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Its been over a year sine the king of rock and roll died, but with albums such as Holy Diver, Dio will never be forgotten. 1983's Holy Diver is the former Elf, Rainbow and Black Sabbath singer's attempt at a solo album. The result is a premium masterpiece of awesome vocals, blistering guitars and a piece of rock history. Perhaps what has made this album so good, is its fusion of hard rock which upholds the integrity and spirit of Dio's proceeding influences of Black Sabbath and Rainbow with catchy melodies that entrance the listener into Dio's tale which he tells through the album. It is clear to fans of Black Sabbath that Dio's inspiration for the album comes from sounds such as those heard on the Mob Rules and Heaven and Hell album, with a tight lead guitar driving the rhythm of the song but coming second place to Dio's powerful and iconic metal voice.
Vinni Appice and Vivian Campbell are truly excellent supporting Dio on this album, which is perhaps the highlight and finest album he produced in his career.
Holy Diver is Dio's debut album, an album released in 1983 on various labels having been recorded at Sound City Studios in Fortuna, California. The album is a classic album by the outfit formed by ex Sabbath and Rainbow singer Ronny James Dio also featured fellow ex Sabbath drummer Vincent Appice as well as ex Sweet Savage guitarist Vivian Campbell and ex Rainbow bass player Jimmy Bain.
Despite the music being the very definition of plain heavy metal, the vocals hold quite a hard rock sound, in my opinion. The tracks are incredibly catchy and easy to remember, full of superb rythm with bursts of thick heavy sound softened with quieter parts as well as both excellent guitar solos and forever intune power metal vocals.
Holy Diver has a great energy about it and it is full of fun tracks, Eye of the Tiger but a bit sooped up and less repetitive if you like, there is definite evidence of their former bands as "Straight Through The Heart" has quite the Sweet Savage sound whilst "Holy Diver" has the catchiness of top Rainbow hits. A classic album that has to be listened to.
1. "Stand Up and Shout" (Ronnie James Dio, Jimmy Bain) - 3:06
2. "Holy Diver" (Dio) - 5:51
3. "Gypsy" (Dio, Vivian Campbell) - 3:39
4. "Caught in the Middle" (Dio, Vinny Appice, Campbell) - 4:14
5. "Don't Talk to Strangers" (Dio) - 4:53
6. "Straight Through the Heart" (Dio, Bain) - 4:31
7. "Invisible" (Dio, Appice, Campbell) - 5:24
8. "Rainbow in the Dark" (Dio, Appice, Bain, Campbell) - 4:15
9. "Shame on the Night" (Dio, Appice, Bain, Campbell) - 5:20
Like Ozzy Osbourne before him, Ronnie James Dio departed Black Sabbath and achieved great success with his solo career - also similar to Osbourne, Dio's debut album remains his most well-known, commonly regarded as one of the heavy metal classics. While this legendary status isn't entirely deserved, there really is not better album to encapsulate American heavy metal of the eighties, even if the British bands tended to be more impressive.
Dio's trademark wailing and soaring vocals combined with Vivian Campbell's creative and irresistible guitar riffs make songs like the title track instant favourites, and this album is also notable for containing one of Dio's relatively few fast songs in the form of opener 'Stand Up and Shout,' more reminiscent of the British metal tradition. The rest favour a slower, chorus-centric approach that becomes very repetitive, but fortunately Dio's vocal skills manage to pull it off.
The compulsory ballad 'Don't Talk to Strangers' is saved from tedium by screaming guitars later on, and Dio himself provides some delightfully cheesy keyboards at the end of 'Rainbow in the Dark.' This is certainly a dated album, but one that still has the power to entertain, without the drawbacks of some of Dio's other releases.
1. Stand Up and Shout
2. Holy Diver
4. Caught in the Middle
5. Don't Talk to Strangers
6. Straight Through the Heart
8. Rainbow in the Dark
9. Shame on the Night
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Stand Up And Shout
2 Holy Diver
4 Caught In The Middle
5 Don't Talk To Strangers
6 Straight Through The Heart
8 Rainbow In The Dark
9 Shame On The Night
10 An Interview With Dio
11 An Interview With Dio
12 An Interview With Dio
13 An Interview With Dio
14 An Interview With Dio
15 An Interview With Dio
16 An Interview With Dio
17 An Interview With Dio
18 An Interview With Dio
19 An Interview With Dio