The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2

Niji Entertainment Group

Ronnie James Dio might not be the first metal rocker, but he’s one of the best. You know his songs are important; the majestic guitar riffs telegraph importance, while his lyrics are all about God and demons and rocking out to the sweet, sweet music of groupies doing interesting things to him and his band mates. You know of his work with Black Sabbath and Dio, and maybe if you’re old enough, Rainbow, but this disc focuses on his post-1996 projects. That’s some late work with Sabbath, the second half of his work with eponymous Dio, as well as Heaven & Hell. He does get around.

With RJD, you’re either all in or all out. That is, it’s hard to “sort of” like him, or pick and choose cuts. But I’ll attempt to pick some favorites here: “Killing the Dragon” opens with a Halloween Chiller Theatre sound, and then drops into the familiar gallop of hard rock drumming and Ozzy quality scare lyrics. A similar anthemic sound comes from “Push.” Dio’s voice is clear and agile, and while he can’t hit the high notes Noddy Holder or Ian Gilliam could, he’s got the vocal bottom to accompany the bass on any of these cuts. “Along Comes a Spider” is another outstanding composition; this one leans a bit more toward Alice Cooper but keeps the hoof beats of bass and drum as Dio sings of loneliness and desperation. Bonus tracks include the rare “Electra.” The press release says it’s rare, but of course you can find anything on the ‘net these days. This one is just studio clean and it’s another rocking story song: hard rock and metal are surprisingly good at telling ballads.

I spent some time thinking about with it means to have a “Best of — Volume 2” (excuse me: “Beast” of… rockers love puns). After all, shouldn’t it be “Almost as Good as — Volume 2?” or “Almost as Good as”? I’m going to go somewhere quiet and consider that; right now my eardrums hurt.

Ronnie James Dio: ronniejamesdio.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Sweet Crude
    Sweet Crude

    Créatures (Rhyme and Reason). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Gregg Allman, RIP
    Gregg Allman, RIP

    Michelle Wilson gives tribute to the voice of an angel. Gregg Allman, RIP.

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

From the Archives