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Holy Diver
November 2003
Released: 1983, Warner Bros.
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Night of the Realm

Attention everyone…Your attention, please…

While posting on the Metal-Rules Disgruntled Metalheads Bulletin Board, a very grievous problem has come to my attention. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected easily before anyone can suffer any permanent damage. This may not be easy for some of you to hear, but it must be said.

Some of you out there do not own any Dio albums.

Yes, it’s true. There are still some individuals who do not own this landmark classic.

After successful stints fronting his own band Elf, as well as Rainbow, and Black Sabbath, the Elf himself, Ronnie James Dio teamed up with ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain, guitarist Vivian Campbell (who later went to Def Leppard), and Vinny Appice on drums to record his solo debut, HOLY DIVER.

Besides the verified Dio classics such as the burner, “Stand Up And Shout,” the catchy, mid-paced title track, and the unforgettable synths of “Rainbow In The Dark,” every song on HOLY DIVER is excellent, and the album rocks from beginning to end. The epic “Don’t Talk To Strangers” is one of Dio’s finest songs ever. This album has everything a metalhead could ask for, catchy riffs and hooks, solos galore, sing-along choruses, a cover with a metal-looking demon drowning a priest bound in chains, and all topped off by the powerful, distinctive vocals of RJD.

99 percent of all metalheads already own this certified classic, but my public service message is to the slacking 1 percent of the metal population. There is hope for you yet.

If, after reading my review, you do not immediately run to the nearest metal shop and purchase HOLY DIVER, you deserve to have all metal privileges hereby revoked. In addition, your headbanging license will be suspended, your hair shall be shaved off, and you will forever be branded a poseur, condemned to wear Old Navy and listen to hipster and emo for the rest of your days. This ends my public service announcement.
Track Listing

1. Stand Up And Shout
2. Holy Diver
3. Gypsy
4. Caught In The Middle
5. Don't Talk To Strangers
6. Straight Through The Heart
7. Invisible
8. Rainbow In The Dark
9. Shame On The Night


Ronnie James Dio - vocals, keyboards
Vinny Appice - drums
Jimmy Bain - bass
Vivian Campbell - guitar

Next review: » Dio - Holy Diver
Previous review: » Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart (Blu-Ray)

Holy Diver
March 2012
Released: 2012, Audio Fidelity
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Celtic Bob

Audio Fidelity is known for releasing high quality Remasters of classic albums. All of their releases are new and exclusive masterings and are pressed on 24k Gold discs. While some may dispute that the Gold discs are unnecessary and add nothing to the sound it doesn’t hurt it either. Another argument is that are these new masterings worth repurchasing an album again? In most cases the answer is Yes, especially where this release is concerned.

Dio is one of Metal’s finest vocalists and HOLY DIVER is one of his best albums if not the best. The only issue with this album is that it sounded dated even though the songs are timeless. The music just never had a good sound until now. This version was newly mastered by Steve Hoffman for this exclusive limited release. Steve took the original master tape and worked his magic and made the album come alive and sound like it should sound. Everything is crystal clear and sounds fresh and new, and not dated. The only complaint is that in some places it sounds a bit bright with the cymbals (Crash? China? Ride?) to the point of almost piercing. This is the case during “Caught In The Middle” and to a slightly lesser degree with “Don’t Talk To Strangers” and “Gypsy”. Other than that minor issue this release is flawless and as I have already mentioned has never sounded so good. The drums finally sound as they should, like real drums. Ronnie’s voice now has a warmth to it and more alive. It is as though a breath of life has been put back into this timeless album.

This is one of the biggest improvements in a Remaster that I have heard. It is almost like hearing the songs again for the first time. There is a clarity that has never been heard on these songs before. As I have mentioned above almost too clear at some points but the good far outweighs this one issue. I highly recommend this release.
Track Listing






Next review: » Dio - Holy Diver - Live
Previous review: » Dio - Finding The Sacred Heart (Blu-Ray)

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