According to legendary heavy metal guitarist Tony Iommi, the upcoming album from HEAVEN AND HELL — the band featuring BLACK SABBATH members Iommi, Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Geezer Butler (bass) and Vinny Appice (drums) — is tentatively scheduled for release in March/April via Rhino. The group's first LP since SABBATH's "Dehumanizer" (1992) is being recorded at Rockfield studios in Wales, U.K. (where "Dehumanizer" was also tracked). "It's all going very well, I'm pleased to say," Iommi said in a January 5, 2009 online posting.
Ronnie James Dio, who co-wrote the self-produced album with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler during sessions in Los Angeles and England, told Revolver magazine that the CD "sounds great. It's a real cross-section of everything we've done, from 'Heaven and Hell' through 'Mob Rules' and 'Dehumanizer'. I think there's a lot of 'Dehumanizer' in it, but a lot of other things, too, a real good blend of what this band has represented."
HEAVEN AND HELL has scheduled the following European tour dates:
May 30 - Moscow, RUS @ B1 Maximum
May 31 - Moscow, RUS @ B1 Maximum
Jun. 02 - Helsinki, FIN @ Icehall
June 3-6 - Sölvesborg, SWE - Sweden Rock
Jun. 04 - Oslo, NOR @ Spektrum
Jun. 08 - Gießen, GER @ Hessenhallen
Jun. 09 - Berlin, GER @ Zitadelle
Jun. 10 - Bamberg, GER @ Jako-Arena
Jun. 13 - Burgum, NETH - Waldrock
Jun. 14 - Karlsruhe, GER @ Europahalle
Jun. 16 - Bonn, GER @ Museumsmeile
Jun. 17 - Zürich, SWI @ Volkshaus
Jun. 19-21 - Clisson, FRA - Hellfest
More shows will be announced soon.
More than two years ago, Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice reunited to record a trio of new songs for Rhino's "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years" before launching a highly anticipated and greatly acclaimed world tour under their new moniker HEAVEN AND HELL. Revitalized by the reunion, the lineup is back in the studio now recording the first-ever full-length studio album from HEAVEN AND HELL. To whet the fans' appetites for the new album, HEAVEN AND HELL returned to the road this past summer for a short stint on the Metal Masters Tour, a month-long North American trek with JUDAS PRIEST, MOTÖRHEAD, and TESTAMENT.
Regarding the band's decision to continue to operate as HEAVEN AND HELL rather than BLACK SABBATH, Iommi told Billboard.com earlier this year, "It really is BLACK SABBATH, whatever we do. We just choose to go out as HEAVEN AND HELL so everyone knows what they're getting [and] so people won't expect to hear 'Iron Man' and all those songs. We've done them for so many years, it's nice to do just all the stuff with did with Ronnie again."