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"The Devil You Know" 5 Years Later

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  • "The Devil You Know" 5 Years Later

    Now that it's April in 2014 we're approaching 5 years since the release of Heaven and Hell's "The Devil You Know".

    Share your thoughts on this album today as well as how you felt when you first heard it and if it still gets regular play in your usual rotation.


    When this band (re)formed I was excited and I thought the album delivered the good that I expected. It was somewhat bittersweet though, because I thought at the time this meant that we will never see another full-length Black Sabbath with Ozzy ever again given the legal battles and Dio being back in the fold. Obviously I and anyone one else to felt that way would be proven wrong and I have no problem with being proven wrong in that case.

    Today I've been playing it more especially with all the talk of the Dio tribute album that recently was released. Seems this album has held up pretty well long after my initial excitement. I'm not able to put it on the same pedestal I hold Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules on but it's in the same ball-park. Almost as if someone could tell me this album came out a couple years after Dehumanizer and I would never had known... Other than it not saying "Black Sabbath" on the front.

    So, a very fine album and I'm enjoying playing it again. Your thoughts, Sabbath fans.

  • #2
    I love this album. Ill say its not perfect. But I still love it. Bible Black (to me) is just as much a landmark song as Neon Nights, Die Young, H&H, Mob Rules, or I. I think overall the riffs on the album are great, and pair perfectly with Ronnies talents. Geezer adds so much charecter to everything he plays on. I'm only disappointed in learning some of TDYk had drum machine on some tracks. I can't begin understanding the reasoning unless they went over budget.

    I do remember initially being just a little let down about the number of slower or mid tempo tracks vs faster songs (although Dehumanizer isn't much different on that level): I loved when the band hit hard & fuptempo like Edge of the World, Die Young, Tvv Ccrimess etc. I'm fine with it now though.

    Its only in the last 7 months that I haven't listened to it regularly. But prior to that it was something I played at least once a month for 4 years. Its a testament to how potent and vital these guys still were 30 years after they first joined forces. I'll always listen to it fondly!
    The best blueberry muffins I ever had landed 6 people in prison, three for life.

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    • #3
      I love "The Devil You Know" and play it regularly, this album is special to me.
      "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
      "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
      ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

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      • #4
        I have to agree that there are too many songs with the plod factor, but stuff like Follow The Tears and Bible Black is up there with any of the previous Dio era Sabbath stuff.

        It's not a bad album by any means, and they didn't rest on their laurels with the material.
        I just find it pretty heavy going in comparison to the other 3 albums they did.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
          I love "The Devil You Know" and play it regularly, this album is special to me.
          You took the words right out of my mouth. I feel the exact same way.

          This was the first Black Sabbath album in almost 15 years and it surely delivered the goods. It's heavy, it's melodic, it's doomy...it's Black Sabbath through and through. And 5 years later nothing's changed...it's still just as good and fresh as it was the day it came out.

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          • #6
            Charger, we haven't disagreed in a while so we're due... You said it best when you stated we waited almost 15 yrs for this reunion, but the album didn't deliver "up to the standards" set by H&H and Mob Rules, and maybe to a lesser extent Dehumanizer... I would probably put TDYK ahead of Dehuman in my own personal list... I think half of TDYK is very good.. but the album suffers from what I think was RJD's most glaring weakness, "trying to be too heavy" all the time... the album lacks different shades of light, and seems to bury the listener under a continuous avalanche of doomy riffs that too often than not never get out from under their own weight... it's a good album, but not a great one and not the one we should have got after waiting so long... IMO.
            Last edited by Wicked Cricket; 04-02-2014, 07:23 AM.
            "Music is so sacred to me that I canít hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
            R. Blackmore

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            • #7
              Well, every single one of us has a least favorite Sabbath album, and TDYK is mine.
              Casting his shadow, weaving his spell, funny clothes, tinkling bell.

