This chapter in the Black Sabbath - or now Heaven And Hell - story is something most of the people - both the fans and the band members - probably didn't believe would ever happen. But it did indeed happen. Black Sabbath reformed under a new name, Heaven And Hell.
The whole thing started already in 2006 when Ronnie revealed on the US radio show Rockline on August 16th, 2006 that he's working with Tony Iommi again in order to have a couple of new songs on the forthcoming "The Dio Years" compilation release. At this stage the project was still considered as a studio run, nothing more.
However, as soon as the news mill started to publicize this new Black Sabbath compilation album (which was thought to be a box set at this stage), the band started to get offers to do a tour together. They warmed up to the idea as the recordings for the new songs were going great and everyone enjoyed working together again. In October the tour was confirmed for 2007. The band also announced that they will not call themselves Black Sabbath but will use the title of their first album, "Heaven And Hell" instead. Various reasons for this name decision were given, rumored or speculated, but apparently the real reason was that the band wanted to make a clear difference to the Ozzy Osbourne fronted Black Sabbath so that no-one coming to the gigs would assume to see that lineup or expect to hear Ozzy era Black Sabbath songs.
The line-up was originally going to have Bill Ward on drums. However, in late November Bill Ward confirmed the rumors on the Internet that he will not be the drummer for this project. Instead, the former Black Sabbath and Dio drummer Vinny Appice took the drummer's stool once again. Bill had already been working a bit with the band but he hadn't felt comfortable in the band and suggested Vinny as his replacement to the other guys.
|Ronnie James Dio||vocals|
|Mike Exeter||keyboards (only for The Devil You Know album)|
The next real piece of news about the line-up for the band came in January 2007 on the Eddie Trunk's radio show when Ronnie and Geezer told that the keyboardist for the forthcoming tour will be Dio's Scott Warren. Now the line-up for the touring band was complete - the three songs recorded for the April's "The Dio Years" release did not have any keyboards on them.
There is a separate article of the "Heaven And Hell" time line from the beginning until March 2007, available through this link. It has more detailed walkthrough what happened with this reunion.
As the tour started, it became immediately apparent that this line-up was much waited for. The shows sold well right from the beginning and Rhino Entertainment - the record company for the band - was putting out multiple interesting releases to support the tour and vice versa. The tour covered North and Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia, two shows shy of full hundred shows from March 11th to November 18th. Not a single show was cancelled or cut short for any reason.
Until October 2007 this project was considered to be one-off tour after which everyone would split to their own ways to do their own things again. However, as a surprise to the fans, the band announced in an interview that they are considering doing a full album together again and are now searching for a record company to release that.
The record company was settled to be Rhino for the North American market and Roadrunner Records elsewhere. The product for them was called The Devil You Know alongside a couple of singles. Bible Black was released slightly before the album release as a single - including a 7" vinyl single in the USA to celebrate the Record Store Day in 2009.
Instead of Scott Warren, The Devil You Know album had Heaven And Hell's studio engineer Mike Exeter on keyboards. The reason for this remains unknown. Scott Warren still remained as the keyboardist on the subsequent tour. For simplicity, this biography and discographies are not split into different parts just because of this.
The band toured Europe and North America until the end of August, 2009, as Tony Iommi needed an operation to his hand. The future for the band was kept open, however, and at the time of writing this the band is planning another tour in early 2010.
This page is maintained by Tapio Keihänen,
The page has been updated on 12.11.2009
Biography URL: http://www.dio.net/biography/, the front page http://www.dio.net/.