured in the accident. To continue his legacy, a David Z. Scholarship Fund has been created for the music school at Brooklyn College. The band had released a new album titled ‘We The People” back in June and as of right now they have kept pretty quiet after the incident most likely taking some much needed time off to heal and of course process what they have been through. Hopefully this hasn’t completely derailed them and they will recover soon and get back out there and do what they love to do… ROCK! Here’s wishing them well and hoping for the best!

Machine Head’s frontman Robb Flynn recorded and released, free an online cover of Black Sabbath’s Die Young, in honor of Debbie Abono and Ronnie James Dio’s passing! The song originally appeared on the Black Sabbath album ‘Heaven and Hell’, the first to feature Dio. Debbie Abono, was a well-respected and much-loved manager and promotional machine behind some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, SKINLAB) She was basically a Bay Area Metal Legend and she actually managed Robb Flynn and Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel when they were members of the band Vio-Lence. She too passed away after a battle with cancer on the same date as Ronnie James Dio (Sunday, May 16, 2010) She was 80 years old.


Black Sabbath’s ‘Sabotage’ Album Turns 42!

Sabotage is the sixth studio album by Black Sabbath, released on 28 July 1975. The title Sabotage was chosen because at the time the band were being sued by their former management and felt they were being “sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides”, according to guitarist Toni Iommi. He credits those legal troubles for the album’s angry, heavier sound. In 2001, bassist Geezer Butler explained in an interview that, “We found out that we were being ripped off by our management and our record company. So, much of the time, when we weren’t onstage or in the studio, we were in lawyer’s offices trying to get out of all our contracts. We were literally in the studio, trying to record, and we’d be signing all these affidavits and everything. That’s why it’s called Sabotage – because we felt that the whole process was just being totally sabotaged by all these people ripping us off.” Geezer claimed the band suffered through 10 months of legal cases and admitted, “music became irrelevant to me. It was a relief just to write a song. And in his autobiography I Am Ozzy, singer Ozzy confirms that “writs were being delivered to us at the mixing desk” and drummer Bill Ward “was manning the phones”.

“Symptom of the Universe” has been cited by many critics as one of the earliest examples of thrash metal, which emerged in the early 80’s and of course championed by “The BIG 4”, consisting of Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer! Iommi describes the song’s dynamics in his autobiography Iron Man: “It starts with an acoustic bit. Then it goes into the up-tempo stuff to give it that dynamic, and it does have a lot of changes to it, including the jam at the end.” The final part of “Symptom of the Universe” evolved from an in-studio improvisation, created very spontaneously in a single day and the decision was made to use it in that song.

Sabotage is a mix of heavy, powerful songs and softer experimental tunes. The album opener ‘Hole in the Sky’ and the crunching ‘Symptom of the Universe’ illustrate that! For all their problems, Sabbath’s power remained undimmed on what many consider one of their finest offerings.”

The album’s front cover art has garnered mixed reactions over the years and is regarded by some as one of the worst album covers in rock history. The inverted mirror concept was conceived by Graham Wright, Bill Ward’s drum tech who was also a graphic artist. The band attended what they originally believed was a test photo shoot for the album cover, thus explaining their choice of clothing. Said Ward, “The only thing we didn’t discuss was what we’d all wear on the day of the shot. Since that shoot day, the band has survived through a tirade of clothing comments and jokes that continue to this day”. Ward, in fact, was wearing his wife’s red tights in the photo. The original plan was for each member to appear on the cover dressed in black and had been instructed to bring some stage clothes for preliminary photos, but when they arrived no black costumes had been laid out by the designers and “the original concept had been overruled.” The designers “carried on with the shoot, explaining they would superimpose the images at a later stage and that it would look great, honest. The session was unbelievably rushed, and the outcome was far from what had been originally envisioned … Ironically, the sleeve design that was intended to illustrate the idea of sabotage had instead become a victim of sabotage itself. By the time they saw it, it was too late to change.”


Dio’s ‘Dream Evil’ Album Turns 30!

Originally released on July 21, 1987, Dream Evil was the fourth full-length album from Dio, the band led by former Rainbow and Black Sabbath frontman (and all-around metal legend) Ronnie James Dio. This was the first Dio album without guitarist Vivian Campbell and it features former Rough Cutt members Craig Goldy (who replaced Campbell) and Claude Schnell. It was the last Dio album to feature mascot Murray on the cover and the last to feature drummer Vinny Appice until the 1993 album Strange Highways. It was also the last album to feature bassist Jimmy Bain until the release of 2000’s Magica.

While it’s not as influential as Holy Diver or Last in Line, it’s hard to see Dream Evil as anything other than an essential heavy metal album. It’s a timeless, powerful Dio album, and one with some of his most enduring songs. Dream Evil is a must-have for true Dio fans, and a definite “should have” for just about any fan of the classic heavy metal era.

