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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up yours Sharon, this is a Black Sabbath Album
Besides exploiting her husband, screwing ex-bandmates, ruining classic albums with dubious mixes and making a fool of herself in reality TV, Sharon Osbourne has spent the last 20 years or so trying to convince the world that Black Sabbath was relevant only during the Ozzy years, something that's not only completely false but really preposterous considering that...
Published on June 4, 2010 by Oliverio Casas

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 and 1/2, Fresh metal from 4 masters.
These old guys can still put out some metal. Iommi is solid and RJ Dio does what he has always done well, belt out great notes from the feet to the lungs. He is still in great vocal shape, unlike the caricature that has now become what we call OZZY.

Lots of good songs here, granted, I think on a couple tracks the boys try a little too hard to be dark and...
Published on June 14, 2009 by Jeffrey R. Hayes


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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up yours Sharon, this is a Black Sabbath Album, June 4, 2010
This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
Besides exploiting her husband, screwing ex-bandmates, ruining classic albums with dubious mixes and making a fool of herself in reality TV, Sharon Osbourne has spent the last 20 years or so trying to convince the world that Black Sabbath was relevant only during the Ozzy years, something that's not only completely false but really preposterous considering that ultimately, the real musical force behind the band was always Tony Iommi.
After Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice decided to reunite for the second time they chose to tour and record under the Heaven and Hell monicker, probably to avoid legal hassles with metal's favourite disgusting decrepit harpy.
Despite the name change, the band sounds exactly like it should: as prime second golden era Black Sabbath. But make no mistake, this is no nostalgia act cashing in on past glories. Unlike 1992's good but ultimately disjointed Dehumanizer, this is a band on fire, doing what they do best, that is, kick-ass traditional arena-worthy metal with stellar songwriting, musicianship and production. For an aging metalhead like me nothing is more comforting than seeing a truly classic band finally living up and even surpassing expectations, since songs like Bible Black, Atom and Evil, Fear and Follow the Tears wouldn't sound out of place within classic albums like Heaven and Hell or Mob Rules.
I was lucky enough to catch Heaven and Hell live last year on what sadly, turned out to be Dio's last tour, and was mistified on how strong, tight and lively the band sounded, no small feat considering that we're talking about more than two centuries of combined heavy metal history here.
So really, up yours, Sharon. Like it or not, this is Black Sabbath's sound in the 21st century, and the sad truth is that a reunion with Ozzy is out of the question simply because he's just not up to par vocally or musically, as the 90's embarrasing reunion concerts proved, and no name change or PR stunt can disguise this simple fact. As sad an untimely as Dio's death was, he will be remembered as the original metal god, who's last album was a fitting coda to a stellar career that spanned more than three decades. I can only hope that when he dies, Ozzy won't be remembered as the sad clownish joke he's become for the last 10 years or so, because he deserves much better.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from Black Sabbath!, May 3, 2009
This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
Black Sabbath with Dio were always great. Everything they did together was brilliant and as good as their best Ozzy records. Their new album is amazing. I don't think we'll have a better metal album this year. Everything that defines Black Sabbath is there- thunder bass from Geezer Butler, great riffs from Iommi, heavenly vocals from Dio. I don't understand the one and two star reviews. I guess they are from frustrated new musicians. They don't understand that metal is not about technique. Some newer bands have great technique, but the most of them sound dull and uninspired. You don't remember anything after you stop the CD. The more style definitions, the duller the band. These days , everyone can get a guitar and play and even record music. And frustration comes quickly when they realize they can never compete with the great bands. They envy Sabbath because they can never be as great as they are And what a stupid review starting with "I never liked Sabbath or Dio..." So, then, why the hell are you writing a review? With these words, you make it automatically irrelevant! An intelligent person does not listen to music because of technique. Some of the greatest songs ever were amazingly simple.
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128 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making History All Over Again, April 28, 2009
This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
1980 brought together some of the most well respected members of the Metal/Rock community for what is considered one of the genres shinning moments. It goes without question that Sabbath took the 70's by storm but Ozzy felt the need to branch out on his own and allowed (whom was front man of Rainbow at the time) Ronnie James Dio to grasp the reigns and Sabbath become something darker, heavier and what many consider two of their best studio albums were released under Dio's reign of Sabbath. The question as to which was better suited for Sabbath in my opinion is irrelevant. Both Ozzy and Dio suited the music of their time in Sabbath and both are amazing vocalists and both are legends in the genre.

