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Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know

Published May 01 2009

=Staff's pick

Atom & Evil*
Bible Black*
Double The Pain*
Rock & Roll Angel
The Turn Of The Screw
Eating The Cannibals*
Follow The Tears
Breaking Into Heaven

Genre Heavy Metal
Ronnie James Dio
Tracks 10
Tony Iommi
Runningtime 55 Min.
Label SPV
Terrence "Geezer" Butler
Release 28 April 2009
Vinny Appice
Country England
Similar artists Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Mastodon

As a connoisseur of Metal, the devil you know, indeed! The rock & roll aged devil's cry has you immersed in Hell, while breaking away from Heaven. This anatomy of evil, for which we have all eagerly anticipated, finally unfolds, like a shadow in the mind, with each churn of the shrewd, ready to double the pain.

For most, this may be the most anticipated album of the year, as Metallica was for me last year. Already many have found fault, and have had their illusions shattered. However, I am rather pleased, as this album delivers everything I have come to appreciate from the unholy trinity, and their drummer.

The album starts out slow, and doom laden with the cunningly languid, yet apocalyptic - Atom & Evil. This sets the tone for the prognosticating chirography, and prestidigitation to come. This arachnid spun web of wyrd, like many infected cuts, follows the strain of those newer tracks written for - The Dio Years - release.

The Devil You Know is the bastard saint of Dehumanizer and Mob Rules. There are no redolent resonating, evocative ballads like - Children Of The Sea, or Sign Of The Southern Cross. There are no erratic, upbeat moments like - Neon Nights, TV Crimes, Turn up The Night, or The Mob Rules. Even still, the rules of hell are adequately enforced, and evil lives on.

The chirurgeon of precision riffs - Tony Iommi - delivers more fulsome effulgence, with each song fitting into its own niche. You'll feel tied to the whipping post, as each lash and lick scourges your soul. Dio works his mythopoeia and magic with wise-minded alacrity, solemnity, and weal. This calming act of latrociny, steals away the might, with personified passion and poise. He almost seems obsessed with doom, and gloom, and achieving the eschaton. Geezer grinds along, with even more pummeling bass sick appendages, and emaciated diatribes. Vinny, well, he appeases, even if not aloud, to improvise, and elucidate unto his true potential..

Dio is the heresiarch of promised persuasion. His irenic sense of probity is what discloses - Fear - as being blind superstition, and a nebulous array of murky, maddening, malcontented maelstrom, steadfast approaching like a slow motion stampede.

Mr. Iommi is not too pleased with the animated Bible Black video, but the song is well constructed with baleful lust, mystical epigrams, and an engaging tale of deceit, and stalwart persistence. Who will be the last in line to witness this menagerie?

Double The Pain does just that, with it's ear in the wall sound effects, and stabbing thrust. This frank enceintes serves as a bulwark to dark hoarse articulation, and dreams of death. The transubstantial feast of - Eating The Cannibals - is a pleasure of the flesh, and a banquet of ill repose, sustaining my appetite for sonic harmony, as well as wit.

The perfect strangeness of - Rock & Roll Angel - lights the hallway with its bluesy, and flamenco flavour, attributing to it bemuddling lyrical stance. Turn Of The Screw - is a measure in time, emblazoned by invisible mountains which we climb; because it's always a mystery to me. The surge of power that is - Neverwhere - recalls to mind - Voodoo, minus the hoodoo.

Follow The Tears - is similar to the lachrymose intent of some suggestions from the last few solo Dio albums. This march of the condemned is beleaguered with fatuous repetition, and not too engaging conscious emotion. Changing the rules of engagement with - Breaking Into Heaven - this epic temptation serves as a befitting choice for this ongoing sojourn into almighty Hell.

I am amazed with the opaque sense of divinity for the cover art. This haunting image is hachured by a blistering sacral daemonology. I'm surprised this was not openly protested. Over 20 years ago, a similar cover appeared on Deathrow's - Satan's Gift, which was banned, when it first came out, because of it's controversial shadowed cross, betwixt sullen skies. Thankfully, this was remastered and re-released last year, along with the amazing - Raging Steel. My point being, times have changed. Eyes, ears, and hearts are more open. Even Wal-mart is selling the CD, with a slightly less wicked depiction, and more Sabbathy style cover.

All in all, I assert that Heaven & Hell have created a solid blend of music sure to satiate any fan of Sabbath's Dio era. Almost every classic music enthusiasts is ready for Heaven & Hell, and a break from Ozzy's wearisome presence. Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell are separate entities; an antimony of altruistic fervour; winnowed by fevered eidetic alacrity. Enjoy this for what is, a rubric in the black gospel of time and not an adulteration.








8 chalices of 10 - Michael the MettleAngel

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