Dream Evil is a more than worthy continuation of the Dio legacy. Goldy and Dio together were a great combination, both in terms of songwriting and in the way their talents complemented each other. They carry forth the overall Dio sound while at the same time recapturing some of the magic of those early Rainbow albums. As a matter of fact the song “Night People,” that appears on the album, Ronnie had been fooling around with since his days in Rainbow. The album’s first half contains several classic tracks that range from high-speed metal to metal anthem to even a mournful epic. And while the second half isn’t quite as strong, it has a few monster songs and the single “I Could Have Been a Dreamer” which remains a fan favorite.

Dio’s Dream Evil is a must-own for any fan of the late legend and it received a remastered deluxe edition re-release, in 2013 that featured an extra disc featuring 15 bonus tracks. You get the studio song “Hide in the Rainbow” from the Dio EP (and the Iron Eagle soundtrack), the single edit of “I Could Have Been a Dreamer” as well as a full 12-song live performance from the 1987 Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. It also includes an expanded booklet loaded with vintage photos and notes by British metal journalist Malcolm Dome, which was endorsed by Ronnie’s widow, Wendy. It’s a fantastic reissue all around! Yes, it’s a bit pricy, but it’s worth every penny! It does not disappoint.


46 Years Ago: Black Sabbath Release ‘Master of Reality’!

Master of Reality is the third studio album by Black Sabbath, released July 21, 1971. It is widely regarded as the foundation of doom metal, stoner rock, and sludge metal. It was certified double platinum after having sold over 2 million copies. Master of Reality was Black Sabbath’s first and only top 10 album in the US until 13, forty-two years later.

It was the cough that inspired legions! While Black Sabbath were in Island Studios in London working on their third album, Master of Reality, Ozzy handed guitarist Tony Iommi a very large joint. That’s right they were toking up on “The Devils Lettuce” while in the studio. Tony was recording an acoustic passage and he was hunched over a microphone and the potent cannabis made him cough. Producer Rodger Bain looped the recording of the cough, added delay and used it as the intro to “Sweet Leaf,” a song all about the inspirational qualities of marijuana and the cornerstone of Master of Reality, which was released on July 21, 1971. And the rest as they say is Hard Rock or Heavy Metal History!

On the tracks “Into the Void”, “Children of the Grave”, and “Lord of This World”, Tony Iommi downtuned his guitar to produce what he called a “bigger, heavier sound”. This also reduced string tension, making the guitar less painful for him to play; since he had two of his fingers partially severed in a factory accident years earlier. Geezer Butler also downtuned his bass to match Iommi. Then it got to the point where they tuned it down even lower while Ozzy would then sing higher helping to cement Sabbath’s iconic doom-laden sound! And twenty years later bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Nirvana would utilize the same downtuned guitar sound! And of course they were rewarded with critical acclaim! Again Sabbath laying the foundation for the massive grunge scene and the world of hard rock and heavy metal. Several bands are even named after songs on Master of Reality, or the album itself. I can’t stress enough, how this is another very important album in the Black Sabbath catalog that every metalhead should own!


Ozzfest Meets Knotfest 2017 Lineup Was Announced Earlier This Week

So again, for the second year running, Ozzy Osbourne will join forces with Slipknot & Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor for Ozzfest Meets Knotfest! The two-day event takes place November 4th and 5th at the Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California.

Ozzy, Prophets of Rage and the Deftones are featured on the Nov. 4 Ozzfest slate, while Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Stone Sour will headline the Knotfest end of things on Nov. 5. Other bands scheduled for the event include Testament, Goatwhore, High on Fire, Havok, Black Dahlia Murder, Life of Agony, ONI, Code Orange, Kreator, Baroness, Children of Bodom, Orange Goblin, Iron Reagan and many more.

“Teaming up again with Ozzfest means another weekend of the biggest, baddest, loudest and best,” said Corey Taylor. Sharon Osbourne also added that “last year we had over 75,000 people attend. And this year’s event means the world to me as we’ll be among friends. It’s going to be another amazing weekend.”

Stone Sour’s cover of “Children Of The Grave”, originally recorded by Black Sabbath, is from their 2015 Record Store Day exclusive EP titled Meanwhile In Burbank … that consisted of five cover songs from bands that influenced the members of Stone Sour. The 4 remaining covers are songs that were originally recorded by Alice In Chains, KISS, Judas Priest and Metallica – Meanwhile In Burbank is available now on Roadrunner Records.

“Symptom of the Universe” is a Black Sabbath cover by the English stoner metal band Orange Goblin. It comes off the special edition version of their seventh studio album A Eulogy for the Damned released in 2012. And Orange Goblin are no stranger to Black Sabbath covers and they have also recorded versions of the Sabbath songs Into The Void and Hand of Doom. Now technically I cheated with this one because Orange Goblin will actually be playing as part of the The Ozzfest 2017 lineup on Saturday, Nov. 4th at the Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California. Hey when you try to do only cover songs in order to keep with a theme it can get a bit tough! Anyways…

Tickets for Ozzfest meets Knotfest are ON SALE NOW and prices range from $29 for single-day general-admission lawn tickets to $239 for two-day general-admission pit passes. A variety of VIP packages are also available for both days. There will be a special pre-fest kickoff on Nov. 3 for all ticketed campers.” To buy tickets to the event click HERE! You can also get more info on Facebook at the official Ozzfest Meets Knotfest page.


