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CD Review: Heaven & Hell

The Devil You Know (Rhino)

Throw up those devil horns! The first album in almost 20 years by Dio-era Black Sabbath (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice) doesn't show any signs of aging. The guys still mess around with musical black magic (dig that horned beast on the cover!) and songs about evil, black Bibles, rock 'n' angels and eating cannibals. And Dio still sounds like he's having a devilishly good time unleashing his banshee howls on children and virgins. But with songs that drag on for six-plus minutes and the poky riffs' sluggish crunch, The Devil You Know often comes off like a lazy Sunday afternoon for Satan. There's plenty of lines like "Here's another spell/It can take me straight to hell/And I feel I'm getting closer to my home" to incite the faithful and 14-year-old boys, but Heaven & Hell take their good ol' time getting to the apocalypse. — Michael Gallucci

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