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 Post subject: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:08 am 
The Lord of Destruction
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Heaven & Hell ~ The Devil You Know


Vital Statistics:

Record Company: Rhino/Warner Bros.
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Producer: Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi & Geezer Butler
Web Site: http://www.heavenandhelllive.com/

Image



Musicians:

Ronnie James Dio ~ Vocals
Tony Iommi ~ Guitar
Geezer Butler ~ Bass
Vinny Appice ~ Drums



The Rundown:

1.) Atom And Evil [5:13] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): Whoa! That is one evil-sounding riff! :devilsmoke: This one is dark, even by Sabbath standards. The drums pound you while the riff drills into your skull mercilessly, filling the room with hellfire and brimstone. I like that in a funeral dirge. :twisted: Rating: 7/10


2.) Fear [4:46] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): Although somewhat faster-paced, this song also has a very sinister edge to it. Dio unleashes some effect-treated howls to add to the dramatic choruses. This song has some bite to it... and reminds me of the Tony Martin years. Heavy-duty stuff. :tup Rating: 8/10


3.) Bible Black [6:27] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): This is the first song I got a chance to listen to a few weeks before the release. The acoustic intro is quite nicely done, particularly with the electric fills over the top to add tension. Dio's vocals then come to center-stage... and it is immediately apparent that he still has that incredible vocal range intact. Amazing. As the song builds into the hard-driving chorus, I was immediately reminded of the classic Sabbath albums with Dio. This one would have fit right in on "Heaven And Hell." There isn't any higher praise I could possibly give than that. 8) Rating: 12/10


4.) Double The Pain [5:23] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): The booming bass intro leads you to believe that this is going to be another mid-tempo hammering... and the riff only serves to confirm that. However, when Dio's vocals kick in, the riff really picks up and takes off. This song moves a lot faster than the other songs up to this point, and sounds a bit more like a Dio song to me. Of course, there's not a damn thing wrong with that in my book. :wink: Rating: 8/10


5.) Rock And Roll Angel [6:02] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): Another slow starter that picks up steam in a hurry, this mid-tempo rocker has a pretty good groove to it, but loses much of its momentum during the choruses and bridge. On the upside, it has some particularly tasty guitar work by Iommi, especially on the solo and outro. Rating: 6/10


6.) The Turn Of The Screw [5:00] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): Now this one has some groove. 8) Killer bass work and a driving beat carry this song along nicely as Ronnie J. delivers the goods. Iommi delivers another sweet solo, putting this one near the top of the heap for me so far. Rating: 9/10


7.) Eating The Cannibals [3:34] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): This track has more of a straight-ahead rock vibe. The fast pace makes the song easy to get into, even if the whole 'Eating the Cannibals' thing is a bit cheesy. After 40 years of delivering the goods, I'll give 'em a pass on that. :P Rating: 7/10


8.) Follow The Tears [6:09] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): A very gothic-sounding intro builds into thunderous riff and pounding rhythm on this tune. It has a very slow pace at times, but I found that it has that anthemic vibe that quickly grows on you. I really like the way the bridge jumps out at you on here. :tup
Rating: 8/10


9.) Neverwhere [4:32] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): This track stands in stark contrast to the last. It moves a lot faster and really has a fist-pumping riff, guaranteed to get the old blood flowing. The guitar attacks you constantly, and the solo cuts through the mix like a knife. This one will make an awesome tune in their live set, without a doubt. 8) Rating: 9/10


10.) Breaking Into Heaven [6:53] (Dio/Iommi/Butler): This one has a heavy-hitting riff, similar to Shadow Of The Wind. Like many of the songs on here, it is very slow-paced, but packs a major-league wallop. It's amazing how much each instrument stands out, though, with each adding to the overall sound. I think this one is powerful stuff. :twisted: Rating: 9/10



Trivial Tidbits:

:B Heaven & Hell has scheduled a world tour in support of "The Devil You Know" beginning on May 5th, 2009 in Bogota, Colombia.

:B The album cover art was created by artist Per Haagensen in a painting entitled (appropriately enough) "Satan."

:B The band had trouble deciding between the top two choices for the cover art, so the other potential cover (pictured below) has been set aside as an alternate cover available exclusively at Wal-Mart. Shit! Now I gotta go buy this one all over again. :lol:

Image

:B In a recent interview, Geezer Butler has said that the numbers 25 and 41, which are prominently displayed on both covers, are a reference to Matthew 25:41, in which God casts the angels that have fallen from grace into Hell. "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' " (King James version quoted)


The Last Word:

After all these years, I don't know how these guys do it. When I heard that Dio was getting back together with Sabbath for a tour, I figured they'd record a live DVD for old times sake (and a little wallet lining in the process :P) and go on their separate ways. And when I heard that they were releasing a 'greatest hits' release with a couple of new tunes, I thought that my suspicions were confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Boy, was I surprised when I heard that they were going to follow up their successful Metal Masters Tour with a disc full of new material. And now that I've heard it a few times, I'm even more surprised to see them trying to break some new ground with a lot of these songs. It would have been easy for them to retread their classic material here for a quick cash-out. However, as they did with "Dehumanizer" nearly 20 years (Wow! :shock:) before, they chose to take some of the songs in different directions, stretching their boundaries in the process. I think they did another admirable job of that here. 8)

Obviously, a band with this kind of pedigree doesn't need any more praise from me. Suffice to say that all four of these guys delivered the goods and then some. They also had a pretty difficult production and mixing job, in my opinion. With songs this heavy, it would be easy to end up with a muddy-sounding mess. While I did have to brighten my EQ settings a bit (which isn't unusual for heavier recordings), they did an excellent job of getting the bass and drums to stand out in the mix, which I would imagine would be quite a challenge when the riffs are so bass-heavy. :bluerock:

The main criticism I'd have with this disc is that a few of the songs tend to run a little long, which tend to make them sound a bit repetitive at times, particularly since it also seems to occur mostly on the slower tracks. That said, I liked the fact that they really went with an evil vibe, but took some of the songs in different directions to provide a different feel at times. It really kept the album from getting monotonous. The album also seems to pick up at the end, and I thought the last few songs were among the best on the disc, so be sure to spin the whole thing, even if the first few songs don't grab you right away.

As I mentioned in "Trivial Tidbits," today just happens to be the day the band embarks on their world tour.

Here's to hoping that they manage to set the world on fire one more time. :beerbang:

A legendary line-up of a legendary band delivers the goods yet again. No real surprise... but it's always nice when a band lives up to our high expectations when so many fall short of the mark. <<<Hmmm... Hmmm... Metallica... Hmmm...>>> :P

This is a solid release that will grab you metalheads with just a few listens... but it's definitely not for the faint of heart. You have been warned. :mrgreen:

Oh... and be sure to wear your catcher's mask and chest protector. :wink:

Need I say it? RockHard approved. :tup


The Bottom Line (AKA - The Six-Pack Scale): :B :B :B :B :B


:BB Steve

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"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


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"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:34 am 
Heavy Metal Cyber-Sleuth
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I refuse to read your review until I hear the album first. I'll get back to you. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:40 pm 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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So, when you told me to review this you were joking :x

anyway, I have to agree with the review. "Turn of the Screw" has to be one of my favorite though, solid effort on there. For me, the slow tempo was the only real drag...Dio's vocals also sounded less than perfect on a few songs, we can tell he's getting on in age which is a shame...

RockHard wrote:
Heaven & Hell has scheduled a world tour in support of "The Devil You Know" begging on May 5th, 2009 in Bogota, Colombia


Glad I am not the only one who forgets words now and again ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:51 pm 
The Ultimate Dio Fan
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Mixed opinions on this one. I'll bet I've listened to the album 20 times through, and there are still a few tracks that fail to grab me. Having said that, "Bible Black" might just be the best track these 4 guys have EVER done together. The song is brutally PERFECT! :beerbang:

Atom and Evil, Double the Pain, and Follow the Tears are currently my other favorites, but I'm sure that will change.

BTW.......the album hit number 8 on the Billboard top 10 with 29,000 copies sold in the first week. :cheer

Steve.......thanks for yet another kick-ass review, bro! :bluerock:

Ben.......you suck for saying Dio is getting on in age! :P

Just playing dude. Actually, as much as I hate to admit it.........I agree. It's very evident on a couple tracks. :cry: Had to happen eventually though, right?

Dio fan, out. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:37 pm 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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That's cool that it charted :B a bunch of metal albums have been the last few years. I'm glad I am not the only one who noticed that about Dio's voice though...

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 2:30 am 
The Lord of Destruction
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bildo wrote:
I refuse to read your review until I hear the album first. I'll get back to you. :P


What are you waiting for? :roll:

I'm getting on Dio's forum and telling everyone that you were too busy exploring Uranus to buy an album with Dio on it. :wink:

Dragon235 wrote:
So, when you told me to review this you were joking :x


I did? :oops:

I wrote this one completely on a whim last night. I didn't want it to get cold before we put up a review.

My apologies if I stepped on your toes on this one. :B

Dragon235 wrote:
Dio's vocals also sounded less than perfect on a few songs, we can tell he's getting on in age which is a shame...


Communist. :evil:

I thought his voice sounded excellent. I wouldn't say he's belting it out quite as much as he used to... but the songs didn't really call for it either.

