The Devil You Know is the “debut” album from Heaven and Hell. In all seriousness, though, it’s basically a Black Sabbath album (thankfully under a new moniker). The Album was released on April 28, 2009 on Rhino/Roadrunner Records.
Firstly, I want to comment on the awesomeness that is this artwork. It is everything album art should be: both visually appealing and informational. The art itself is fantastic (and goes well with the name of the album) and it tastefully and legibly gives you all the info you need. Two thumbs up for this one.
As far as the music goes, it is just what one should expect from Dio and the rest of the guys from Black Sabbath. This album is pure old school Heavy/Doom metal. I am still surprised at how good Dio sounds even this far into his sixties. It is pretty obvious that he struggles a bit for the really powerful wailing notes, but he still sounds amazing, and has a ton of attitude and character to his voice. In fact, he almost sounds better for the lower vocals than he ever did. The problem with Dio still being the same old Dio are his ridiculous lyrics. The most hilariously bad example on this album is in the song “Eating the Cannibals”. Let’s just say that the line ‘We’re eating the cannibals” is repeated numerous times throughout the song.
The best part about this album is that I have not heard this many Tony Iommi solos on an album in a long time (perhaps ever). Iommi is at the best I have ever heard him (to clarify: not better than the old stuff, but just as good). This album has more great riffs and solos than any Black Sabbath fan could ask for. Even Geezer Butler gets in on the fun and has some great bass parts throughout the album.
Quite easily the biggest flaw of the album is that it’s predictable. For anyone familiar with Black Sabbath and the Doom Metal genre, you can almost bank on the fact that you know the next part of each song already. It is nice, though, that some bands are staying true to the old heavy metal formula (granted, Sabbath were really the inventors of this).
All in all, I am quite pleased with the album. It’s not as memorable or legendary as most of the Black Sabbath stuff, but it’s still better than a majority of the heavy metal out there today.
Track picks: “Double the Pain” and “The Turn of the Screw”
Overall Score: 8/10
Great album review, my friend! I’ve been downloading select songs from several of your reviews lately. Keep it up!
Are you digging the tunes I review? If so, I am happy!
Jordan…I’m hoping I do not agree with your review and that you are a bit young and not particularly a fan to make your comments academic 🙂
So, because I was not born when they were in their prime means I can’t have any knowledge of it? I have to say, I am quite familiar with the work of Sabbath and of Dio when he was with Elf and Rainbow. I’m not too sure what you’re getting at, but regardless of whether or not you agree with my review, I hope you at least enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
maybe you know but you have not live…2 completly different things
The album art is a winner. Who is that Cthula?
As far as stoner rock goes, these bands have it covered. Just hearing about the Cannibal song makes me groan. I like when its tongue in cheek like Mastodon does, but point being, there are newer more innovative bands and the classic sabbath catalog. I doubt this record will grace my Sennheiser HD 555, (you’re right Mr. Munson, these phones are the best for value, comfort, and bang for you buck.) When I die, they will find me wearing my Senns.
Bands I rather listen to then the new Heaven and Hell,
Agreed. Iommi’s work is top notch on this record. Can’t get enough of “Bible Black”