The Devil You Know

  • Record Label: Rhino
  • Release Date: Apr 28, 2009
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. While the Osbourne-fronted and Dio-fronted versions of Black Sabbath are, again, very different bands, this is an album that matches its moment every bit as perfectly as "Paranoid" did back in 1970.
  2. Sure enough, we know these devils: they're the ones who make so many latter-day metal bands look like hopeless poseurs.
  3. Shockingly good but reassuringly gimmick-free, The Devil You Know is not only the best Dio or Sabbath release in over a decade but a front-runner for heavy metal album of the year.
  4. With Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass and Vinny Appice on drums, the lyrically macabre and demonically alluring music sounds more like a band backing Ronnie James Dio than it does an act trying to distinguish itself as an entity apart from Sabbath's and Dio's solo endeavors. Yet The Devil You Know has a great sound in its own right.
  5. Proving itself to be more than a reunion cash-in, Heaven & Hell--the re-brand for Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio on vocals--has a batch of new material that is every bit as menacingly delightful as 2007's concert tour that revived the lineup after 15 years.
  6. Mojo
    80
    Whatever they're called, Sabbath still rule. [Jun 2009, p.99]
  7. Heaven and Hell excel at ye olde power-dungeon plod. Too bad Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler's most churning riffs tend to last mere seconds, before getting buried under attention-deficit arrangements and Dio's theatrical mythopoeia--which gets tiring when so many songs exceed six minutes.
  8. Q Magazine
    60
    Its supulchral riffs, histrionic vocals and ludicrous lyrics are all comfortingly familiar. Something unexpected wouldn't have gone amiss, mind. [Jul 2009, p.117]
  9. They do their best to distance themselves from Actual Sabbath, but too often it’s by slouching through their Satanic netherworld, Dio’s cabaret bludgeoned down by lurching riffs and over-egged orchestration.
  10. There is a small group of Black Sabbath fans who believe the band produced its best work after singer Ronnie James Dio replaced Lord of Darkness/future variety-show host Ozzy Osbourne in the late '70s. Alas, their case will not be aided by their new album.
  11. While Tony Iommi churns out stock riffs, Devil You Know’s success largely depends on whether you can take Dio seriously--not as a vocalist (he’s one of the best in the metal game), but as a diminutive old man bellowing innocuous dungeons-and-dragons lyrics, and so unconvincingly that you have to wonder if he actually believes a single word. This record doesn’t make a strong case.
  12. The legendary foursome sounds as if they’re merely going through the motions.
  13. Uncut
    40
    Now 29 years on, The Devil You Know can't quite muster that kind of muscle [heard in Black Sabbath's "Heaven And Hell"]. [Jul 2009, p.88]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. NovemberH
    Aug 4, 2009
    10
    Ugh. People need to realize that bands constantly evolve. Just because it doesn't sound like the Black Sabbath you know doesn't Ugh. People need to realize that bands constantly evolve. Just because it doesn't sound like the Black Sabbath you know doesn't mean it isn't good. The Devil You Know is excellent. Ronnie James Dio's heaven (and hell)-sent vocals blend together with heavy, face-melting riffs for a new generation, proving to the masses that METAL ISN'T DEAD! Full Review »
  2. Leon
    Oct 4, 2009
    10
    Masterpiece!
  3. EvilJohnM
    Jul 14, 2009
    7
    I have always been a fan of this line up, accept for vinnie - man, this guy is to boring. The other guys are there as always. But this album I have always been a fan of this line up, accept for vinnie - man, this guy is to boring. The other guys are there as always. But this album would have been much better if i was not bored of the no fils drumming. Even though i really like this album and have flogged it through my stereo until my wife screamed - NO MORE! i still cannot stand the bloody drummer. This guy should listen to Shaun Rienheart a little bit, just a little bit. Full Review »