Heaven and Hell
The Devil You Know
4 out of 5 stars
Rock lore often suggests —falsely I might add — that Jimmy Page made a deal with the devil to cement Led Zeppelin’s legacy. If anyone made a deal like that my money would be on Ronnie James Dio.
The new album by Heaven and Hell, who is basically Dio era Black Sabbath minus original drummer Bill Ward, is inexplicably kick ass. In fact, it is easily as good as anything else the band has recorded with Dio at the helm. From the opening riffs of “Atom and Evil” to the ending epic “Breaking into Heaven,” these legendary fathers of “doom rock” weave a dark tapestry of riffs and lyrics that instantly grabs you.
A good portion of the songs loosely pontificate on themes of religion. In addition, other tracks like “Fear,” a song about the emotion itself, and “The Turn of the Screw” stand as some of the best lyrics Dio has written over his illustrious career. In the end, this album is much better than anyone could have expected and proves that metal can still be engaging.
— DJ Hippie