Black Sabbath
The Dio Years



by sonictheplumber USER (114 Reviews)
August 8th, 2007 | 30 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid compilation. And it's cheap. REAL cheap.

I had recently received a twenty dollar giftcard for Wal-Mart, courtesy of my grandparents on mom's side of the family. From the second I saw it, I knew exactly what I was to do with it. I was going to buy a CD! So in one of the following days, I travelled through the lands and went to a Wal-Mart close to my residence. I went to the music section, and spent at least an hour trying to make a decision. I had already selected Jimi Hendrix's 20th Century Masters. It was cheap, it was Hendrix, and it would make a nice addition to my collection. But then, I noticed an album that I had read about on Wikipedia a few days earlier. It was Black Sabbath's newest compilation, The Dio Years. It was not like any other Sabbath compilation. It had Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Plus, it was cheap. So I purchased it, ran home, and gave it a listen. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

At the time, I had been listening to Heaven And Hell a lot, so I knew that I would enjoy this album from the getgo. It had three newly recorded tracks on it, with the exact same line-up that was on the other tracks on the album. These three new tracks are not too special at all, and if you want to buy this album but have heard all the other songs, then simply download the three new recordings. The Devil Cried is the best of the three. It has a very slow tempo, along with solid musicianship and such. It's also the longest of these three recordings. The other two new songs, Shadow In The Wind and Ear In The Wall, are average metal tunes, both of these also having a slow pace. There are rarely any exciting moments in either of these tracks, so if you are only buying this for the three new tracks, then you aren't making a smart move...unless you're a Dio completist of course.

But of course, we also have the classic tracks that every metalhead digs. Of course, a good compilation should almost always have the first track of said band's first album/first album by said band's time period that the compilation is covering/first album by said band's new line-up, and so on. Many compilations do this. Black Sabbath's Greatest Hits 1970-1978 does this, as well as Led Zeppelin's Early Days and Latter Days compilations. Does this album stick to that rule" Of course. Neon Knights is quite the song, featuring a fast and exciting pace, memorable riffs and solos, and good 'ol Dio fantasy lyrics. Afterwards, we have a good share of other Heaven And Hell tracks, before we move on to The Mob Rules songs, which are of slightly lower quality. Of course, the actual song Mob Rules is up to the same quality as some of the Heaven And Hell tracks. It will definitely get stuck in your head after listening to it. Tony Iommi plays his heart out with Dio's mystical vocals grabbing you in. It's just a fun, catchy metal song.

Now, the actual Dio Years were remarkably short. I cannot prove this, but from what I've heard, the man was extremely hard to get along with. To put it in slightly less respectful but simpler terms: He was a douche. Not the type that upturns his collar and wears Livestrong bracelets, but the type that is simply a jerk. So that explains why Ronnie James Dio's years with Black Sabbath were so short. He was with them for a brief three years, and when he left, the band was sent into a dark era where they would have line-up changes literally almost every year. But in 1992, Dio returned to record one more album with them: Dehumanizer. Now, the songs from Dehumanizer that are on this compilation are actually pretty good. One of the highlights is TV Crimes, which has, like every other song, excellent riffs and spectacular vocals. These tracks are of course not as good as the Heaven And Hell tracks, but they're decent on their own.

After these tracks end, a live version of Children Of The Sea, a track from Heaven And Hell, comes up. It is one-hundred percent live, and if you notice, Dio's singing perfectly. And it's live. What does this show you" That Dio can sing even when he's not in the studio! This is a fantastic song, and the highlight of the album. It is like the studio version, but even better.

Overall, The Dio Years is solid buy. It's cheap, accessible, and it's an overall great album, with some fantastic tracks. If you're buying for the new tracks only, then don't waste your ten bucks on it. It's got everything you need to get you into Dio, or metal in general. It's more fast-paced and upbeat than the sludgier Ozzy material in Sabbath's early days. Although I prefer classics like Master Of Reality and Paranoid over the Dio Sabbath albums, this compilation contains some excellent stuff. It does not matter if Dio's a douche or not. This is killer music.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
dub sean
August 8th 2007


lookin good
thumbs up

August 8th 2007


Dio is one hell of a singer.

EDIT: Great review, but you use the word 'short' a couple more times than needed in the 4th paragraph. I'd probably replace one or two with a synonym.This Message Edited On 08.08.07

August 8th 2007


I had already selected Jimi Hendrix's 20th Century Masters.

I dont like those kinds of CDs...

Nice review, though I have a slim interst in this right now.

August 8th 2007


I dislike Dio.

August 8th 2007


it's a F***IN CONSPIRACY!!!!!

August 9th 2007


Apart from the fact that it doesn't really sound like Sabbath, the Dio stuff is actually pretty solid. As is this review.

August 9th 2007


lol.Cool review dude. Straight and to the point, but not too short.
Im not a big sabbath fan, but I respect them for what they did.

August 20th 2007


I consider Black Sabbath to still be Sabbath as long as Tony Iommi, who invented their sound, and Geezer Butler, who's bass is an essential (plus he wrote most of Ozzy's lyrics, as well as some for future singers) are still in the lineup (although they never did have a drummer that matched Bill Wrd, or equaled his contributions). The different singers they have really provides great deal of interest to me. And eight Ozzy albums are insufficient. More Sabbath is necessary!

Besides, in my opinion Sabbath w/o Ozzy beats Ozzy w/o Sabbath by a LONG SHOT.

August 20th 2007


That said, where can I get the new tracks w/o buying the whole best of? I already have all three Dio albums, and "The Devil Cried" is the only song that will illegally download!

August 25th 2007


the dio years were brief but i think i prefer them to the ozzy years for the most part. band sounds good

August 31st 2007


Dio isn't that big of a douche in interviews I've seen in the last few years and I hear he was fine to work with in the tenacious d movie, maybe he's changed.

August 25th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Dio is the man. I actually prefer Black Sabbath DIO to Black Sabbath Ozzy...don't get me wrong, I got Ozzy stuff I like to...but when you boil down to it, me...I'm a Disciple of Dio. He's the man.

October 12th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Its funny, I heard Dio was one of the nicest guys to work for. Strange.

April 7th 2009


Faily McFail-Fail

April 7th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

I prefer Dio Sabbath era than Ozzy Sabbath. The Mob Rules, Neon Knights, After All (The Dead) are masterpieces. Dehumanizer I consider to be their second best album after Paranoid. Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules are not far behind though. After those 4, the rest come with no order at all.

April 7th 2009


Dehumaizer didn't really float my boat despite Dio, but Paranoid is my favourite album followed very closely by Dio's Sabbath debut Heaven and Hell.

May 24th 2010


My dad is blasting The Devil Cried right now. R.I.P. Dio.

Digging: Swallow the Sun - The Morning Never Came

June 21st 2011


Master of Insanity could be here

March 5th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

greatest dio hitz

April 26th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

A 'Greatest Hits' comp of actual hits! Although with the Dio-era you can't really go wrong anywhere. New tracks also ruled. Review is also good.

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