So was I surprised when these boys got back together? Yes, I was completely blindsided when the news that the 80's lineup was getting back together under a new banner. When the initial shock wore off I was excited when I realized I would get a chance to see this line up live. I went to their show skeptical, hoping to hear all the classics of their time, and I wasn't let down. Just getting to hear them play "Neon Knights" was enough of a Metal dream come true to leave me satisfied. I went home smiling and waited and waited and waited and finally after many months of anticipation the news broke that Heaven & Hell would be releasing a completely brand new album with all original tracks, I was floored. I expected a best of, or a live compilation but no, years after their last studio album they were going to give their fans a completely new dosage of Dio era Sabbath, under the title of The Devil You Know.

The album kick's off with "Atom & Evil" A track that is true to the Dio era Sabbath albums. Tony and Geezer are the first to shine on the album with a low riff bordering on the darker side of things which soon turns to pummeling bass lines, slow pounding drum work and some amazing riffing by Iommi. Dio shows fine form from the get go and once you hear his tone you already know this is going to be a quality album, it's all business in the vocal department, no filler. "Fear" the second track on the album kicks up the tempo a bit with a ripping guitar riff, bombastic drumming and more of those pummeling bass lines but soon Iommi cranks up the speed with some mildly fast paced riffing that shows these guys got some spunk in em even after all this time. The execution is flawless on The Devil You Know and the third track on the album "Bible Black" starts off with some well played acoustics and some mesmerizing soloing from Iommi, Dio's voice is full and strong and soon the track explodes into one of the heaviest tracks thus far. Geezer puts down some fairly complex bass lines here accented by more crushing riffs by Iommi.

By this point the only one whom hasn't really shown off his skill is Vinny on drums, but what you do hear from him is quality and every now and then he breaks out some interesting patterns on the cymbals. "Bible Black" is easily one of the 'stand out' tracks on The Devil You Know and has some of the finest guitar pieces from both Iommi and Geezer. "Double The Pain" begins with some creepy bass work and then erupts into another chugging catchy riff from Iommi. By this song both Iommi and Geezer are on fire throwing out some of the best playing we've heard of them in many years. The vocals on Double The Pain are some of the catchiest yet and just when things don't seem to be able to get better Iommi shreds up his fastest solo yet. The fifth track on the album starts up with similar chugging riffs and some intense grinding bass work accented by Dio's to the point lyrics and vocals. Half way through "Rock And Roll Angel" comes easily one of my favorite solo's by Iommi which starts out backed by acoustics but later the riff from the beginning of the song fades in and Iommi finishes out the song laying down some very nice acoustics while Geezer puts down some mellow B lines.

Half way through "The Turn Of The Screw" is an upbeat track where Dio let's fly some of his finest vocals thus far in the album. Vinny starts to get a little more creative with his patterns towards the end of the track and both Geezer and Iommi accent one another with more upbeat riffing leading into yet another amazing solo from Iommi. One would think Dio would be the member to steal the spotlight but Iommi's playing on The Devil You Know is definitely the icing on the cake, the man hasn't lost an inch of skill since his days in Black Sabbath and some parts even rival them. "Eating The Cannibals" turns the pace up even more as both Iommi and Geezer throw down some of their fastest riffs and lines on the album, Vinny continues to use some interesting patterns and then Iommi again steals the show with some incredible soloing in the latter half of the song, this track is yet another stand out but the band isn't done yet, not even close. The eigth track "Follow The Tears" is easily the darkest track on the album beginning with an eerie organ playing in the back ground as Iommi shreds up some nice riffs, the song erupts into a barrage of chugging thrashy riffs, slow drum patterns and pummeling bass work by Geezer. This is easily my favorite track on the album and has has some of the most addicting riffs and vocals on the album, the track ends with some superb soloing and fades out with the same intense riffing it began with.

