Various Artists - Holy Dio - A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio
Century Media
Classic Heavy Metal
14 songs (75'07")
Release year: 2000
Century Media
Reviewed by Alex

I admit I am a sucker for Tribute albums. They can be looked upon as a way to extract some money from your pockets by those greedy labels. However, they can be so much fun! Sometimes it is interesting to hear your favorite song to be interpreted differently. I also learn about bands’ existence from their appearance on a Tribute.

So, as a proud owner of a few Tributes, let me pretend I am an expert and share with you what makes a good one. (1) Of course, the material should be worth it, and luckily they don’t make Tributes to the Nu-Metal Czars just yet. With Dio it isn’t even a question – his legendary voice influenced so many metal fans. (2) The next key is song selection. Trademark songs rather than obscure tracks win every single time. Defining pieces from Dio’s long career with Rainbow , Black Sabbath and his solo project are represented. (3) And, finally, the band has to play a song close enough for it to be recognizable (hear that Dwell Records?), yet it absolutely has to be infused with the particular band’s individuality. Otherwise, why not ask the Tributee to perform himself. On all of these counts Holy Dio passes with flying colors! It is one of the best Tributes ever put to press!

Steel Prophet kick things off with their version of Neon Knights , a Sabbath song which now has a Maideny feel to it, thanks to Steel Prophet . Guitar acrobatics by Steve Kachinsky and Rick Mithiasin’s high pitched vocals wet the appetite. Hammerfall , Gamma Ray and Primal Fear cover Man on the Silver Mountain , Long Live Rock’n’Roll and Kill the King , respectively. These bands did very well by taking Rainbow’s rock’n’roll songs and adding an epic or True Metal feeling to them. Fates Warning version of the Sign of the Southern Cross is a dark progressive rendition of a slow, stomach churning Sabbath tune. Doro must be feeling downright nostalgic singing Egypt (The Chains Are On) . Where have those Warlock days gone? Like I said, all songs on this Tribute are good, but Jag Panzer , Blind Guardian , Solitude Aeturnus and Enola Gay are simply outstanding. I don’t know whether the bands chose the songs themselves, or they were asked to do them by Century Media, but these last four bands chose the songs most fitting their actual style. Midpace, technical guitar playing and weaving vocals – Jag Panzer; alternating acoustic and speed metal parts – Blind Guardian; heaviest bottom end with the doomy attitude – Solitude Aeturnus. And the double bass addition on Heaven and Hell by Enola Gay is the only thing the original didn’t have! The album is rounded by two beautiful ballads by Angel Dust and Catch the Rainbow (hmm, I had a feeling this “band” was put together just to get on the Tribute). Angel Dust’s Temple of the King also appears as a bonus track on the US version of Bleed (both acoustic and keyboard parts are stunning!). The only two covers that left me wanting more were Destiny’s End (I thought their Last in Line lacked energy) and Axel Rudi Pell (covering a cover song already?).

From my song description you get it that I have a shorter US version of the disc, so those of you who can get their hands on the 2 disc European version should really be in luck.

Killing Songs :
Just about all of them
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Various Artists that we have reviewed:
Various Artists - In Mordor Where the Shadows Are - Homage to Summoning reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Various Artists - A Light in the Black : A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Various Artists - Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head reviewed by Stefan and quoted No Quote
Various Artists - Illud Divinum Insanus - The Remixes reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
Various Artists - Melancholic Epiphany reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
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