Classic: Dio, Holy Diver, 1983

Dio - Holy DiverTo me it is import to never forget the magic that Ronnie James Dio has added to my life. So some 30 years after it´s original release I am proud to write some words about his first solo release. Well solo, with band member like Vinny Appice on drums, Jimmy Bain on bass and Vivian Campbell on guitars, it probably is more of a band effort. And the man´s voice is as strong here as on anything he did over the years.

This release holds many a live favourite from Dio. The disk opens with Stand Up And Shout, a ferocious rocker. Next track Holy Diver opens with a keyboard intro that brings back the good old Rainbow Days. The song itself, with it´s steady mid tempo groove is also considered a Dio classic by his fans. Gypsy and Caught In The Middle are fine album tracks. But when Don´t Talk to Stranger opens, you know you are in for a treat within seconds of its start. Clean guitars, a voice whispering and than that voice, warning us for evil… they will only bring us down! And after that the songs really kicks into gear and has you banging your head. Another highlight on the album is of course the anthem Rainbow In the Dark. An un-typical keyboard addition really attracts and adds to the already charming riff. Never get tired of hearing that one.

So with the rest of the songs we have a timeless piece of hard rock that stands the test of time with ease. So he may be gone, but will never be forgotten!

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Jorn, Dio, 2010

jorn - dioAfter the sad passing of rock icon Ronnie James Dio, it was sure we could expect many a tribute. To me, one of the most fitting would have to come from Jorn. Regular site visitors will know I really like his vocal style and music, and of course it is widely known Jorn is a real Dio fan as well.

Opening with Song For Ronnie James Dio, Jorn fires a lot of song titles from the Dio songbook at us in the lyrics. And over 8 minutes he shows why he is the perfect guy to pull something like this off with admirable ease. Great track!
All other twelve tracks on the disk have Dio writing credits to them. Happily Jorn chose wisely and avoided the all too obvious route, except for a few. So grab your chance at listening to the Jorn editions of Invisible, Shame On the Night or Push. Or if you are more into the better known tracks: Kill the King, Stand Up And Shout or Don`t Talk to Strangers are also present.

In my humble opinion a Jorn album is always spot on, and this is no exception. One of the best singers in recent decades paying homage to one of the best voices of some 40 plus years. Melodic metal at it´s finest, grab your copy pronto!

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Dio, Master Of The Moon, 2004

dio - master of the moonWith 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.

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