"Neverwhere" explodes into a rollicking track with an upbeat atmosphere and has a faster pace not unlike "Eating The Cannibals". This track is pretty much straight forward Metal with no filler except for some nice soloing and a few complex B Lines from Geezer, overall one of the few tracks on the album that just sounds like your basic old school Rock/Metal song. Leave it to these guys to go out with a band on their debut with "Breaking Into Heaven" which starts out a slow rolling tune that soon turns into a mid paced riff fest between Geezer and Iommi. Theirs a couple parts where Geezer breaks away and his bass over powers Iommi and even Vinny manages some decent cymbal work but it's Iommi that steals the show again with one of the best solo's on the album before the band rips out one last chorus and then ends it with a simple fade out as if to say "We don't need a three minute long finale to blow you away!" and that's true, I was blown away after the first couple tracks.

I waited outside for four hours to get this album first thing and it was worth every minute. All in all the band is in great form as a whole, nothing but quality music from start to finish. But as in all things there are those that shine on this album more then others. Dio puts down a solid performance, his voice isn't what it was back when these guys first banded together but still solid vocal's from start to finish and some extremely catchy and on point lyrics. Vinny on skins was the only one that really felt to be keeping it down a notch though he did manage to toss in a few surprises towards the end of the album. Geezer is still one of my favorite bassist's and one of few reasons I myself took up the bass as a kid, through out the album he shone as one of the stronger members of the group whether it be his subtle thudding licks or his complex breakaways the man still has it and demands attention. However, the MVP of The Devil You Know is by far Tony Iommi as he shows some of his finest playing to date and some solo's that make even his earlier work look amateur. He in my opinion is the leader of this pack and he lead them to a triumphant victory, fans of Iommi will be pleased with what he has to offer on this debut and may even surprise some especially being 61 years young.

A history making release that actually lives up to it's hype. I recommend this to all fans of Rock and Metal alike, I am sure this will become of of 2009's greatest releases and I for see lot's of airplay for Heaven & Hell in the coming days, weeks, months and years. Now I just can't wait to hear these song performed live, the next thing to look forward to from this history making group. Thank you for reading and I hope that my review at least kept your interest for a few moments and ultimately helped at least a few of you to purchase this ground breaking album. If it had helped you please let me know by hitting 'Yes' below where it asks Was this review helpful to you?

As an after thought if you don't already own them I recommend fans of Heaven & Hell to also purchase the following recordings...

Heaven And Hell By Black Sabbath
Mob Rules by Black Sabbath
Live Evil by Black Sabbath
Iommi by Tony Iommi
Plastic Planet by Geezer
Rising by Rainbow
Holy Diver by Dio

All are excellent albums especially the first two studio releases of this line up with Dio as front man, the third Sabbath album is a live album with the same line up and is of excellent quality for a live album of it's time. To hear some more amazing guitar work by axe wizard Iommi be sure to check out the self titled debut solo album, which features some interesting guest vocalists through out the rock and metal universe. If a fan of Geezer Butler's intense and often complex style of Bass playing as I am then Plastic Planet is an amazing solo album featuring Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell. And of course are the two must have albums by any fan of metal icon Dio, both of which show him at his best. Again I hope that my review was helpful and gave you some insight into this amazing line up as they once again give a definition of what it is to be a great rock band. We can only hope these guys plan to continue releasing music under the banner of Heaven & Hell and continue ravaging the world with their earth shaking live performances.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four metal gods, May 3, 2009
This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
They have risen once more!!!!!! This is the most powerful music that I had heard in years. Tony, Dio, Geezer, Vinny.....what can be said? This is one CD that was worth the wait. I never heard anything so blended together so well. Tony's guitar playing along with Geezer's bass was mind blowing, deep and heavy! Mix that in with Dio's ever so awesome sounding voice and Vinny's heart pounding drums and you have one of the most mind blowing CD's put out in the last 10 years. Hope to see you all on tour.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This LP set includes...., May 15, 2009
This review is from: The Devil You Know [Vinyl] (Vinyl)
....two 180-gram vinyl discs, a nice fold-out poster of the band and a cool laser etching of the H & H logo with additional design on side 4 of the LPset (the music takes up only three sides). I found the sound quality to be better than the CD.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MEET THE DEVIL, April 28, 2009
By 
Murat Batmaz (Istanbul, Turkey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
Regardless of what anyone says, The Devil You Know is the fourth Black Sabbath album featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals despite the change in the band's name. The only reason they are going by the moniker Heaven and Hell is because they do not want to be bothered by Ozzy-obsessed fans when playing live.

