Ronnie James Dio - vocals; Vinny Appice - drums; Jimmy Bain - bass; Vivian Campbell - guitar; Claude Schnell - keyboards
Ozzy may be the Prince of Darkness, but Ronnie James Dio is the Elfin King of Evil!
After reigning as the lead ghoul in TWO prototypical metal bands - Black Sabbath and Rainbow - Ronnie James struck out on his own in 1983 'cuz he knew he could do it better. He certainly didn't disappoint with Holy Diver, the first album from the band that could only be known as DIO. Like fellow black magicians Ozzy Osbourne and King Diamond before him, Dio had a preternatural ability to surround himself with virtuoso musicians capable of bringing his Medieval fantasies to fruition. As though the molten-metal assault of his band wasn't enough, Dio augmented his arsenal with outrageous theatrics, including (but not limited to) explosions, smoke and fire, a castle, lasers and a sword fight with a 20 foot dragon. Yes, it's that awesome.
All the finest moments from Holy Diver are brought to life here, plus a post-Ozzy Sabbath classic, and what would no doubt have been Dio's signature theme if he hadn't immediately crushed it with his solo debut: Rainbow's "Man on the Silver Mountain." All are flawlessly executed by Ronnie James's team of ringers, with the notable exception of a showy drum solo by Vinny Appice, which offers little more than an opportunity for the faithful minions to queue up for the toilet without missing a second of their leader's screed.
Performance values and technical ability have been all but abolished from rock 'n' roll. Attempting anything even remotely approximating a Dio show could potentially get a band laughed off the stage - and that's what makes it great. It takes guts and no small amount of talent to pull this off, and if done correctly, no one can deny its entertainment value. So, stand up and shout! This is DIO!