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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.
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