BLABBERMOUTH.NET can exclusively reveal that drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH) is currently in the U.K laying down drums on the two new tracks that will be included on BLACK SABBATH's forthcoming collection, "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years". In addition, Appice will be manning the drums on the upcoming 2007 tour by HEAVEN AND HELL — the new band featuring legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW) alongside original BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. Founding SABBATH member/drummer Bill Ward, who was originally announced as being part of the HEAVEN AND HELL lineup, will not be involved in the group's upcoming trek.
Appice, 49, joined BLACK SABBATH in 1980, and appeared on the albums "Mob Rules" (1981) and the album recorded on that tour, "Live Evil" (1983). In late 1982, before "Live Evil" even hit the shelves, he left SABBATH with vocalist Ronnie James Dio and formed the band DIO. He appeared on the DIO albums "Holy Diver" (1983), "The Last in Line" (1984), "Sacred Heart" (1985), "Intermission" (1986), and "Dream Evil" (1987). In 1992 Appice returned to BLACK SABBATH (with Ronnie James Dio) for the "Dehumanizer" album and tour.
As previously reported, Dio recently revealed to Classic Rock magazine that HEAVEN AND HELL will likely headline next year's Monsters of Rock festival.
Monsters of Rock returned to the U.K. festival scene at Milton Keynes Bowl this past summer, with DEEP PURPLE as headliners. Now it looks like it will return in 2007, with HEAVEN AND HELL on the bill.
The following is a brief interview Classic Rock conducted with Dio at the Nov. 6, 2006 Classic Rock Roll of Honour event in London:
Classic Rock: Speaking of Tony Iommi, there are of course rumors that you will be reuniting with him, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward as HEAVEN AND HELL next year.
Ronnie: They're absolutely true. We'll probably be doing a year of touring together. And it's looking like you'll see us at the Monsters of Rock festival, then shows in America. And after that we'll come back to the U.K. for eight or nine more shows.
Classic Rock: That's amazing news. More amazing still was that Ozzy Osbourne wished you well with HEAVEN AND HELL.
Ronnie: Yes, he did. Bless Ozzy. He's a special, special person. He's one of the creators of heavy metal music. He deserves wondrous applause, he's a wonderful man and I hope he and Sharon's lives are very, very happy.
BLACK SABBATH frontman Ozzy Osbourne recently issued a statement that a SABBATH tour with Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward will kick off late 2007 to coincide with the group's first new studio album featuring that lineup since 1978's "Never Say Die!"