Press Release: Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009) artwork, tracklisting, release dates announced

From Rhino Records:

heaven-hell-the-devil-you-know-2009

After finishing several heralded world tours as HEAVEN & HELL last summer, BLACK SABBATH legends Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice were tighter than ever before, both musically and personally. Agreeing that it would be a shame to stop making music together at tour’s end, the quartet began writing, first in England at Iommi’s home studio and later in Los Angeles at Dio’s studio. “The band had gotten too good to just walk away,” Dio says. “We wanted to show people that we were still capable of giving them new music that measured up to what we’d done in the past.”

With that goal in mind, the band once again converged on Rockfield Studios in Wales last winter, the same place they used 17 years earlier to record their last album, Dehumanizer. The result is the long awaited new album The Devil You Know, featuring ten soon-to-be-classic tracks from the Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath. The highly anticipated set arrives on April 28 from Rhino for a suggested list price of $18.98 US (physical) and $9.99 US
(digital).

It took less than three weeks to finish the album, with most of the songs only needing a couple of takes. “It was good to play them live in the studio. It keeps you on edge,” Iommi says. “I mean, somewhere along the line we were gonna have to play them live; might as well start in the studio.” Butler adds: “We’ve learned from the past that you can kill a song doing it over and over. The first Sabbath albums were done in two or three days. Technically they weren’t great, but vibe-wise they were great. If you capture that feeling, that’s all you need.”

‘Bible Black’, the epic first single, begins with Iommi on acoustic guitar behind Dio’s plaintive wail before the rhythm shifts to a menacing stomp for the rest of this dark tale about a book of sinister scriptures. One of the first songs written for the album, Dio says it established a tone for the rest of the album. “When you start off with a blockbuster like that, it makes the rest of the album so much easier because it gives you a benchmark to measure the other songs against.”

Iommi proves he hasn’t lost the ability to inspire six-string envy, unleashing riffs like a pack of rabid hellhounds on ‘Atom And Evil’, ‘Fear’, ‘Neverwhere’, and ‘Eating The Cannibals’, a tune about doing more than biting the hand that feeds. Butler and Appice slow the pace while ramping up the intensity on ‘Follow The Tears’ and ‘Double The Pain’ and ‘Breaking Into Heaven’, the latter diverging from its glacial procession for Dio’s majestic chorus about fallen angels planning an attack on paradise.

The Devil You Know tracklisting: ‘Atom & Evil’, ‘Fear’, ‘Bible Black’, ‘Double The Pain’, ‘Rock & Roll Angel’, ‘The Turn Of The Screw’, ‘Eating The Cannibals’, ‘Follow The Tears’, ‘Neverwhere’, ‘Breaking into Heaven’.

Metal Mixtape – 1/25/09

Tale Of The Tape:
Dell DJ 30 (1st Gen)
4482 songs (387 albums)

I’ve got the MP3 player shuffling as I’m creating a new master list for my CD collection so here’s the first 20 songs that have come up (band-song-year)…..

  1. Tygers Of Pan Tang – ‘Bad Times’ (1980)
  2. KISS – ‘Hard Luck Woman’ (1976)
  3. Icarus Witch – ‘Mirror Mirror’ (2007)
  4. Iron Maiden – ‘Man On The Edge’ (1995)
  5. Def Leppard – ‘Bad Actress’ (2008)
  6. Black Sabbath – ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)
  7. Scorpions – ‘Obsession’ (1999)
  8. Daylight Dies – ‘A Portait In White’ (2008)
  9. Iron Maiden – ‘Remember Tomorrow’ (1980)
  10. Dio – ‘Straight Through The Heart’ (1983)
  11. Quiet Riot – ‘Overworked And Underpaid’ (1999)
  12. Primal Fear – ‘Fighting The Darkness’ (2007)
  13. Q5 – “Our Love Has Come And Gone’ (1984)
  14. Vinnie Vincent Invasion – ‘Burn’ (1988)
  15. KISS – ‘The Oath’ (1981)
  16. Westworld – ‘Bring The Water To Me’ (1999)
  17. Running Wild – “The Poison’ (1998)
  18. Girlschool – ‘Metropolis’ (2008)
  19. Rainbow – ‘Street Of Dreams’ (1983)
  20. Black Sabbath – ‘Die Young’ (1980)

Bonus Track: Saxon – ‘Forever Free’ (1993)

Metal Masters Tour (Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, Testament) at Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT) – 8/15/08

So I made it to the show Friday night, here’s how the night went…..

