He reached for a book all bound in leather
Something that he knows he’s never read
And the first page says beware you’ve found the answer
The next one says I wish that you were dead!
Forbidden lore, Dark Arts, evil spells, maniacal obsession, Satanic interludes, trapped in Hell… yup this must be a jolly little number with the late great Ronnie James Dio at the helm.
We continue this year’s trip through Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs with today’s entry, Bible Black, the lead-off single from Heaven & Hell’s excellent 2009 album The Devil You Know. Heaven & Hell was basically Black Sabbath v2.0 in redress; vocalist Dio joined Black Sabbath in 1980 and released the classic album “Heaven And Hell” that very same year. They were joined by drummer Vinny Appice for 1982’s equally impressive followup “Mob Rules”. They reunited in 1992 for the “Dehumanizer” LP, and by 2007 they had reunited again under the band name Heaven & Hell to distinguish themselves from Black Sabbath. They continued to tour and record until Dio’s untimely death from stomach cancer in May 2010.
But why this song? Well, I mean, just listen to it. This is gloom-n-doom classic metal at its very best: deep, thundering riffs and impeccable vocals from Dio deliver all the sturm, drang, and power you expect from these guys, but it’s in the storytelling where it really excels. It’s simple but effective: the protagonist sits by the fire, winding down his day, when he finds a leather-bound book that he never noticed before on his shelf. Naturally it’s PURE EVIL FROM HELL, of course — the Bible Black itself, a Satanic tome filled with black magic and dark spells and what not. He reads from it immediately and ends up experiencing strange visions, finding himself suddenly lying alone and naked in the rain, but he wants more. The book is intoxicating; it feeds his addictions to the point of absolute mania. He needs to return to The Bible Black.
Of course there’s really only one way for this tale to end, right? No surprises there. Just surrender yourself for a most infernal ride…