Under The Influence #56: Exist Among on “Heaven And Hell” by Black Sabbath!

After eight studio albums together, the recording behind the ninth from Birmingham’s biggest Metal export Black Sabbath was one that threatened to derail the Crazy Train. The band no longer saw eye to eye with frontman Ozzy Osbourne and after 11 months of development hell in Los Angeles, Osbourne exited stage left to be replaced by the legendary Ronnie James Dio and his new vocal approach rejuvenated guitarist Toni Iommi, as he sang against the riff, the opposite of Osbourne’s style. The result was an album of critical acclaim and commercial success and the rest is history…

Exist Among guitarist and vocalist Marc Morello comments: “Most Sabbath fans of the Ozzy era were having mental issues accepting Dio as the new frontman in 1980. I loved Dio from his Rainbow days so I was stoked about him joining forces with my fav guitarist Tony Iommi and Geezer and Bill. When it came out I bought it and played “Neon Knights” the first track. Heavy and fast. I’m saying to myself Holy Sh** this Sabbath? I was sold. It sucked me in and I played it to the end. For weeks and weeks this went on. Lol… I still get chills listening to Iommi soloing in “Lonely is the Word”. Dio gave Sabbath new life. The doom sound was there but it was more polished and it really reinvented them as a band. “Die Young” with its trippy keyboard intro into a fast moving barrage of raw guitar with Geezers bass fills in all the right places , is killer. The title track “Heaven and Hell” is as monumental and iconic as any Sabbath mega tune they ever wrote. Everything about it is Sabbath yet its Dio who makes them unique. His influence and songwriting approach was what to me, saved Sabbath and gave them a new life. The same as what Randy Rhoads gave to Ozzy. I have never tired of listening to it after 40 years

Pushing Through Somber Depths” by Exist Among is out now and available over at bandcamp

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