Dio – Holy Diver (1983)

Holy Diver was an excellent way to kick off the “solo” effort of Ronnie James Dio, riding hot off the success of both Sabbath records, Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules. Dio Sabbath isn’t my favourite thing in the world, but I heavily appreciate the work that the group did together with Dio (and not to mentioned, Dehumanizer is awesome and under-rated!).

With Vinny Appice being onboard this doesn’t sound a hundred miles away from the Mob Rules stuff, but obviously Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell are a completely different stringed section than Butler and Iommi, this goes without saying. The production on this thing is fantastic, the perfect balance for early 80s hard rock / metal. Phenomenal sound. The opening one-two punch of “Stand Up and Shout” and “Holy Diver” is just absolutely timeless. Another favourite of mine is “Rainbow In The Dark” with the addition of what sounds like stringed instruments. The only real dud here is “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, which just sounds really childish and odd, but even this song properly kicks off into a hard rock stomp when it wants to.

Excellent stuff.