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Heaven & Hell's More Durable Than Expected

Of the Oakland Press

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The Metal Masters Tour is a bit of a heavy homecoming for Heaven & Hell.

“(Judas) Priest are great old friends of ours, and of course Motörhead we’ve known for many, many years,” says southpaw guitarist Tony Iommi. “I think it’s really good; that’s why we said we’d do it. It’s a good package.”

It also allows Heaven & Hell to extend its current reunion a bit longer than the quartet expected when it got back together in 2007.

The group is better known as the third incarnation of Black Sabbath, with Ronnie James Dio on vocals and Vinnie Appice on drums. So far it’s released only archival material — a greatest hits set, a live album and DVD, and a boxed set, “The Rules of Hell,” of the four albums it released under the Sabbath moniker. But Iommi says the group is “about six or seven new songs” into another studio album, which it plans to continue after the Metal Masters Tour concludes next month.

But, he adds, there’s still no plans for the group to re-assume the Black Sabbath name.

“It does get confusing that way,” Iommi, 60, acknowledges. “It really is Black Sabbath, whatever we do. We just choose to go out as Heaven & Hell so everyone knows what they’re getting, so people won’t expect to hear ‘Iron Man’ and all those songs we did with Ozzy (Osbourne).

“We’ve done them for so many years, it’s nice to do just all the stuff with did with Ronnie again.”

The Metal Masters Tour with Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, Mötorhead, Testament and Seduce, plays at 4:30 p.m. Monday (Aug. 18) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $85 and $60 pavilion, $24 lawn with a $75 lawn four-pack. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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