Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Band: Heaven And Hell

I am currently finishing up the new album by Heaven & Hell, The Devil You Know, and I must say it is a really good album. For those who don't know, Heaven & Hell is basically the Ronnie James Dio-era of Black Sabbath, under a new name. They do this, because Black Sabbath is still officially headed up by The Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne (again). But after the Heaven & Hell reunion tour in 2007, the guys decided that they wanted to create some new material. The project started just to write two or three new songs for a compilation album Black Sabbath: The Dio Years, but during their tour they decided to add to these songs and release an album of completely new material. So they got together over the next year and put together some of the best music from a classic metal band that I have heard in a while, not to mention the bitchin' artwork.

The album seems to be a mash-up of the heydays of both bands; it is very dark and several songs are pretty slow, seemingly like the orginal two Black Sabbath albums, as well as moving vocal lines and lyrics that move back-and-forth from fantasy to prophetic, AKA Holy Diver from Dio's solo career. It is a very dark album, although not as such as Black Sabbath or Paranoid. The first song on the album, "Atom & Evil," is my favorite, it is the song that most closely resembles the original sound of Black Sabbath, in an-almost doom metal sense. Their first single off the album, "Bible Black," is a good song but is probably my least favorite (out of the songs that I enjoyed). Some other great songs are "Rock & Roll Angel," "Follow The Tears," and "Breaking Into Heaven." Most of these were very heavily influenced by the career of Ronnie James Dio, but are still dark and brooding.

Overall, I am surprised about what a solid album this is, there were no throw-away tracks or songs that didn't seem to fit in with the others. I listened to this album in hopes to add it to another Old Bands With New Music post, but after hearing the disc, I had to make it it's own focus.

Track Listing
  1. "Atom & Evil" – 5:15
  2. "Fear"– 4:48
  3. "Bible Black"– 6:29
  4. "Double the Pain"– 5:25
  5. "Rock & Roll Angel"– 6:25
  6. "The Turn of the Screw"– 5:02
  7. "Eating the Cannibals"– 3:37
  8. "Follow the Tears"– 6:12
  9. "Neverwhere"– 4:35
  10. "Breaking into Heaven"– 7:03

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