Dragon235 wrote:
Glad I am not the only one who forgets words now and again ;)


Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out. :tup

alsworms wrote:
Mixed opinions on this one. I'll bet I've listened to the album 20 times through, and there are still a few tracks that fail to grab me. Having said that, "Bible Black" might just be the best track these 4 guys have EVER done together. The song is brutally PERFECT! :beerbang:


Bible Black was a great choice for the single. It moves well and really holds its own with their older stuff. 8)

alsworms wrote:
Atom and Evil, Double the Pain, and Follow the Tears are currently my other favorites, but I'm sure that will change.


Easily the most Dio-sounding tunes on the album. Not surprising... :wink:

alsworms wrote:
BTW.......the album hit number 8 on the Billboard top 10 with 29,000 copies sold in the first week. :cheer


Very cool. I wasn't able to find any early sales figures or I would have tossed them in the trivia section.

Thanks for the info! :tup

alsworms wrote:
Steve.......thanks for yet another kick-ass review, bro! :bluerock:


Thanks, bro. I laughed like crazy when I saw your request for a review. I had just finished writing it. :lol:

alsworms wrote:
Ben.......you suck for saying Dio is getting on in age! :P

Just playing dude. Actually, as much as I hate to admit it.........I agree. It's very evident on a couple tracks. :cry: Had to happen eventually though, right?

Dio fan, out. :D


You both suck. :P

Seriously though, where do you guys hear him having a hard time? I didn't really hear him struggle anywhere. I assumed the slower tempo was partially to prevent him from really having to belt it out.. but I thought he really sounded good overall... particularly on tunes like Bible Black.


:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:27 am 
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Hopefully I'll get it in the next couple of weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:43 am 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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I'll try to listen tonight and let you know which songs I heard it on.

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:06 pm 
The Ultimate Dio Fan
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Oddly enough........even though Bible Black is my favorite track on the album, this is the one I think Dio struggled a bit. Listen to the part when Dio sings.....

Leave him alone
He can't go back
He's reading from the Bible Black


As it builds up to "Bible Black", you can defiinitely hear stress in his voice.

But what the hell. He's still better than any other singer in the world.

Yes Bill.......that includes Alice. :P
Yes Cody.......that includes Geddy. :P
Yes Ben......that includes Copernicusticisianiathalabithia. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:21 pm 
The Very Model of a Modern Major General
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Oh I could name plenty of singers that are better than Geddy. As much as I love him, I'm fully aware he isn't exactly the best singer in the world. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 11:10 pm 
The Lord of Destruction
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alsworms wrote:
Oddly enough........even though Bible Black is my favorite track on the album, this is the one I think Dio struggled a bit. Listen to the part when Dio sings.....

Leave him alone
He can't go back
He's reading from the Bible Black


As it builds up to "Bible Black", you can defiinitely hear stress in his voice.


I went back and re-listened to that section. I think he's purposely added some tension to his voice to make it sound more anguish-y. Is that a word? :lol:

Really though, I just think he was adding a bit for dramatic effect. It fits the spot in the song perfectly to my ear. If you listen closely on a couple of the other tracks, he belts it out pretty heavy without any real strain, IMO.

alsworms wrote:
But what the hell. He's still better than any other singer in the world.

Yes Bill.......that includes Alice. :P
Yes Cody.......that includes Geddy. :P
Yes Ben......that includes Copernicusticisianiathalabithia. :lol:


:lmfao:


:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 11:55 pm 
The Ultimate Metal Master
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Who's that and how does she sound? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:29 am 
The Lord of Destruction
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Posts: 31626
Location: South of Heaven
Favorite Band: Pinkmaiden Rainsabbath Zeppepriest
Dragon235 wrote:
Who's that and how does she sound? :lol:


Doesn't really matter. She's probably not growling in English. :P


:BB Steve

_________________
"I told you... that we could fly... 'Cause we all have wings... but some of us don't know why..."
~ Michael Hutchens (RIP)


"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."
~ John Lennon (RIP)


"Don't get cute... Don't get funny now... It's later than you think..."
~ Greg Kihn


"As we celebrate mediocrity... all the boys upstairs wanna see...
How much you'll pay... for what you used to get for free..."

~ Tom Petty


Image

"I think you'd better ask yourself... before you criticize me...
Are you a victim of the System... or the Powers-That-Be?
If there was nothing to gain... would you do it for free?"

~ Sammy Hagar


"I was glad to come... I'll be sad to go... So while I'm here... I'll have me a real good time..."
~ Rod Stewart (The Faces)


"The earth can shake... The sky come down... The mountains all... fall to the ground...
But I will fear... none of these things... Shelter me, Lord... underneath your wings..."

~ Buddy Miller


"Rock hard... Ride free... All your life..."
~ Rob Halford


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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:31 am 
The Very Model of a Modern Major General
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Dragon235 wrote:
Who's that and how does she look? :lol:


Fixed.

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 Post subject: Re: Heaven & Hell: The Devil You Know
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:01 am 
Heavy Metal Cyber-Sleuth
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I never said Alice sang better than Ronnie.

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