Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009)

October 26, 2023
Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009)

The Devil You Know occupies an interesting space. It is – by far – the heaviest Sabbath album with Dio on vocals, with epic, doom-laden guitar playing (Geezer’s bass is off the charts here, fair play). Iommi’s relationship with Mike Exeter means of course he is at the helm here, and there can be no denying that the record sounds absolutely huge.

However, my issue lies with the songwriting. When it hits, it hits, and there are some stunning performances here by all involved, primarily I would say in the first half, but there are also undeniable moments where things start to blur together, to become a plodding mush of indeterminable boredom. Thankfully, as I say, these moments are punctuating by moments of sheer brilliance; a doomy riff from Iommi here, or a particulary stunning vocal croon from Dio there.

I feel that maybe a 1/3 could have been shaved from the running time here and this album would have been all the stronger for it.

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