Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Full Length Review: Dio "Holy Diver" (Mercury) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Dio
Location: Manhattan, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Heavy metal
Full length: Holy Diver
Format: Vinyl. Cassette, CD
Label: Mercury
Release date: May 23, 1983
I had taken some time from writing and reviewing—but eventually I felt the desire to put something together. It just so happened that a few weeks before sitting down to write this I ordered myself a CD copy of Ronnie James Dio’s “Holy Diver”. Knowing the impact Dio had on the heavy metal scene and the world as a whole I initially thought there was no point in writing about Dio. I mean…everyone has already heard of him, haven’t they? Even if a person is not a die-hard fan I’m pretty sure everyone that listens to classic metal has had his name dropped into their laps at some point in time. Still…while gathering my thoughts to pen some words I figured “What the hell?” and decided to give this amazing album a few paragraphs.
The title track “Holy Diver” is easily my favorite track on the album—followed closely by “Rainbow in the Dark”. With that said there is not a single song on this CD that is not worth listening too. With 9 tracks in over 40 minutes it follows a similar formula to most 80’s metal greats—but unlike the vast sea of music available from the era this stands out as a true beacon of something deserving of the word “memorable”.
The guitar work is amazing—and the drum work and synths/keyboards are pretty great too! This paired with Dio’s iconic voice makes for many listens that don’t get boring or grow old—and to top that off the cover art is on point and the overall atmosphere presented on this disc is at times ethereal and other-worldly!
In conclusion—this is probably one of the greatest albums from the time it was created—and I’d go as far as to say that (personally) it holds more weight than even Metallica or Megadeth. Not that either of those bands are bad—just that their music has been played so much that at times it comes off as tired or over-used. Holy Diver is something that is well known—but is still obscure enough that when listening to it you don’t feel as if it is something you have heard a million times over.
Dio was a legend—and this album—well…I can say the same thing for it as well! -Devin J. Meaney

Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010): Vocals, keyboards
Vivian Campbell: Guitars
Jimmy Bain (1947-2016): Bass, keyboards
Vinny Appice: Drums

Track list:
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

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