Ozzfest Meets Knotfest 2017 Lineup Was Announced Earlier This Week

For the second year running, Ozzy Osbourne will join forces with Slipknot & Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor for Ozzfest Meets Knotfest! The two-day event goes down November 4th and 5th at the Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California.

The Ozzfest portion of the lineup promises a headlining performance from Ozzy along with Prophets of Rage, Deftones, Kreator, Baroness, Children of Bodom, Orange Goblin, and Iron Reagan, among others.

Knotfest boasts Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Stone Sour, Testament, Code Orange, Goatwhore, High on Fire, Havok, Black Dahlia Murder, Life of Agony, and ONI, among others. Not surprisingly, Nickelback is not on the lineup. LOL

“Last year’s show with Black Sabbath was just incredible,” Ozzy said in a press release announcing the shows. “I’m thrilled to be coming back solo this year with Zakk Wylde (back in the band), Tommy Clufetos, Ron “Blasko” Nicholson and Adam Wakeman to headline the 21st anniversary of Ozzfest.”

“Thunder Underground” is deep track from Ozzy’s seventh studio album Ozzmosis that was released in October of 1995 on Epic Records. The album reached number 22 on the UK Albums Chart and number four on the US Billboard 200. “Perry Mason”, “See You on the Other Side” and “I Just Want You” were released as singles. The album has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold over 3 million copies.

“Shot in the Dark” is an Ozzy Osbourne cover by the Finnish metal band Children of Bodom. It was released as a Japan reissue bonus track on their third studio album Follow the Reaper back in October of 2000/2001. It can also be found on 2010’s ‘A Salute To Ozzy Osbourne & Black Sabbath’ tribute album which you can find on And you can find Children of Bodom rocking the stage as part of the The Ozzfest 2017 lineup on Saturday, Nov. 4th at the Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California.

Single-day and two-day passes for Ozzfest meets Knotfest are ON SALE NOW and you can get yours HERE! You can also get more info on Facebook at the official Ozzfest Meets Knotfest page.


Tomorrow is Ronnie James Dio’s birthday! Tonight we pay Tribute!

Ronald James Padavona was born on July 10, 1942 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Italian-American parents who had moved there from New York, where they had grown up, due to Dio’s father’s service in the U.S. Army during World War II. And the rest as they say is Heavy Metal history! And what a long history it was!

Recorded in a New York studio prior to the release of the Rainbow classic ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll is the title track from the third studio album by the band Rainbow, led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple fame. The album ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was released in April of 1978 and it was the last to feature original lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio. After the release and extensive world tour in 1977–78, Blackmore decided that he wanted to take the band in a new commercial direction away from the “sword and sorcery” theme. Dio on the other did did not agree with this change and he left Rainbow. And believe it or not Blackmore then asked vocalist Ian Gillan, also formerly of Deep Purple, to replace Dio, but Gillan turned him down. Which when you think about it is ironic or funny because he ended up later replacing Dio as the vocalist for Black Sabbath in 1983 for the ‘Born Again’ album. I chose this track tonight for a couple of reasons. First of all, because this was actually my first exposure to Ronnie James Dio, my Uncle used to crank the hell out of this album all the time!” It was always on repeat and I loved it! Also according to some critics, Long Live Live Rock ‘n’ Roll “would be cited as the last great album Rainbow would ever make, although they did enjoy a great deal of chart success in the post-Dio era.” The album is often cited as a strong influence on the formation of the Power metal genre, especially on its fantasy-themed lyrics and aesthetics. Another track on the album Kill the King has been referenced as “the first Power metal song”.

One of last songs ever recorded by Ronnie!

Metal Will Never Die featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals is actually a track by David “Rock” Feinstein, a former member of Ronnie Dio & The Prophets and Elf (both bands of course also featured Ronnie) and he is the leader of the legendary New York band The Rods and well he just so happens to also be Ronnie’s cousin! The track comes of his “Bitten By The Beast” solo album that was released in November of 2010, and it was one of the last-ever recorded vocals by Dio before his death that same year. David said in an interview that “I feel like it was meant for me to write ‘Metal Will Never Die’, And it was meant to be that Ronnie should sing it! Whatever power it was that brought the two of us back together musically, I am so thankful for. Now, ‘Metal Will Never Die’ means more to me than any other song that I have written in my whole career as a songwriter and musician!” Wow. Pretty strong stuff! Nobody sings like Dio did. Such a strong powerful voice and commanding presence for a man who stood only 5′ 4″! The track Metal Will Never Die can also be found on The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2 compilation album that was released in 2012 that includes tracks from the band Dio’s seventh through tenth studio albums.

Alright so once again Happy Birthday to the late great Ronnie James Dio who would have turned 75 tomorrow on July 10, 2017. His Legend will live forever in metal history!