Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (Rhino / Warner Music Canada)

Ronnie James Dio teams up with his former Black Sabbath band mateH&H.jpgs Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler for their first record together since 1992’s Dehumanizer. While they are avoiding the Black Sabbath name for legal reasons, the band name choice is a wise warning to fans: rather than be saddled with the expectations that come along with the Sabbath name, the group can stake out new if not unfamiliar territory under the Heaven & Hell moniker. Instead of necessarily trying to go toe-to-toe to compete with today’s modern metal bands, H&H achieve a level of heaviness without having to rely on speed, outlandish vocals or extreme lyrical content. Because of this, songs like Eating The Cannibals, Double The Pain, Neverwhere and Atom and Evil end up coming across as far heavier than what most other bands are able to accomplish by resorting to more extreme measures.

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