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              • #8
                Much like 13, TDYK was an album that grabbed me instantly but also had many hidden gems that took time to sink in.

                I agree that it might be a bit plodding and dark, but one thing that actually highlights this "problem" is the running order. Both of the fast tracks are at the tail-end of the album, and the first faster cut "Double The Pain" comes in fouth preceeded by three slow, doomy churning songs (though Bible Black doesn't seem that slow because of the rolling, groovy verse riff). And since when has it been a bad thing that a Sabbath album is heavy and doomy? MY GOD!! OH THE HORROR!

                All in all, it's an amazing album that sort of fuses the melodic nature of H&H and Mob Rules with the heaviness and aggressiveness of Dehumanizer. Bible Black, Rock & Roll Angel (that solo!) Follow The Tears (heaviest song Sabbath has ever done alonside Into The Void), Atom & Evil and Fear are all songs that could stand right next to their classic songs anytime. And I like the fact that Iommi experimented with drop tuning and such on the album giving it a modern edge that isn't found on any other Sab release. And though many people discredit TDYK for being sort of the "same ol' same ol' Sabbath doom", I think there's plenty of stuff that was new to them. Take the intro/main riff in R&R Angel with the sliding octave chords, unlike anything Iommi had ever done and brings nice contrast to the heavy verses. Then there are the subtle things like the acoustic guitar in the pre-chorus of Double The Pain, Dio's haunting harmonizing in Fear and Atom & Evil etc. etc...

                All in all I think TDYK has stood the test of time well and was more than a fitting end to the other classic Sabbath lineup. I still spin it regularly and find new things that I hadn't noticed before that make me enjoy the album even more.
                Last edited by -E5150 StarWanderer-; 04-02-2014, 09:26 AM.
                "The consequence of conscience/Is that you'll be left somewhere/Swinging in the air"-Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) R.I.P. King Of Metal
                "Just take a look around you what do you see/Pain, suffering, and misery/It's not the way that the world was planned/It's a pity you don't understand" - Geezer Butler
                "If god is in heaven/How can this happen here" - Phil Lynott (1949-1986)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
                  Charger, we haven't disagreed in a while so we're due... You said it best when you stated we waited almost 15 yrs for this reunion, but the album didn't deliver "up to the standards" set by H&H and Mob Rules, and maybe to a lesser extent Dehumanizer... I would probably put TDYK ahead of Dehuman in my own personal list... I think half of TDYK is very good.. but the album suffers from what I think was RJD's most glaring weakness, "trying to be too heavy" all the time... the album lacks different shades of light, and seems to bury the listener under a continuous avalanche of doomy riffs that too often than not never get out from under their own weight... it's a good album, but not a great one and not the one we should have got after waiting so long... IMO.
                  Back on course then!

                  I don't really think the heaviness came from Ronnie per se...as musically this album isn't all that much heavier than Iommi or Fused. Surely Ronnie's bit darker than usual lyrics also make it seem heavier.

                  E5150 is right about the running order...I would have placed the songs differently myself...The album should have kicked off with Fear as that song has one monsterous riff, and Atom & Evil should have been third or fourth track after Bible Black and maybe Double The Pain.

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                  • #10
                    T
                    Originally posted by Charger View Post
                    Back on course then!

                    I don't really think the heaviness came from Ronnie per se...as musically this album isn't all that much heavier than Iommi or Fused. Surely Ronnie's bit darker than usual lyrics also make it seem heavier.

                    E5150 is right about the running order...I would have placed the songs differently myself...The album should have kicked off with Fear as that song has one monsterous riff, and Atom & Evil should have been third or fourth track after Bible Black and maybe Double The Pain.
                    I never really thought too much about the running order since I always seem to use shuffle mode with practically everything. But I think you're spot on with Fear/Atom appearing at different spots. Continuity, can sometimes make or break how an album is received.
                    The best blueberry muffins I ever had landed 6 people in prison, three for life.