Just like its predecessor, Dehumanizer, the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales in only three months, which has given the band the chance to capture a rather live feel which is both intense and powerful. The band did take a longer time to write the album though, partly in England and partly in the USA.

The Devil You Know expands on the classic Sabbath sound, chock full of thunderous riff work, stomping drum intensity, growling bass lines, and godly vocals. This album once again solidifies the fact that Dio is and always will be the voice of Heavy Metal. He is in fine form here, slightly straying from his style on his recent solo material, and revisiting his glorious past where he exerts a doomy vibe on some of the tunes that fits the compositions like a glove.

It all begins with the sonic punch that is "Atom & Evil" (Adam & Eve) whose rolling drum intro suggests the production on this disc is huge and powerful. Everything sounds crisp; the range of dynamics is great and the instrumentation very vivid. As Iommi lays down his unique riffs, a dark, menacing atmosphere is achieved and perfected with the arrival of Dio singing lyrics of abstract symbolism. Note the use of discreet synths in the background, proceeding through a terrain of rhythmic power. Also pay attention to the mini-riff that is planted beneath Dio's vocals on the chorus. That riff doesn't let go till the end -- it is absolutely fantastic.

Being a fan of Sabbath's darkest and heaviest material, tracks like "Follow the Tears," (what a great, great song!) "Bible Black," and "Breaking into Heaven" are the album's most shining moments. The heavy, almost sludge-infested opening riff of "Breaking into Heaven," once again complete with metaphorical lyrics about fallen angels trying to break into paradise, is a modern take on doom metal while the intro of "Follow the Tears" is so heavy that it would crush just about anything that gets into its path. Iommi will always be the god of riffs, as his writing has been unparalleled for over thirty years. He unleashes riffs, rhythms, and solos unlike any other guitarist in the world. His acoustic guitar playing on "Bible Black" is stunningly dark, as is his volatile, chugging lead solo that follows it. The way the song builds from a pain-ridden dirge to a monstrous finale induces goose bumps every time. Add to this Dio's vocals that recall his stuff from his most underrated album Strange Highways and Iommi's schizophrenic solo and you have a masterpiece of composition.

Geezer Butler mostly stands out on the bass-centric "Double the Pain," again with vocals reminiscent of Strange Highways, where he lays down a sick, stomping bass solo. Likewise, it is the bass that permeats "The Turn of the Screw" which boasts a shred-intensive guitar solo that erupts like a volcano following the patient build-up. This would make for a perfect live performance given the energy between the drums, bass, and guitars.

About the other songs, "Eating the Cannibals," the shortest song on the album, is the loud, in-your-face number, retaining its heavy drive from start to finish while "Fear" sees Dio's most theatrical singing highlighted with awesome drum fills by Vinny Appice (whose work on the earlier albums is much, much better -- perhaps the best drumming in Heavy Metal).

Admittedly, "Rock & Roll Angel" and "Neverwhere" lack the same intensity and songwriting bliss of the other tunes, but the lead solo on the former is arguably Iommi's finest on this album as it recalls his blues-inflected playing on Mob Rules quite a bit, and the latter is a hook-laden, catchy rock anthem into which scalding riffs and slamming drums are tucked.

