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Holy Diver (Remastered)

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Album Review

After participating in five classic studio albums (three with Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and two with Black Sabbath) in the late '70s and early '80s, it seemed that singer Ronnie James Dio could do no wrong. And with the release of his self-monikered band's debut album, Holy Diver, in 1983, Dio struck gold once again by injecting catchy melodies into the classic metal riffery of his previous groups. Besides Dio's inspired songwriting, the album's consistency owes a lot to his carefully chosen bandmates, including veteran bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Vinny Appice, and a phenomenal find in young guitarist Vivian Campbell, whose creativity and technique are quite astounding. The album opens in full-tilt metal mode with the frenetic "Stand Up and Shout," which segues into the epic title track, an album highlight thanks to its hypnotic, mid-paced riff. Dio himself plays keyboards (badly) on the hit single "Rainbow in the Dark," and the remaining cuts range from further stabs at pop-metal ("Gypsy," "Caught in the Middle") to blatant metal anthems ("Straight Through the Heart," "Invisible"). These two facets find a perfect balance on the excellent "Don't Talk to Strangers," arguably the album's high point. [The 2005 edition includes an audio interview with Ronnie James Dio.]


Formed: 1983

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For a brief spell during the mid-'80s, the heavy metal quintet Dio were one of the top U.S. concert attractions, boasting one of the most over the top stage acts of its time loaded with props and special effects (lasers, explosions, a giant dragon, etc.). The group's leader was singer Ronnie James Dio, who had previously become acquainted with the metal masses as the frontman of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow from 1975-1978 and Black Sabbath from 1979-1982. Come the early '80s, Ronnie James was ready...
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Holy Diver (Remastered), Dio
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