Dio, Master Of The Moon, 2004
With this 10th studio album, and what later would turn out to be his final, exemplary hard rock singer Ronnie James Dio returned to the front. Of course the man needs no further introduction, he is a legend!
So all we care about is how this album holds up against the classic Dio albums. Well, no mystery here, this is a great album that harkens back to the beginning days of the band. To these ears Dio has never released a bad album anyway. Maybe a few who were a little left of centre due to experiments in sound and style, but the man had such a recognisable voice, I doubt he could have ruined a track even if he wanted to.
Again with old mate Craig Goldy on guitars, this album has a very varied feel to it. More keyboards (for instance organ in The Man Who Would Be King), great riffing with a haunting chorus in title track Master Of The Moon, hard driving rock in One More For The Road, a slow brooding track like The Eyes (with extend solo parts), this album sees a band in fine form.
Makes you realize once more what a talent has gone lost. A good thing we can hold on to all his output on CD and remember the big voice in that little body. Respect!
Personal play tips: just play it already.