Released: 2006, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewer: Robert Williams
DIO HOLY DIVER LIVE is now available in Blu-Ray format, courtesy of the folks at Eagle Rock Entertainment. Filmed at the Astoria Theatre in London, England on the final night of an eleven date tour in October of 2005, Ronnie James Dio and his band perform the classic "Holy Diver" album in it's entirety, as well as select cuts from Ronnie's former bands Rainbow and Black Sabbath.
The DVD begins with the Rainbow classic "Tarot Woman" and is followed up by the equally revered "The Sign Of The Southern Cross" from Black Sabbath. Following "One Night In The City" a short intro film is played, complete with Star Wars style script, detailing how the powerful force known as Dio emerged in 1983 to crush disco music. Ronnie appears on the screen, his eyes flashing white hot as he makes several references drawn from lyrical content. "Stand Up And Shout" is then delivered in full force as the band launch into the "Holy Diver" album in chronological order.
Ronnie is accompanied on stage by arguably one of his strongest lineups ever. Doug Aldrich is very detail oriented in regards to playing Vivian Campbell's guitar solos and riffs from the "Holy Diver" material and really does justice to the original studio versions. The ever charismatic Rudy Sarzo commands a great deal of stage presence and remains animated throughout the show. Simon Wright (AC/DC) offers up an amazing tribal drum solo at the tail end of "Gypsy" and is then accompanied by a pre-recorded orchestral arrangement. Dio engages the rabid audience to sing along during "Don't Talk To Strangers". Kudos to the sound engineer who uses a "Demonic" vocal effect sparingly during this song.
Keyboardist Scott Warren shines during the extremely challenging "Gates of Babylon". Although a great many bands try to cover this song with mixed results, Dio makes the incredible feat of singing "Gates of Babylon" look easy as he powers faithfully through each verse and chorus.
Dio and his band make several encore performances on this night, as they run through back catalogue crowd favorites like "Heaven and Hell" "Man On The Silver Mountain" and "Long Live Rock and Roll" before finally ending their performance with the timeless "We Rock".
As for bonus features, the viewer is treated to interviews with all five band members. There is some insight about touring in places like Russia and Bulgaria where only recently heavy metal and Western music in general has become accepted. You can really tell that Dio was incredibly passionate about performing for his fans, no matter what corner of he world they lived in.
I would definitely recommend this DVD release to anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of Dio or heavy metal. The picture quality is outstanding and the 5.1 Surround Sound perfectly captures the sound of a band in their prime.