A great entry into the mostly brilliant Sabbath catalogue. Though at this point, I rank it below the other three albums with Dio, this is still one of the best Heavy Metal albums of the year.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Metal Album I've Owned This Decade, June 18, 2009
This review is from: The Devil You Know (MP3 Music)
With so many metal bands this decade that have no originality "The Devil You Know" was a great surprise. I was expecting a live album when I heard of the new Heaven and Hell album. I bought my first Black Sabbath album years ago and never thought anybody could replace Ozzy, but on "The Devil You Know" I would rather have Dio than Ozzy. Surprising, isn't it? But, once again Tony Iommi shows why he's the master of the heavy riff. He plays like he's still 20 on this album. Oh, and what's this I hear, bass lines? Yes, there are actually bass lines on this album! I can't tell you the last time I heard bass lines on a heavy metal album. The drumming was the worst part of the album but was still spectacular. The point is, if you like heavy riffs, amazing vocals, and bass lines in an amazing heavy metal release, Heaven and Hell made this album for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sabbath Metal Forever, November 21, 2009
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This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
Ok, so the band calls itself Heaven and Hell, but lets face, they can call themselves whatever they want, they will forever be Black Sabbath. Nothing changes from this band whose members in the early 80's blasted many metal fans with ear splattering riffs, jams and precussions. Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice, the revival of Sabbath after Ozzy and Drummer Bill Ward depated. The songs are exactly what you come to expect from Black Sabbath, heavy overtones, tempo changes, and dazzling guitar play. The song "Bible Black" will one day be a classic and really takes the true Sabbath fan back to the beginning. This CD is a cant miss and if you get a chance, catch them on tour, they may have aged a little, but can still put on a great and LOUD show.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sabbath Changes Their Name But Not Their Monster Sound, October 19, 2009
By 
Mr. Sinister (El Cajon, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
The fact that Sabbath did some of it's best work with Ronnie James Dio at the helm lends some credibility to this effort. Iommi and Dio just seem to click here and you can feel that the bad blood of the past is long since dead. They create a mood together and it is dark, sludgy, and driven. Keeping the Heaven & Hell moniker from their reunion tour a few years back, Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice come out with a record of all new material, and, no big surprise, it rocks deeply and darkly. If we are to be picky, we will say that Dio's sings very slow on some songs, as if he's trying to emphasize every single word, and that is slightly annoying. We could say that there are parts where Iommi trains us in repetition to the point of driving us away. We could say those things and still respect what The Devil You Know represents, which is a classic Sabbath crew getting back together to rock the world. They're getting old (RJD is 67, Iommi is 61, Geezer is 60, Vinny is 50)but these are the Godfathers Of Metal, so they know what their doing and we trust them wholeheartedly. They do not disappoint, nor do they try to feed us some fake, song-doctored metal crap. The wall of sound feel from the opening riffs of The Devil You Know is a pleasant return to the days of apocalyptic Sabbath. Let's check out the tracks:

Atom And Evil: Great opening track. Dio's lyrics are clever and memorable. The gloom and doom of Iommi & Butler is mind blowing. You cannot believe that these dude are old enough to be our parents or our grandparents. These guys know how to rock all the way. Very polished effort. The production is heavy but very clear.

Fear: Great riff, very ponderous beat. Dio is rocking on all cylinders with his vocals. Lyrics are tight. This is exactly why we buy the album when these guys get back together. It rocks!

Bible Black: Moody acoustic intro. You can tell right away that all egos have been put aside finally. This is a band having a good time and rocking out. Excellent song. Don't go on, put it back, you're reading from the Bible Black....

Double The Pain: Geezer intro, pounding, groovy. A stab in the back is worth waiting for tonight... RJD is definitely not writing about rainbows and dragons anymore and we miss that from time to time, but this bitter, edgy stuff is great, too.

