The Devil You Know

Heaven And Hell

Review score: 78%

Review Date: July 2012
Reviewer: Paul Jack
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

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Heaven and Hell, essentially a reincarnation of Black Sabbath from the Dio years. Many are the vocalists who performed with Sabbath, and Dio is the second-most famous after Ozzy himself. So a classic line-up is back – Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice. The band name is taken from the classic 80's Sabbath album, natch. So, no chance you'll confuse the band with Ozzy-fronted Black Sabbath at all then.

2009 release The Devil You Know features all new material and is wonderfully deep, booming heavy metal. I introduced a workmate (Hi Dave!) to this album, who described it as 'very, very heavy'. The sound is very reminiscent of Sabbath's 90s work Dehumanizer and also Mob Rules from the 80s, with a mix of plodding slow and rockin' fast tunes. Guitars are deep n loud, perfect for this continuation of the sort of Doom Rock pioneered by Sabbath in the early days.

If you listened to Heaven and Hell live circa 2009 you might have discerned that Dio's voice wasn't all it used to be. Reasons for this became obvious towards the end of 09 when we found out about his illness. However, none of that is apparent on The Devil You Know, Ronnie does himself proud here, singing with passion and energy. Smile a sad, fond farewell to Ronnie when you listen to this album.

I'll pick out some track highlights for you...

Bible Black

My personal favourite track from The Devil You Know. Bible Black starts with an auspicious, haunting guitar intro, Ronnie joins in with dark lyrics leading us into a booming, hard rock horror story.

Double The Pain

Excellent bass guitar kicks off this nasty number about torment. It's only a story and lyrics are not to be taken seriously. The band rock out large.

Eating the Cannibals

Butler and Iommi play hard here with a fast paced metal guitar sound. Lyrics may be a bit daft, but the tune is fast and catchy. Hard, fast, heavy.

Neverwhere

This tight, fast number rocks. Dio booms lines like "Waiting alone for the witching hour..." over the classic Sabbath sound of yesteryear.

Cover Art

Red and black fantasy demonic artwork, allegedly containing biblical references and based upon a painting by Haagensen. The artwork certainly looks like it belongs with a horror story. There is an alternate version knocking around too.

Conclusion

The Devil You Know is a great album by the masters of doom metal. If you like Black Sabbath or if you like your music hard not soft edged then this album is a must-have.

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Track List (may vary)

  • Atom and Evil
  • Fear
  • Bible Black
  • Double the Pain
  • Rock and Roll Angel
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • Eating the Cannibals
  • Follow the Tears
  • Neverwhere
  • Breaking Into Heaven