Heaven & Hell is a heavy metal supergroup featuring current and former members of Black Sabbath. At the time of the band’s incarnation, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler were current members while singer Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice were former members. The foursome, who spent time together as Black Sabbath in the early 1980s and then again in the early 1990s, recorded and performed from 2006 through 2010. Heaven and Hell disbanded in 2010 following the death of Dio.
Heaven and Hell came about in late 2005 when Dio revealed plans to work with Iommi for a compilation album called “Black Sabbath – The Dio Years.” The duo planned to form a band with Butler and drummer Bill Ward. Ward declined the invitation to work with the group and was replaced by Appice. While the band eventually recorded three songs for the aforementioned project, Iommi decided not to use the Black Sabbath name. This decision was made despite the fact that Iommi owned the name “Black Sabbath” and the Ozzy Osbourne-fronted version was on hiatus. The name “Heaven and Hell” is barrowed from the title of Black Sabbath’s ninth studio released in 1980.
After the quartet recoded three songs for the compilation (“The Devil Cried,” “Shadow of the Wind,” and “Ear in the Wall”), they launched the very successful Heaven & Hell Tour. It looked like the group would disband after the tour ended especially since Dio and Appice were involved in other projects, but Heaven & Hell reunited in late 2008 to record an album. The work was called The Devil You Know and it hit store shelves on April 28, 2009. The band promoted the opus during their “Bible Black Tour.”
The band, which had seemed destined for a very short run, announced future plans once Dio recovered from stomach cancer. Sadly, the iconic lead singer never recovered. Dio passed away on May 16, 2010. The remaining members of Heaven & Hell played a tribute concert for their fallen comrade on July 24, 2010. All proceeds from the sale of Heaven & Hell tickets went to fight cancer. A Heaven & Hell live album was released later that year.