“Holy Diver Live” by Dio

Artist: Dio
Title: “Holy Diver Live”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 4/18/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

Ronnie James Dio is one of the founding fathers when it comes to Hard Rock music. His three-decade plus long career began with work in Elf which continued into Rainbow alongside Richie Blackmore and Cozy Powell. This partnership gave the world songs that are still amazing today. When he replaced Ozzy Osbourne in the legendary Black Sabbath the fans of the band were given two very powerful recordings and showed that Dio was not only amazing at Hard Rock but also a true artisan of Metal in its purest form. The formation of Dio; the solo group that would tour under his name alone would be a Metal force to be reckoned with for years to come. The debut “Holy Diver” was also something magical in terms of what was in its grooves. The great guitar playing and drumming courtesy of newcomer at the time Vivian Campbell and Vinny Appice (Brother to the famous Carmine). Jimmy Bain held it together and played keys as well as bass all while Ronnie belted out one of the best albums in Heavy Metal history. Line up changes are nothing new in bands and fast forward to 1995 where Dio decided his fans not only demand but deserve a full performance of this legendary recording. The original concert found this executed later in the set but for better CD layout it is presented as the entire CD 1. The players on the album will be Doug Aldritch, a player with a lot of John Sykes qualities to him as well as drummer Simon Wright who performed with AC/DC and UFO.

There’s no need in examining the songs on “Holy Diver” as there is just so much to them and truly the material has withstood the tests of time and sounds fresh to this very day. The performance of the record is dead on and Aldritch really shines on the Campbell guitar wizardry. He will go on to prove himself as a true talent later finding himself in a re-united Whitesnake. Wright does well in place of Appice whose playing on the album was more solid drumming as opposed to flashy. He gives us a brief drum solo as well. Dio is always good in concert with his growl and unique voice still shining over the Metal even 25 years after he began. The production of this piece is clean and I am surprised it did not come out earlier, given its now 11 year age. To make this double CD a must-have, there are performances of some of Dio’s Sabbath and Rainbow numbers as well as a couple of other Dio classics. Fans of the singer will remember well the impact of these tracks making this overall a worthy live release for ones collection.

Track Listing:
1. Stand Up and Shout
2. Holy Diver
3. Gypsy
4. Caught in the Middle
5. Don’t Talk to Strangers
6. Straight Through the Heart
7. Invisible
8. Rainbow in the Dark
9. Shame on the Night
10. Tarot Woman
11. Sign of the Southern Cross
12. One Night in the City
13. Gates of Babylon
14. Heaven & Hell
15. Man on the Silver Mountain
16. Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll
17. We Rock

Official Web site: www.ronniejamesdio.com

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