BMG are reissuing four of the most seminal albums by Dio, the metal supergroup formed by lauded musician Ronnie James Dio after he left Black Sabbath in 1982. STACK‘s resident metalhead Simon Lukic delves into each title’s legacy and place in the Dio canon.
Angry Machines is often looked at by fans as Ronnie James Dio’s weakest album. Much of this criticism lies in the record’s stylistic shift from traditional themes, and guitarist Tracy G’s modern approach. The remaster smooths out the harsh tones found on the original, making it more palatable for fans, while the bonus 12-track live recording from the 1997 Angry Machines Tour should be enough incentive to entice those still on the fence. If you missed Angry Machines the first time around, this is as good a time as any to check out Dio’s most ignored studio album.
Magica remains one of the most powerful albums of Dio’s illustrious career. Created as part one of an intended two-album concept, the plan was never completed due to the Heaven & Hell (AKA Black Sabbath) reunion, and Ronnie’s untimely death in 2010. Magica itself is a brooding, almost monolithic experience that really highlights Dio’s vocal prowess. The songs are heavy and adopt a doom-laden quality that focuses on power rather than pace. The story itself is fantastic, and the bonus tracks make for a great package. Remastered, the album’s strengths come to the fore and make an excellent record even better.
Killing The Dragon is a definite fan favourite. After the detour that was Angry Machines and Magica, a more traditional Dio album was in order. New guitarist Doug Aldrich answered the call, and he helped Dio write an impressive collection of tunes. Killing The Dragon offers no real surprises, but hits the mark with quality songwriting, rock-solid hooks, and Dio’s one-of-a-kind voice. Fans who swear by Holy Diver and Last In Line should check out Killing The Dragon, as it follows a similar template. The reissue sounds great, and with six bonus live tracks, it should not be missed.
The final Dio studio album Master Of The Moon is, in my humble opinion, one of the best. It’s also the blueprint for what was to become Dio’s reunion album with his Black Sabbath cohorts under the Heaven & Hell banner (their 2009 release The Devil You Know is essentially a follow-up to Master Of The Moon, highlighting how important an album the latter is). This fresh remaster complements the original sound, giving it greater depth and clarity. Five bonus live tracks and the studio bonus track Prisoner Of Paradise accompany the original album and should be enough to reconnect fans with one of the late Ronnie James Dio’s most underrated albums.
The Dio reissues are out on vinyl and CD on Friday March 20 via BMG.
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