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Dio: The Very Beast Of Vol. 2

After the success of The Very Beast Of Vol. 1, it was only a matter of time before we saw the second part of this compilation series chronicaling the solo band career of the late metal vocal legend Ronnie James Dio. While the first set took us from the beginnings of 1983's Holy Diver up to 1993's Strange Highways, this latest release starts off with 1996's underrated Angry Machines and includes tracks from that album as well as Magica, Killing the Dragon, and Master of the Moon, plus a few other surprises. Sure, as any Dio fan knows, this wasn't the most fertile period of the Dio band, as some of the material was lackluster and the band was constantly shifting personnel, but there was still some solid heavy metal to be found among these albums.

Such veteran players as Craig Goldy, Jimmy Bain, Simon Wright, Jeff Pilson, Doug Aldrich, Vinny Appice, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren, Tracy G, and others floated in and out of the Dio band during this time period, so you know the musicianship was always going to be rock solid. Numerous hot tracks here, such as "Killing the Dragon", "Along Comes a Spider", "Push", "Lord of the Last Day", but the real gems are "Electra" (single from the Tournado Box Set) and the absolutely crushing "Hunter of the Heart", which was originally released on 1998's Inferno: Last in Live. "Metal Will Never Die" was actually the last thing Ronnie ever recorded, as he guested on his cousin David "Rock" Feinstein's album Bitten by the Beast in 2010. Even with some of these enjoyable tracks, there are also some clunkers here, like the odd sounding "The Eyes", the heavy but lunk headed "Black", and the sappy "As Long As It's Not About Love" and "This Is Your Life".

All in all, some fun stuff here from the latter stages of the Dio band, but ultimately of course it doesn't hold a candle to some of the classic Dio material, but for all those folks who gave up on this band by the early '90s, here's a chance to get a sampling of what you missed out on.

Track Listing
. Killing the Dragon
. Push
. The Eyes
. Along Comes A Spider
. Better In The Dark
. Fever Dreams
. Black
. Feed My Head
. Shivers
. Hunter Of The Heart (live)
. One More For The Road
. Lord Of The Last Day
. Electra (bonus track)
. As Long As It's Not About Love
. This Is Your Life
16. Metal Will Never Die (bonus track)
17. Prisoner Of Paradise (bonus track) --

Added: October 4th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1890
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Dio: The Very Beast Of Vol. 2
Posted by Wardy on 2012-10-13 04:06:59
My Score:

It's unfortunate much of the later period DIO has been overlooked when compared to those classic first albums, but DIO remained a force to be reckoned with throughout and the proof is here on Beast Of Vol2.

Magica is well presented as is the return to form that Killing The Dragon was quite rightly claimed to be, Master Of The Moon and Machines too but it's the bonus and unheard material that is worth the ticket price. Electra may not gallop along but much like Magica it is of high caliber while on one hand is great to have on the other sad also this is to the best of our knowledge the last we will hear of any Magica sequel. Metal Will Never Die manages to be rather fitting of the DIO catalog and the previously Japan only bonus tune Prisoner Of Paradise is so magnificent it surely would have been a highlight on what was otherwise plodding, albeit good plodding, Master Of The Moon. There's a couple more nuggets to be had and generally the remaining selections are favorable . Why labels continue to include 'live' material during the album play is beyond me, surely placing all live material at albums end makes for a better listen but yet it continues so maybe that's just me!?

To these ears Beast Vol2 is solid proof that after the DIO heyday there was plenty left in the tank, in fact some of the material on offer exceeds even the so called greatest hits of the early years but opinions being what they are and all... ;)

All in all a quality release and here's hoping there's plenty more treasures yet to come from the DIO name... Oh, and gotta love that cover art ;)

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