The Plan:
A few months ago, I received a copy of Testament’s new record, THE FORMATION OF DAMNATION, for review. I listened to the album, wrote the review, and passed the link along to my contact in the band’s promotional camp. I also happened to mention that I was planning on catching the show and that I would send a concert review as well. I received an email back from the promo people that I was invited to see the show as Testament’s guests. Very cool! Now this is back in May so fast forward to the beginning of last week and I email my contact in the Testament organization to confirm that I am all set: two tickets, Testament’s guest list, show my ID, enjoy the show!

The Journey:
I was flying solo to the show but I decided to invite my brother to come along. My brother is five years younger than I am, and he is not a Metalhead, but he knows all the stuff from my brainwashing him as a young child. The plan is for him to take the bus from Port Authority in New York City to the casino and we’ll hook up. Plans changed mid-week and he decided to take the bus all the way to Providence so we could hang a little more on the hour drive to the casino. No problem…..

My brother’s bus was to arrive at 5:15 giving us almost two hours to drive, get the tix, sit in our seats and relax. I get a call from him around 5, the bus is stuck in traffic and it will be a 30 minute delay. No problem. I get another call at 5:30, the bus hasn’t moved, it’s going to be 6. No problem. The third call comes 15 minutes later…..go without me. Now I can’t do that to my own brother (although I did consider it!) so I waited. Around 7pm, my brother’s bus arrives. In the meantime, Testament has just taken the stage! We are an hour away so now I’m just trying to make it in time for Heaven & Hell.

The Tickets:
I made the drive in an hour easily, cars do great things when you put the pedal to the metal! So we park in the garage behind the arena and I can hear Heaven & Hell on stage! So we run through the casino to the call window. I give my name and ID to the girl at the window and she tells me that I AM NOT ON THE TESTAMENT LIST! I give her the name of my contact and she was nice enough to check all of the guest lists, the tickets that hadn’t been picked up, and she even tried to get me a pair of tickets anyway because the show was half over. Unfortunately her boss said no. So we are screwed and Plan B is to pull out the VISA card and drop close to $200 for a pair (tix were $85 & $65). As we were debating the next move to Dio belting out ‘Die Young’, an intoxicated gambler comes over with a pair of tickets to sell. He had gotten comps for gambling so much but his wife didn’t want to go, the offer was $50 for the pair. SOLD!

Heaven & Hell:
We got into the arena just as Ronnie was introducing ‘Heaven & Hell’. We had great seats on the Iommi/Tipton side (stage left for the band, right if you’re facing it) and we were halfway down in the “high-rollers” section. We caught the last two songs of the Heaven & Hell set and they were really good: ‘Heaven & Hell’ & ‘Neon Knights’. Lucky for me I had seen the tour twice last year so I knew what to expect. I’ll say this though, from the two songs I heard, it sounds like Ronnie James Dio has strengthened his voice. The last few years he has sounded like he was straining, especially on the highs. When the band left the stage it was off to the t-shirt stand for a tour shirt. $40 got me my Heaven & Hell shirt with the U.S. dates on the back and the album cover on the front. I flirted with the idea of double dipping and also getting a NOSTRADAMUS tour shirt but another $40 was too much.

