Engineer Talks About BLACK SABBATH 'The Dio Years' Recording Sessions

Mike Exeter, who recorded and mixed the new tracks on BLACK SABBATH's upcoming "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years" compilation, has commented on the sessions that produced the songs "The Devil Cried", "Shadow of the Wind" and "Ear In The Wall". In a posting in the "Forums" section of the web site, Exeter writes, "Just wanted to dispel a couple of things before too much conjecture happens. I recorded and mixed the new stuff with Tony and the guys.

"This song ['The Devil Cried'] was conceived during last summer during writing sessions where Tony [Iommi] came up with riffs and I would build backing tracks around his guitar. We worked song arrangements into many 'demos' and a couple of these ideas triggered interest from Ronnie [James Dio]. He came over for the TENACIOUS D movie premiere and along with continuing work on 'Shadow of the Wind' (which had been pretty much written back in March) he suggested working on 'Song 3'. During the few days he was around Ronnie, Tony and I worked the song into its current form and Ronnie went away with a 'completed' demo to write his lyrics. We also started on the 'Fast Song' and had that pretty much nailed in the same writing session. These are definitely not left over tracks from other projects.

"Ronnie's voice is in excellent form and he is a joy to work with.

"Geezer was definitely very happy with the final outcome — he played some great stuff. The mixes are very dense, but the guys all love them and there was a lot of involvement from everyone to ensure that they were all happy.

"It's a very difficult thing to create a piece of work and put it out to be judged by some very passionate and loyal fans, but that's what happens every time new music is created. Everyone is going to have a different perspective on it, but the important thing is that the people who created it went through mental torture at times to do their best to make it sound as they wanted and finally it has to be sent out to be heard!

"It's fantastic to hear everyones' feelings over the last couple of days, I regard positive and negative as a way of improving what I do. I'm looking forward to seeing the band work live again cos if what they sounded like together in the studio is anything to go by — they're gonne be brilliant."

The new BLACK SABBATH track "The Devil Cried" is available for streaming via the Rhino Records web site. Check it out in the following formats:

Windows Media (100k)
Windows Media (56k)
Real Player

"The Devil Cried" will be released in digital form to the public via all digital retailers on Tuesday, March 13. The song is the first single off the group's forthcoming "best-of" collection, "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years". The first comprehensive introduction to the band's legacy features a dozen classic studio recordings, plus one live track — "Children Of The Sea" from 1982's "Live Evil". The collection also contains the three brand-new tracks — the aforementioned "The Devil Cried", plus "Shadow Of The Wind", and "Ear In The Wall". The disc will be available April 3 at all physical retail outlets and at for a suggested list price of $18.98. The album will also be available at all digital retail outlets for a suggested retail price of $11.99.


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