Rock And Roll Angel: Ronnie sings way too slow here to emphasize the words and that kinda shows us the imprefections in his aging voice, but aside from that, this is another great tune. The Sabs clicked on this effort and it shows on every song. The solo is hearty and straight-forward. This isn't shredding, this is playing from the gut. The acoustic blurbs at the end of this song are awesome. Iommi sounds revitalized.

The Turn Of The Screw: This song sounds familiar and that is probably just the signature Sabbath sound recurring. This song drags a little because of Dio's vocals. Musically it shreds. Very heavy, very Sabbath. You'll be rich, you'll be golden, just sign on the dotted line...

Eating The Cannibals: Damn, this song just shoots out of the gate shredding. Rocker! Sabbath revitalized. The lyrics are nonsense but this is one of the bright spots on a very consistent album. Excellent!

Follow The Tears: I love the opening riff, it's Metallica-esque, like something off Justice. The drums roll in and it is something off of Justice. Damn! Powerful stuff. The rolling, drowning wall of sound might drain your soul after a while, but this is a great song to pop in and pit the headphones on and lose yourself in the darkness. Iommi's playing (hell, all the playing here) is inspired. Something has been rekindled and it could possible be great for a few more years to come. We take our Sabbath in meassured increments or where we can get it.

Neverwhere: This deep into the album, you would expect the filler to start flowing. Not the case here at all. This song is one of the better songs on the album. Dio's vocals belt out like machine gun fire. Driven. Wow. Very impressive.

Breaking Into Heaven: This sounds like reheated Dehumanizer when you hear the doom flow forth. This song drags. Ominous but dragging. Not going to be anyone's favorite song. This may be filler. Maybe. Very Sabbath. Very heavy. Almost too heavy, like it's crushing the life out of you as you listen to it.

Overall, I wasn't expecting much out of this reunion. I saw them live with Megadeth opening and I can tell you without remorse that the was one of the greatest shows I have ever seen in my life. Dio hit every single note and to see the Sabs up there doing the great Heaven & Hell/Mob Rules songs again. Excellent. Like I said, I wasn't expecting much from this. The few songs they did for The Dio Years were blah & depressing, but I was pleasantly surprised by this entire album. There are a few dragging spots and Dio's voice (am I actually saying this?) gets ponderous here and there but Iommi plays like he just got a tranfusion of demonic blood. Geezer and Vinny are solid as alway. RJD is amazing for the fact that he's 67 years old! Amazing! This is an iconic bunch of guys that still know how to put out the metal. Nothing felt cheap or contrived here. Honest. Dark. Clever. Consistent. Metal.

Dig it!

Postscript: Sadly, this was to be Ronnie's final recording. He passed away May 16th, 2010 after his bout with stomach cancer. The world is a lesser place without him. I had the honor of meeting Ronnie several times over the past 20+ years, hanging out and actually talking with him and I can say, without a doubt, he was a true gentleman and a legend. From his early beginnings in do-wop with Ronnie & The Red Caps all the way through Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath & Dio, Ronnie's contribution to music was immense. He will be truly missed. R.I.P. RJD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You are not metal or are an idiot if you dissed this cd, June 4, 2010
This review is from: The Devil You Know (Audio CD)
First, to all the knuckleheads who gave this cd one, two or even three stars: What cd were you listening to? Everyone thinks if its not like the early stuff its just no good. Well, it just aint so. I was lucky enough to see DIO's last show in Atlantic City, NJ on 8/31/09 with H&H in support of this album. It was amazing. I honestly like every track on the disc but some are stronger than others like practically any groups cd's. My favorites are Follow the Tears (pure doom Iommi riff and Geezer's busy bass), Fear (upbeat and catchy and very powerful), Rock and Roll Angel (love the guitar solo and acoustic intro to solo--Iommi just tears it up), Bible Black, Breaking Into Heaven, Atom and Evil. Dio's vocals soar and add a lot of melody to the sabbath duo's gloomy (in a good very metal way)riffs. RIP RJD. You were and still are the greatest of all time!
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The Devil You Know
The Devil You Know by Heaven & Hell (Audio CD - 2009)
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