Judas Priest:
“Friday night and the Priest is back!” I saw Judas Priest twice on the ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION tour, once here at the Mohegan Sun Arena, so I expected a great show. I had seen the setlist online from the previous tour stops so I knew what was coming:

Dawn Of Creation (intro)
Prophecy
Metal Gods
Eat Me Alive
Between The Hammer And The Anvil
Devil’s Child
Breaking The Law
Hell Patrol
Dissident Aggressor
Angel
The Hellion / Electric Eye
Rock Hard, Ride Free
Painkiller

ENCORE:
Hell Bent For Leather (w/motorcycle)
The Green Manalishi
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

This was a solid setlist geared towards dieheards like myself. I have to give Priest credit, they could have easily come out and played their most popular songs but they kept it fresh for themselves and threw in some album tracks. ‘Dawn Of Creation’ was a tape straight off the NOSTRADAMUS album but ‘Prophecy’ came off really well live. I was honestly expecting a couple more tunes from the new record but a shorter time slot stopped that even though they were the headliner. What I don’t like is Rob Halford’s staring at the ground during new songs and songs he hasn’t done for a while. My guess is he’s using notes or a teleprompter (like Ozzy!) but it was extremely annoying to have him looking at his boots and clutching the mic with both hands for half the set! He did the same thing on the last tour, especially during the songs from ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION.

‘Metal Gods’ is a classic I never get sick of hearing but getting ‘Eat Me Alive’ off DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH was a treat, DEFENDERS is my favorite Priest record. My brother had forgotten that song and was in hysterics watching me scream the words while all the high rolling gamblers stood motionless and emotional-less. ‘Between The Hammer And The Anvil’ was another welcome addition to the set from the PAINKILLER album and the band was in fine form. ‘Devil’s Child’ was up next and that’s another favorite for me (off SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE). I tried to match wits with Halford on the high notes but he won easily as my voice cracked and I barely sputtered out the last few lines. I could do without ‘Breaking The Law’ but I understand the band has to play some of their big songs to keep the casual fans happy. Halford needs a new intro for that song because the one he has is easily 25 years old! It was good though, very well done.

By this time I’ve already forgotten the setlists I saw online so when another deep track from PAINKILLER, ‘Hell Patrol’, was announced by Halford, I went ballistic! Most shows I see have the bands play 2 to 4 new songs and a classic set but here we are mid-set of Judas Priest and they are laying waste with songs that haven’t played live in many a year! ‘Hell Patrol’ was blistering even if Rob was looking at his boots/notes/teleprompter the whole time. He came alive again for the ultra-heavy ’70s classic ‘Dissident Aggressor’ (from SIN AFTER SIN) but went back to his position in the middle of Glenn & KK for ‘Angel’. Not sure why ‘Angel’ made the set, especially with a new record out, but I guess they still enjoy playing songs from ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION. It was good. I liked that album a lot so I didn’t mind at all but the crowd overall hit a quiet spot. Up to that point the crowd was rabid, especially the many diehards, so I guess they needed a little break.

The crowd rose again when ‘The Hellion’ came from the P.A. and Priest tore into ‘Electric Eye’. The band opened with this duo on the last tour so it’s always a highlight of the show and one of their more popular songs. DEFENDERS track #2 came with ‘Rock Hard, Ride Free’ and I completely lost my voice! That’s an album track, I’d expect to hear ‘Freewheel Burning’ when they do a DEFENDERS song but I was psyched for ‘Rock Hard’. There was some audience participation initiated from Rob so that took away from the overall performance but that is how 99% of the bands keep the crowds into the show: “Let’s get the crowd singing along.” It’s good that they kept the fans involved because Priest then hit everyone over the head with a killer version of ‘Painkiller’ which destroyed what little voice I had left.

The encore started with Halford riding his Harley on stage in full regalia for ‘Hell Bent For Leather’ and the surprise of ‘The Green Manalishi’. Normally, the second song of the encore is reserved for the hit ‘Living After Midnight’ but they thankfully cut it from the set for the Fleetwood Mac cover from 1978’s HELL BENT FOR LEATHER. The band could have easily just stopped right there because they had put in a masterful performance but they had to play their anthem from SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE: ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. There’s nothing I can say bad about this song, it’s like KISS playing ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’ or Iron Maiden playing ‘Run To The Hills’, people expect it and want it. The band didn’t disappoint and there was some audience participation sing-a-long again.

