Black Sabbath Vets Find Heaven Back In Hell


April 29, 2009

Gary Graff of reports that “The Devil You Know” is either the first album by Heaven and Hell or the third studio set from the third lineup of Black Sabbath. Either way, guitarist Tony Iommi says there’s much more where that came from.

“There were loads of ideas,” Iommi tells “We’ve got enough to make another album if we wanted. We probably wouldn’t use that stuff again, but we had more than enough” for “The Devil You Know.” Iommi says the remaining material are “ideas — a verse or a riff, lots of bits, really.” But he adds that with “The Devil You Know” just coming out Tuesday, Heaven and Hell isn’t close to thinking about a next album.

“We’re gonna be pretty tied up in touring for a bit,” Iommi says, “and then when it comes to what we’re gonna do afterwards, I don’t know — but I’m sure we’ll sort that out.”

Heaven and Hell — which features Sabbath founders Iommi and bassist Terry “Geezer” Butler, frontman Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinnie Appice — re-formed under the new moniker in 2006 to record some new songs for a greatest hits album, “Black Sabbath: The Dio Years.”

That led to nearly two years of touring and the decision to record again for the first time since 1992’s “Dehumanizer” — ironically in the same place as 17 years earlier, Rockfield Studios in Wales — after a pair of writing sessions at Dio’s home studio in Los Angeles.

“It was very different,” Iommi says. “We had a lot of pre-production time. When we’d done previous stuff like the “Dehumanizer” album, we went into a room and just started from scratch with no ideas, so everybody would just be jamming around until we’d come up with something. This time it was just a lot easier ’cause we already had a lot of ideas we could start off with.”

Heaven and Hell hits the road to promote “The Devil You Know” on May 5 in Bogota, Colombia, touring South America before moving on to Europe in late May. Iommi says North American dates will follow in August.

The group has also released a video for the album’s first single, “Bible Black” — which is the only part of the reunion that’s rubbed the guitarist the wrong way.

“I think it’ bloody awful, to be honest,” Iommi says. “It looks like Casper the Ghost or something. We didn’t have anything to do with it; that was sort of just presented to us, really. I’d have thought it could be done better than that, but that’s just my opinion, and I’m just one of four.”

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