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Dio: Holy Diver- Live

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 2005 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. Fans of the singer will remember well the impact of these tracks making this overall a worthy live release for ones collection.

Track Listing
CD 1
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
CD 2
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

Added: April 12th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Dio Website
Hits: 2366
Language: english

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Dio: Holy Diver- Live
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-04-12 16:55:16
My Score:

Here we have yet another Dio live album, this one called Holy Diver-Live, recorded in London's Astoria Theater in 2005. Ronnie & Co. performed the entire Holy Diver album, which in itself is pretty significant, plus some other classic Dio, Rainbow, and Black Sabbath songs. Joining Dio on this tour was guitarist Doug Aldrich, bassist Rudy Sarzo, drummer Simon Wright, and keyboard player Scott Warren. The set list obviously is great here, as you get the whole classic debut Dio album, plus legendary tunes like "Tarot Woman", "Gates of Babylon", "Man on a Silver Mountain", "Long Live Rock and Roll" (Rainbow), "Sign of the Southern Cross", and "Heaven and Hell" (Black Sabbath). The band is red hot as they run through each and every song, Aldrich especially staying faithful to to lead work of Vivian Campbell, Tony Iommi, and Ritchie Blackmore, while adding his muscular, John Sykes influenced rhythms. However, Ronnie's voice is nowhere near top form, especially during the Holy Diver songs, where he fails to be able to hit many of the notes and overall really turns in one of the most underwhelming performances I have ever ever heard from him. While I realize the significance of releasing this show, it might have made sense to doctor up his vocals a little bit. Not only are there some cringe worthy moments, but his vocals are mixed way louder than the rest of the band, so there's no way getting around his rather poor performance. This is odd really, as I have heard many live Dio albums and seen him on stage many times, and he always delivers. Oh well. Despite this, Holy Diver-Live is still worth checking out for the Dio fanatic, as you get a rare opportunity to hear a classic album performed live in its entirety, plus Ronnie had a really smoking band at the time.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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