Bottom Line:
With all the bad luck that started at 5pm, everything turned out for the better. We got in and saw Judas Priest play a superb concert geared for diehards. I don’t think you could ask for more variety wise although if they had played ‘Grinder’, ‘Riding On The Wind’, or ‘Sinner’ in place of ‘Breaking The Law’ I would have been much happier. No complaints though. The band was tight: Ian Hill & Scott Travis are a killer rhythm section, Glenn & KK are one of the best guitar tandems in Metal history, and Rob Halford took a page from the Dio playbook and sounded stronger than he did the last tour. Now if he could just look into the crowd instead of at the floor on the less popular songs! All in all, a good show…..too bad we missed Testament and most of Sabbath.

(And just to keep things clear, I don’t like the name Heaven & Hell. It will always be Black Sabbath to me! I don’t know what spell Ozzy has over Tony Iommi (who owns the name Black Sabbath) but I don’t think it’s fair to the music to call it something different than what it is.)

Reissue Report: Best Buy exclusive live CD included with the upcoming Black Sabbath – The Rules Of Hell box set

From Joe Siegler at Black-Sabbath.com:

I just found out today that there was a version of the forthcoming “Rules of Hell” box set being sold at Best Buy which is an “exclusive”. I was not aware of this happening, so I hit up my contact at Rhino for information. I was told there is indeed going to be a version of “Rules of Hell” specifically available at Best Buy.

The majority of the box will be exactly the same as you can get everywhere else. There will however, be an extra CD packed on the outside that will contain five live tracks from 1981. The live tracks are:

  • Neon Knights
  • The Mob Rules
  • Children of the Grave
  • Voodoo
  • Country Girl

The source of these live tracks was the “Live at Hammersmith” release from May of 2007. The first four of these tracks already were released on the UK Tour Edition of “The Dio Years” last year. Country Girl was not on the Tour Edition release.

If you want to check out this release, you can do so via this link over at the Best Buy website.

From my personal experience at Best Buy, given the quantities Best Buy tends to stock of things like this, if you’re interested, you may wish to pre-order. Best Buy will have the regular version fine, but this one with the extra disc might be harder to come buy. I mean, this isn’t the kind of stuff that fills the “best sellers” section at Best Buy. That section is usually filled with crap, so special editions of Black Sabbath might not be in huge quantities at Best Buy, know what I mean?

————————————

More info on The Rules Of Hell box set can found in previous posts be here……and here.

— Steve

WANTED: Black Sabbath – Live At Hammersmith Odeon (2007)

WANTED

Back in 2006, Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice all reunited to bring the HEAVEN & HELL lineup of Black Sabbath back to the Metal masses. As part of the reunion, they guys changed the name to Heaven & Hell (to avoid confusion and hassle with the Ozzy led Sabbath) and released THE DIO YEARS, a compilation of their best recorded material and three new songs.

To help promote the band, the new album, and the world tour, Rhino Records released LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH ODEON through their Handmade imprint. This release was a limited edition of 5000 numbered copies, priced at $19.99, and the setlist was taken from a set of shows during New Year’s weekend 1981/1982 on the Mob Rules Tour. There was a pre-order for this album and it sold out before the release date in May 2007.

Tracklisting:

  1. E5150
  2. Neon Knights
  3. N.I.B.
  4. Children Of The Sea
  5. Country Girl
  6. Black Sabbath
  7. War Pigs
  8. Slipping Away
  9. Iron Man
  10. The Mob Rules
  11. Heaven And Hell
  12. Paranoid
  13. Voodoo
  14. Children Of The Grave

So why do I want it? I’d like to complete my Black Sabbath collection and the Dio era of Sabbath is my favorite.

Why didn’t I pre-order it? I’m an idiot! Seriously, I thought that there would be copies available without pre-ordering and I was wrong. Ever since the pre-order sell-out, copies on Ebay have soared to over $200 and I haven’t seen one yet under $100.

