Dio is supposed to be like the best thing in metal. I mean, Sabbath was much better with him than with Ozzy, right? Rainbow ruled with Dio on vocals. The man is a legend. So, supposedly his debut solo record was a milestone in the history of heavy metal. So, supposedly, since Dio every power metal fan's been into that whole fantasy kind of thing. Can't you just imagine nerds with big glasses and too much acne playing Dungeons and Dragons to this thing?
Well, I think it should be confined to that niche of people who like power metal and nothing else, really. Sure, Dio's vocals aren't excruciatingly bad or anything. Sabbath really is better off with him than with Ozzy. However, I don't see the major appeal in his vocals, really. He hasn't got like a super-big-range (though he has a decent howl I guess.) He hasn't got a specific standout tone of voice either: there is nothing about Dio that makes me go "oh, ah, yeah, now THAT's Dio." He uses the same vocal range and tepid melodies for the entire album, and quite frankly after a couple of spins I only remember the melody from the title track.
Then there's the rest of the musicians Mr Dio's assembled around him to back him up. The rhythm section is just... there. They play drums and bass. I know, I know, power metal doesn't care for bassists, but you know, Ronnie, I'd like to hear your bassist play sometime. Same with the drummer: he's an old Sabbath drummer, so he's competent, but again I don't remember any interesting fills or patterns that make me go "oh, cool, nice good piece of double bass" or "wow, look at that guy jamming behind the kit!". There's just nothing at all - memorable - about it, and it's not just them.
Same with the guitar work: it's your typical 80s meld of standard hard rock riffs that every other heavy metal band back then was using, and some classically/hard rock inspired solos that are fairly technical but in the end go somewhere only the first time you hear them, and then the novelty of the shredding or pseudo-melodic playing just wears off. Campbell is a good player, but again, the only eiff of his I really like is that of Holy Diver.
Come to think of it, Holy Diver is probably pretty much the only standout track on the album. It features a chorus with Dio's typical slightly gritty vocals (when I say slightly, I mean he uses some sort of force to make it sound angry and melodic both at the same time), a rocking riff and a catchy melody. The rest of them is either cheesy and boring . "Stand Up and Shout" has the ***tiest chorus ever and songs like Invisible or Caught in the Middle just don't grab me at all. It's just too... clean and tepid and inoffensive to be really interesting.
In hindsight, many bands would claim influence by this so-called 80s masterpiece. I'm sure a band like Symphony X grew up listening to this and loving it. But what's out there now is just so much more varied and different. I guess that for an album that came out when heavy metal was still divided into two camps: melodic and thrashy, this was pretty accessible for the melodic side. But with the plethora of metal bands out there now playing far more innovative styles and incorporating so much more different things, DIO and comrades really just sound very dated. Maybe age and time haven't been so kind to Ronnie James Dio's back catalogue as many would have you believe. I, for one, just don't see it.
You are the definition of fail. Can't hear the bass? Get your ears checked.
He uses the same vocal range and tepid melodies for the entire album, and quite frankly after a couple of spins I only remember the melody from the title track.
Same with the guitar work: it's your typical 80s meld of standard hard rock riffs that every other heavy metal band back then was using, and some classically/hard rock inspired solos that are fairly technical but in the end go somewhere only the first time you hear them, and then the novelty of the shredding or pseudo-melodic playing just wears off.
I guess that for an album that came out when heavy metal was still divided into two camps: melodic and thrashy, this was pretty accessible for the melodic side.
Seriously, this review is a huge ball of fail. The clincher is when you fault this because albums that came out twenty years later and were inspired by it happen to be "better". Seriously, you really, really, really, really fucked up with this one.
You're walking on a tightrope to hyperbole-king territory with all these 2/5 reviews for highly renowned albums. Usually you back yourself up better but reading this was just a bundle of wtf. It's like you wrote it just to piss people off and disprove it's classic status. You took it way out of context and frankly, you didnt seem to be listening to the same album everyone else was based on your half-hearted descriptions. I wont neg, even though I really, really want to.This Message Edited On 12.10.07
I've listened to it three times, I like the title track but other than that Dio just doesn't do anything at all for me. Dio just goes in one ear and out the other. I listened to it the first time and was like "meh" and it hasn't really changed. I just get really bored listening to Dio. I find that Dio may have been innovative back then but really, I think there's much better power/heavy metal acts out there right now that I'm much more compelled to listen to.
That isn't my point. My point is you have none. You're saying that albums that came out 20 years later are better. Whoopie. You're saying that Dio has no power, which is plain false. You say you can hear the bass yet it's the strongest part of Holy Diver (next to Dios vocals). You fault the drums because they're not flashy enough -- hey, it's a rhythm section get used to it.
Sure. I can see that. I can see where it comes from. It may be good for its time, but I find the sound dated. I can see where the blueprint comes from on here, I just don't find the execution compelling.
I don't really like Dio's vocals much. They're probably good or something, but really his voice doesn't click with me.This Message Edited On 12.10.07
I think his pseudo-aggression sounds kind of meh. It's like, he sings with force but it sounds... forced. He has an ok range but again I don't think it's all that... special. I don't see the hooplah over it. He's a good singer, but I don't think he's a great singer.This Message Edited On 12.10.07
Because I disagree that Dio is as good of a vocalist as you think he is???? I just don't think his voice has a memorable quality: there isn't anything about him that makes me go "wow fuck". There just isn't. He's got a good range, but I'm not hearing anything in the album where it's like "fuck how'd he do that?" Maybe it's because I'm not a singer or something.
Rock music is far from rocket science, no, but I give this album 5 stars because what it aims to do it does exceedingly well.
I didn't like it so much on the first couple of listens, but it compulsively grew on me. Every track is a fist in the air rock anthem, with some excellent musicianship indeed with many memorable parts.
Vocals are subjective yeah, but Dio has undeniable talent. Not memorable? Dude, his voice is iconic.