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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Heaven And Hell - 2009 The Devil You Know
Heaven And Hell - 2009 The Devil You Know

ARTIST: Heaven And Hell
ALBUM: The Devil You Know
LABEL: Rhino
SERIAL: R2 518862
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Ronnie James Dio - vocals * Tony Iommi - vocals * Geezer Butler - bass * Vinny Appice - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Atom And Evil * 02 Fear * 03 Bible Black * 04 Double The Pain * 05 Rock And Roll Angel * 06 The Turn Of The Screw * 07 Eating The Cannibals * 08 Follow The Tears * 09 Neverwhere * 10 Breaking Into Heaven


For all intents and purposes the first Black Sabbath album since 1995's 'Forbidden', Sabbath return with the famed Dio lineup under the amended moniker 'Heaven And Hell', a nod to their classic 1980 album which many have been wondering if they could equal with this new album. This lineup was last heard on 1992's average 'Dehumanizer' which paled in comparison to 'Heaven And Hell' or 'Mob Rules' and in 2009 one would suspect that would be unlikely to change given the ravages of time. Musically the band prove this notion incorrect, still possessing the chops, but in terms of originality and overall excitement this is a major failure. I suspect many observers will term this an instant metal classic. Sadly this is not the case.

The Songs
In many ways this recalls the more obscure Sabbath albums of the 80's like 'The Eternal Idol' and 'Headless Cross', clear production with obligatory heavy riffs but missing the melody and darkness of the earlier efforts of the 70's and early 80's. Doing a track by track analysis is almost futile because 8 of the 10 tracks rely on the same plodding rhythms, excruciating riffs from Iommi and barely a trace of true melody or face melting intensity. 'Atom And Evil' opens much like the first Sabbath track from the debut in 1970 and is really not comparable to the likes of 'Neon Knights' or 'Turn Up The Night', which were faster and hungrier. 'Bible Black' sounds like an outtake from an 80's Dio solo album, almost a rewrite of 'Rainbow In The Dark', only slower. There's only one true fast track, 'Eating The Cannibals', where Iommi turns out some great soloing, but honestly these guys could write stuff like this in their sleep if they were so inclined. The poorly titled 'Rock and Roll Angel' labours slowly, with a typical atmospheric Iommi refrain halfway in and is followed by the flat 'Turn Of The Screw'. 'Neverwhere' is slightly faster but still dull melodically and this is the albums total downfall as a whole. 'Follow The Tears' simply goes nowhere, heavy but scarcely believable. After a while it all merges into one long track and is forgotten instantly.

In Summary
I suppose we should be thankful the veterans are still producing music at all right? Not with results as dire as this. Dio still has a voice, at the age of 70 or however old he is, but the inspiration is waning. There isn't any urgency here and it seems the band was so intent on proving they could still play slow and doomy that they forgot to add different shades to the music like they once did. Nothing on first and repeated listenings stands out as essential and warrants further listening for me. Suddenly 'Nostradamus' has decent company.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 21 2009 22:45:41
I think these guys should retire. There is not a lot on offer here.
#2 | MUSCLE on April 21 2009 23:03:51
coma inducing filth. follow the tears! ugh!
#3 | rkbluez on April 22 2009 01:45:18
I must of been listening to a different album as I thought this album kicked major ass...take the song Bible Black for instance...killer tune...I usually agree with you guys but I wish I had a little of what you were smoking when you listened to this's loaded with big riffs good vocals and just plain kick ass music...Iommi hasn't sounded this good in a while...this makes the new AC/DC people were raving about sound like dog dung...that's MHO anyways.
#4 | dangerzone on April 22 2009 03:07:47
All an opinion naturally, but AC/DC was far more enjoyable. At least the music is fun and listenable. This is a turgid mess which is not improving with each listen. It's too slow. Sure it's heavy enough, but where's the melody and variation? That's just the way I see it and why I wrote this review.
#5 | Eric on April 22 2009 03:17:22
I agree with Stephen, 'Bible Black' is a great tune, although I have yet to hear the rest of the album and I'm not sure if I want to now...
#6 | rkbluez on April 22 2009 03:25:20
Eric I've heard the whole album many times now...It sounds like Sabbath is supposed to sound...doomy and evil...and I think they pulled off a great powerful sounding record...then again everybody will have their own opinion so I'm entightiled to mine...but if you want to talk variation...variation varity and AC/DC don't fit in the same sentence as far as I'm concerned...if any band sounds the same on every album it's them.
#7 | gdazegod on April 22 2009 03:38:40
There is very much a 'doom' element to this album. I guess it would've been too much to ask for an album in the same mould as 'Heaven And Hell' or 'Mob Rules', let alone 'Dehumanizer'. I still don't get what everybody is raving over with this one.. personally.. hmm!
#8 | jeffduran on April 24 2009 22:33:44
absolute rubbish!
#9 | rkbluez on April 25 2009 14:38:47
One man's garbage is another mans treasure.Grin
#10 | rostoned on April 29 2009 21:49:37
so so imho, nothin xceptional here and just songs 3 5 8 have a lil something hmm!
#11 | Carl Noonan on May 02 2009 02:44:53
I'm onto my 4th listen through and it's getting better each time. The sound is amazing but I don't think it will equal Heaven and Hell for overall song quality.
#12 | gdazegod on January 15 2013 21:49:09
So following on from this, what hope is there for the NEW Black Sabbath? What are the expectations with Ozzy back, will it be similar to stuff from the 1970-1978 era or is that asking for too much?
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