Released: 2012, Niji Entertainment
Reviewer: Robert Williams
In October of 2012 Niji Entertainment released the seventeen song collection THE VERY BEAST OF DIO Vol.2 featuring studio tracks culled from the "Angry Machines" "Magica" "Killing The Dragon" and "Master Of The Moon" albums with some a live song ("Hunter Of The Heart" taken from "Dio's Inferno: The Last In Live") and three added bonus tracks.
The first thing that commands your attention about this new compilation is the amazing album artwork by artist Marc Sasso. Liner notes are handled by Eddie Trunk of VH-1's popular "That Metal Show" and there are a number of photographs representing the Dio band from 1996 up until the final "Master Of The Moon" line-up. It's amazing how well this material has stood the test of time, it feels like only yesterday I was watching the man himself command the stage in support of "Magica" or "Killing The Dragon" or the aforementioned "Master Of The Moon" album. I can remember adding "Push" to one of the last cassette mix tapes I through together for driving in my 1998 Pontiac Grand-Am. (Where did the years go?)
Let's talk about the bonus material on THE VERY BEAST OF DIO Vol.2, some of you may remember Ronnie's cousin David "Rock" Feinstein of The Rods teamed up with the immortal one for "Metal Will Never Die" shortly before Ronnie's passing. The crushing, anthemic number should be enjoyed by just about every true fan of heavy metal walking this earth. It doesn't get much better than this. You may have already heard "Electra" a song originally intended for "Magica Part II & III" on the recently released "Magica Deluxe Edition" but take it for what it is a true rarity and it is a welcome addition to this assembled collection of Ronnie's later works. Finally, "Prisoner Of Paradise" a mid-tempo Japanese bonus track from "The Master Of The Moon" album with a subtle Middle Eastern feel closes things out.
All in all, this is another quality release from Niji Entertainment. The latest RJD releases from Niji always include top notch packaging and artwork and extensive liner notes and always go the extra mile in terms of bonus material. Long live Ronnie James Dio and may his life's work championing metal live on forever.