You can get more info on this release over at Black-Sabbath.com

Black Sabbath – The Rules Of Hell (5 CD box set) announced!

From Black-Sabbath.com webmaster Joe Seigler:

When Black Box was released in 2004, one of the things not mentioned then was “what about remastering all the other Sabbath albums?” Well, today (part of) that has been announced. First off, I must state that this is NOT called Black Box II. That’s my own name. This is called “The Rules of Hell”.

I have already asked a few questions of Band management regarding this box set, when I get some answers, I’ll report back. What I’ve asked is this:

Is this a new remastering session, or is it the same sessions that produced the versions used on the Dio Years?

Anything in the way of extras, or is it just the albums like it was in Black Box?

Will there be Geezer (or Ronnie as the case may be) approved lyrics again like there were in Black Box?

Will the albums be made available on their own, or only as part of this box set?

Again, I do not know the answers to these questions – yet. When I find out, I’ll report back. This is very cool, as the Dio era albums need an upgrade. I’m hopeful about the extras, because there are more tracks sitting around than what were on the actual albums, so hopefully some of that stuff can be released, too. Here is the official text regarding this set:

Heaven & Hell will be supporting the release of ‘The Rules Of Hell’ a five-CD boxed set available on July 22nd from Rhino Records which features re-mastered versions of all four Dio-era Black Sabbath albums (‘Heaven and Hell,’ ‘Mob Rules,’ ‘Live Evil,’ and ‘Dehumanizer’) in a deluxe package with new liner notes.

A personal note: That leaves “Black Box 3: The Everything else set”. Bring that on too, guys!

————————————————————

Very cool! I’m a huge Sabbath fan and I particularly prefer the post-Ozzy/Dio led years. It was only a matter of time before this came out and I’m glad they decided to because the Dio era always gets brushed aside for the Ozzy era. With the success of Heaven & Hell and THE DIO YEARS CD, Rhino probably decided it was the right time. Add the fact that Heaven & Hell is working on a new record! Wow! This is going to be great!

One question: What’s the 5th disc if all four Dio albums are included?

— Steve

CD Scavenger Hunt – Two week update

I may have disappeared from writing but definitely not from BUYING! I’ve had to hit the stores and Ebay to pick up some mandatory new releases and I won a CD that I needed to add to my collection. This is two weeks worth of hitting the stores, it’s a small list but definitely big on quality!

Brainstorm - Downburst (2008)Brainstorm – Downburst (2008) – $10: Good thing comes to those who wait! I tried to pick this up the day of release two weeks ago but the local shop only stocked one copy. I didn’t understand this because it’s a Metal Blade release and they are usually well-stocked. I still got the sale price because there were two price tags and I asked for the lower one. Saved $5!

Ayreon - 01011001 (2008)Ayreon – 01011001 (2008) – $18: When Arjen Anthony Lucassen puts together an Ayreon project, it’s usually one of the best releases of the year. I got into Ayreon late but I’ve started to go back and collect all the back catalogue, it’s hard to find all the limited editions with the bonuses. This album had 3 versions: the regular 2 CD version, the limited edition 2 CD & DVD in a small box, and the deluxe edition with the 2 CDs, DVD, and expanded booklet in a special case. I opted for the limited edition at $18 so I could have the special DVD. I would have paid for the deluxe edition but the extra $12 was all for packaging. I know this will compete for Album of the Year on many lists.

Avantasia - The Scarecrow (2008)Avantasia – The Scarecrow (2008) – $10: Edguy’s Tobias Sammet really has a great side project in Avantasia. Another concept project chock full of guests, kind of like Ayreon, I’ve been lookin forward to this release for a while. What I find interesting is that there were over ten copies of this stocked at the local shop. Either Avantasia is a huge seller in Rhode Island or the person doing the ordering is a huge fan! Actually, the guy running the Metal section is a big fan and I was able to listen to most of the album while browsing.

