Dio – Holy Diver (1983/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 41:41 minutes | 957 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Rhino/Warner Bros.
Black Sabbath’s vocalist and drummer, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice, broke off from Sabbath to form Dio with two others, Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell. The resulting debut album was loved by the press and went platinum in the US while also climbing up the charts in several other countries. In the US Billboard Top 200 Albums, it peaked at #56.
After playing a major role in five positively classic heavy metal albums of the late ’70s and early ’80s (three with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and two with Black Sabbath), it seemed that singer Ronnie James Dio could truly do no wrong. So it wasn’t all that surprising – impressive, but not surprising – when he struck gold yet again when launching his solo vehicle, Dio, via 1983’s terrific Holy Diver album. Much like those two, hallowed Sabbath LPs, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, Holy Diver opened at full metallic throttle with the frenetic “Stand Up and Shout,” before settling into a dark, deliberate, and hypnotic groove for the timelessly epic title track – a worthy successor to glorious triumphs past like Rainbow’s “Stargazer” and the Sabs’ “Sign of the Southern Cross.” But subsequent metal anthems like “Straight Through the Heart,” “Invisible,” and the lycanthrope lullaby “Shame on the Night” were no less inspired; and by injecting uncommonly catchy melodies into the heavy rock riffery still dominating more accessible numbers such as “Gypsy,” “Caught in the Middle,” and hit single “Rainbow in the Dark” (where the singer himself played rather spotty keyboards), Dio proved himself perfectly capable of competing with the increasingly commercial hard rock fashions soon to come. Although most fans would agree that Dio would arguably never again replicate the simply sublime symbiosis of beauty and brawn achieved by the all-time standout “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” And, to be fair, aside from Ronnie’s unquestionably stellar songwriting, Holy Diver’s stunning quality and consistency owed much to his carefully chosen bandmates, including powerhouse drummer (and fellow Sabbath survivor) Vinny Appice, veteran bassist Jimmy Bain, and a phenomenal find in young Irish guitarist Vivian Campbell, whose tastefully pyrotechnic leads helped make this the definitive Dio lineup. So, too, is Holy Diver still the undisputed highlight of Dio’s career, and, indeed, one of the finest pure heavy metal albums of the 1980s.
01 – Stand Up and Shout
02 – Holy Diver
03 – Gypsy
04 – Caught In the Middle
05 – Don’t Talk to Strangers
06 – Straight Through the Heart
07 – Invisible
08 – Rainbow In the Dark
09 – Shame on the Night