Dio/Holy Diver

Holy DiverHoly Diver is the debut album from American heavy metal band Dio.

Released on May 25, 1983, the album has been hailed by critics as Dio’s best work and a classic staple in the heavy metal genre.[1][2] The album was eventually certified Gold in the US on September 12, 1984 and Platinum on March 21, 1989.[3] The original vinyl release had a photo-montage LP-liner.

Stand Up And Shout—-Beginning with a ferocious and remarkably fast guitar intro, the voice has never sounded better. Designed to inspire and elate live audiences, this plays live like you would never believe. The refreshing thing about the opening is that it is a clear departure from the Sabbath sound…the guitar lines are crisp and clear and the drums sound huge. This is fantastic.

 Holy Diver—-A standout track in the Dio catalog, this hearkens back to the more atmospheric and dirge days of Sabbath but still allows Ronnie his own voice. Even now, 27 years later, this track sounds fresh and incredibly electric. Ronnie has rarely sounded better and the music itself is a masterpiece. Building on the more mystical aspects of Ronnie’s songwriting, this is a clear choice for many Dio fans….and the video is pretty awesome as well.

Gypsy—-The guitar intro to this track is just classic 80’s based Heavy Metal…when Ronnie lets loose that holler, you prepare yourself. The song has a slight blues tinge to it that hearkens back to the Elf days but Ronnie had his finger firmly on the pulse of Metal with this track…the drum high hats, the sleazy guitar and the voice combine to create a masterpiece. Remarkable.

Caught In The Middle—-One of the true marks of a really classic release is whether lesser known songs can stand on their own…this is clear example of a classic release…there is not one bad song on this release and to relive it now in my living room makes me hurt for the loss of this master. The guitar blasts are perfectly executed…the drums are predictable but stable and the voice reaches some melodic highs that make you shake you head and wonder how that voice comes from that short little man. Incredible!!!!

Don’t Talk To Strangers—-Beginning with a nice gentle guitar, the song appears as a ballad from the onset, which is a bit odd…but have no fear…Dio has never been about all of that stuff and the song opens up in a Metal masterpiece as Dio lets his voice work for him and the song erupts into a blistering Metal anthem. This is magnificent…listening back on this now makes me realize how much I have missed hearing this. A nice revisit but for a really sucky reason. Really great!!

Straight Through The Heart—-Packed with power from the first chords of the song, Dio orchestrated a fantastic band for this debut release…the voice is magical..the tones are classic. The drums are in your face and the guitars, although in the rear of the mix are still incredible. The guitars move to the front for the chorus and the result is nothing less than stellar. This is classic!!!

Invisible—-Again, this track begins with a rather gentle notion…the guitars are understated and the drums seem only to be here and there. Dio enters sounding like is vocal has been played with a slight bit…overlayed and a light distorted quality to it…when the song opens up, the Metal is masterful. There are nice guitar squeals here and there and the lyrics are dark and mystical per Ronnie’s MO. This is really great….how did I miss this track the first few times around….great!

Rainbow In The Dark—-This is a classic example of magic…..everything seemed to come together on this track to produce a huge masterpiece for the elfin singer. Featuring one of the best Metal synth lines ever, you can find this on any Metal playlist that means anything…plus again, Dio made a hell of a video for the song. There are zero weak moments in this classic track…the highlight of a career thus far upon its release, this always makes me think of hot, sweaty nights in a smoky arena. Wonderful.

Shame On The Night—-Closing out the release with as strong of a finish as a start, Dio travels a bit back in time with a bit more of a bluesy rock feel once again, but the end result is all Metal. The voice is commanding and allows Ronnie to stand six feet tall…we will miss you my Metal brother…..may you be peaceful and happy in the life after this.

**** out of 5



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