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                    • #11
                      I've always loved Atom & Evil as the opener. The doomy slow stuff was what the band was all about at that point - after "The Dio Years" that's the kind of stuff I expected of them. So a slow plodder as an opener was very representative of them. I also think it really is an opener type of song, period, especially with the way the verse part of the song goes. It's hard to explain why. But that song just gives me an "Oh yeah! Here it comes!" kind of feeling.

                      If there's something I'd change with the running order, I would place a fast song as the second track. That would create an impression of a varied album early on. Perhaps the album would then appear more varied than it actually even is.

                      That said, I love this album as it is. I still pick it up now and then.
                      https://soundcloud.com/deadloss-2

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Korps View Post
                        I've always loved Atom & Evil as the opener. The doomy slow stuff was what the band was all about at that point - after "The Dio Years" that's the kind of stuff I expected of them. So a slow plodder as an opener was very representative of them. I also think it really is an opener type of song, period, especially with the way the verse part of the song goes. It's hard to explain why. But that song just gives me an "Oh yeah! Here it comes!" kind of feeling.

                        If there's something I'd change with the running order, I would place a fast song as the second track. That would create an impression of a varied album early on. Perhaps the album would then appear more varied than it actually even is.

                        That said, I love this album as it is. I still pick it up now and then.
                        My thoughts exactly. But I do think A&E would have benefited from a double tempo section alŠ End Of The Beginning.
                        "The consequence of conscience/Is that you'll be left somewhere/Swinging in the air"-Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) R.I.P. King Of Metal
                        "Just take a look around you what do you see/Pain, suffering, and misery/It's not the way that the world was planned/It's a pity you don't understand" - Geezer Butler
                        "If god is in heaven/How can this happen here" - Phil Lynott (1949-1986)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by devstorm View Post
                          I'm only disappointed in learning some of TDYk had drum machine on some tracks. I can't begin understanding the reasoning unless they went over budget.

                          No reason to be disappointed about there being a drum machine on TDYK. They only used a drum machine when they were working the demos. That being said, because the songs were in many cases not born from jams per say, it left for much more rigid arrangements (i.e. Adam + Evil vs something like Slipping Away) and less freedom in putting together drum parts. At least that's how I see it. That being said, Vinny's approach to drums on Mob Rules differs from his approach starting even back on Duhumanizer let alone TDYK. Much less adventurous. Not sure if that is intentional due to song arrangements and playing what the songs need. I tend to think some more adventurous drumming by Vinny on TDYK would have been a good thing. There's so cool fills here and there but not nearly enough. For anyone who thinks Vinny always played this way in Sabbath check out Live At Hammersmith with Dio during the Mob Rules Tour. He's drumming is much more busy on that.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by spiral_architect101 View Post
                            No reason to be disappointed about there being a drum machine on TDYK. They only used a drum machine when they were working the demos. That being said, because the songs were in many cases not born from jams per say, it left for much more rigid arrangements (i.e. Adam + Evil vs something like Slipping Away) and less freedom in putting together drum parts. At least that's how I see it. That being said, Vinny's approach to drums on Mob Rules differs from his approach starting even back on Duhumanizer let alone TDYK. Much less adventurous. Not sure if that is intentional due to song arrangements and playing what the songs need. I tend to think some more adventurous drumming by Vinny on TDYK would have been a good thing. There's so cool fills here and there but not nearly enough. For anyone who thinks Vinny always played this way in Sabbath check out Live At Hammersmith with Dio during the Mob Rules Tour. He's drumming is much more busy on that.
                            True. Remember also, at least some of the Dehumanizer tracks were worked on while Cozy was still in the band. I guess we'll never know how similar the arrangements were to the final versions. Vinny could have been sticking to similar drum parts.

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                            • #15
                              Good album, worth its price. But its the same flavor of ice cream throughout.
                              Pain and Poison Roses

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