Iron Maiden - Live After Death DVD (2008)Iron Maiden – Live After Death DVD (2008) – $14: This is an absolute must fave DVD! I have been waiting for this to be released for years, I had a copy of the VHS a friend made me but that died years ago. Disc 1 is the original concert. Disc 2 has the History of Maiden Pt.2, the documentary Behind the Iron Curtain, Rock In Rio ’85, and a 15 minute ‘Ello Texas. Maiden really knows how to put together a DVD package because this is way over five hours of classic footage. This DVD will be hard to take from the #1 spot of my Top DVDs of 2008 in December. I think I’ve watched it four times already!

Dio - Intermission (1986)Dio – Intermission (1986) – $15: Picked this up from a great seller on Ebay that I’ve dealt with many times. This is a Japanese pressing of Intermission and is in mint condition. There are more than a few copies on Ebay but they have prices in the $20+ range for the regular release, I got a deal of the Japanese import. The CD was $10 and the shipping $5, very affordable from Japan. This purchase takes Intermission off the WANTED list.

WANTED: Dio – Intermission (1986)

WANTED

 

Dio - Intermission (1986)

Dio – Intermission (1986)

I took a look at my Dio collection late last night and I noticed that Intermission is missing in action. I have no idea why I never picked this up back in the day because Dio was, and still is, one of my top bands. I think I probably bought a studio album by another band instead of this live album back in the day.

In my travels to record stores, there used to be tons of copies of Intermission on CD. Now I barely ever see it! I could easily get this on Ebay on vinyl, there are lots of good vinyl copies ranging from $4.99 to $14.99 but I want this on CD. There is one seller that has 2 copies available but the price is too high: $16.50 BUY IT NOW with $3.75 shipping. That’s just over $20 for a disc by a very popular band, I’d rather pay at least half.

—————————————————————

Update – 2/10/08

Just picked this up off Ebay, read about the purchase here. Take another one off the list.

Press Release: Heaven & Hell to release new album in 2008!

Huge news from Black-Sabbath.com!

Holy shit! New Heaven & Hell album in 2008!

This is a complete 100% about face from everything I’ve been told. Since this project was started, I’ve been told not to expect anything past the tour, which ends in November. It was all about Dio going to do a new Magica album, etc, etc, etc… Well, spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska – it looks like we’re getting a new Black Sabbath Heaven & Hell album in 2008, from Dio / Iommi / Butler / Appice. Normally I wouldn’t update sites on my anniversary, but this news was too hot to hold back. :)

I was just sent this press release and was told to post it – it will go out in England on Monday.

For Immediate Release -

There’s been much speculation of a forthcoming Black Sabbath reunion with the original line-up with Ozzy Osbourne at the helm, but founding member Geezer Butler has adamantly denied such rumors.

“Heaven and Hell are currently in discussions with various record labels about recording a brand new studio album in 2008,” says Butler.

Black Sabbath’s recent incarnation as Heaven & Hell- fronted by Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals, sees the seminal heavy metal band undertaking a major UK arena tour this November. The band’s moniker is taken after Black Sabbath’s critically acclaimed 1980 studio album “Heaven and Hell” featuring the title track and the breakout hit “Neon Nights”. Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath in 1980 and the band went on to release four albums including 1980’s “Heaven & Hell”, 1981’s “Mob Rules”, and the 1982 live album “Live Evil”, as well as the highly under rated “Dehumanizer” in June 1992.

Legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow) shares the spotlight on lead vocals, original Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, plus drummer Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath) as they embark on a major 11-date UK arena tour starting at Newcastle Metro Arena on Sunday 4th November.

The “Heaven and Hell” UK tour continues at the Glasgow SECC (Nov 6), Sheffield Arena (Nov 7), Manchester MEN Arena (Nov 9), London Wembley Arena (Nov 10), Brighton Centre (Nov 11), Birmingham NEC (Nov 13), Cardiff Arena (Nov 14), Nottingham Arena (Nov 15), Plymouth Pavilions (Nov 17), Bournemouth BIC (Nov 18).

Click here for the UK press release.