Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Album Review: Holy Diver by Dio

Artist : Dio
Album : Holy Diver
Release Date : May, 1983
Label : Reprise Records, Warner Brothers (1990 CD Release)

  1. "Stand Up and Shout" (Dio/Bain)
  2. "Holy Diver" (Dio)
  3. "Gypsy" (Dio/Campbell)
  4. "Caught in the Middle" (Dio/Appice/Campbell)
  5. "Don't Talk to Strangers" (Dio)
  6. "Straight Through the Heart" (Dio/Bain)
  7. "Invisible" (Dio/Appice/Campbell)
  8. "Rainbow in the Dark" (Dio/Appice/Bain/Campbell)
  9. "Shame on the Night" (Dio/Appice/Bain/Campbell)

So here it is finally! The long awaited out first review of a heavy-metal album and what better way to start off than by paying homage to "the voice" of heavy-metal itself, Ronnie James Dio! I have to say that before I found metal, the impression cast upon me about it was not very positive but it all changed with the one song I heard that was pure metal; Holy Diver. That song alone made me fall in love with metal and Dio simultaneously.

Onto the album. This album was Dio's debut album of Dio's new band, (aptly named Dio) which employed the services of Vinnie Apice on drums who had worked with Dio during his stint with Black Sab, Jimmy Bain on bass of Rainbow fame, that too while Dio was there and finally Vivian Campbell on guitar, currently with Def Leppard.

This was an awesome album that had everything you can come to expect of Dio. Dio has this thing that he always brings the best out of everyone around him and that he did with this record. The album kicks off with an adrenaline rushing riff of "Stand up and shout" which was anthemic and made you get up and want to kick someone in the nuts! There could have been no better way to kick-start an album. "Holy Diver" , the title track, has a medium paced and hypnotic riff that captures listeners immediately to hear Dio's message. I love the part where Dio is shouting "Holy Diver" incessantly towards the end, amazing and powerful stuff! "Gypsy" was more of a hard-rock tune and was nicely blended in with the rest of the tracks, has an amazing riff and melody to it as well as do all the other tracks. I really did not fancy "Caught in the Middle", I felt there was something missing there but then that's too easy to say and not offer what was missing, but the music wasn't that powerful and the lyrics weren't really matched with the upbeat music, maybe some elements of LA Glam Metal being tested out here? Whatever the thing that didn't really cut it up there.

The remainder of the album was just super-fucking awesome, one song after another, great riffs, great melody, you get to see Dio's genius in blending some terrific music and Campbell comes into his own with some superb solo riffs in "Don't Talk to Strangers", "Invisible" and "Rainbow in the Dark", I got to see the video for "Rainbow"...hilarious! "Straight Through the Heart", and "Shame on the Night" are again amazing tracks with superb build-ups, "Straight Through" has an awesome opening with Appice showing what he's got and Campbell taking over soon after and "Shame" had an ominous opening with howling dogs which set the tone for the song, love the pauses in that song! "Invisible" has this weird-ass cheesy 70's pop start off reminiscent of the early disco era but then boy does it kick off !

This was an amazing album and I felt refreshed and energised having come back to it after so long and it's really hard to say what could be the best songs btu I would have to say "Don't talk to Strangers," "Rainbow in the Dark" and of course "Holy Diver", not to say that the other tracks were bad but these were the best! With Ronnie on the keyboards, one has to wonder why metalheads did not try to use more of that instrument since it adds another dimension to the melody but then again not everyone is a genius like Dio. A must have album!

Holy Diver, Sole (soul) Survivor!!!!!!!!!

Up the Irons! \m/


Blogger E. Khan said...

Yeah, as you quite rightly pointed out, this album was a milestone in metal. Finally, Dio was front and center of the band, not having to share the spotlight with anyone else. Yet, the other musicians contributed a fair amount, and the end result sounds like an effort from a band whose members blend seamlessly and effortlessly. It's the first time Dio has led a band, yet the band sounds like they're veterans. Nothing rough or unpolished about this debut, which is a testament to the calibre of the musicians involved.

Wed May 24, 09:23:00 PM PDT  
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