Dio - Holy Diver Live
Eagle Records
Heavy Metal
Disc 1: 9 songs (60:39) Disc 2: 8 songs (53:01)
Release year: 2006
Dio, Eagle Records
Reviewed by Jeff
Major event

What? Not another live Dio album! This is the third live Dio album released within the last eight years, the second in only the last year!

Ok, on paper, "Holy Diver Live" looks great! CD 1 is Dio performing the album "Holy Diver" in its entirety from start to finish. CD 2 contains some rare tracks from his earlier days with Rainbow ("Tarot Woman", "Gates of Babylon") and Black Sabbath ("Sign of the Southern Cross"). Once you start listening to these two CD's, it's a different story….

"Holy Diver Live" was recorded in the fall of the 2005 at London's Astoria during the Holy Diver tour. The line up includes Dio on vocals, Rudy Sarzo on Bass, Simon Wright on Drums, Doug Aldrich on guitar and Scott Warren on keyboards

Let's face the facts. Dio is a man pushing 60 or above. He's someone that can still carry a tune, but I believe the burden of carrying that tune is starting to show now more than ever. However, Dio is just not ready to give up his metal roots for a life of bingo and shuffleboard in some old age home.

Overall, Dio sounds like he is struggling. He seems tired and winded. The key of the music is tuned down flat to allow Dio to even make the songs passable. Sure, how can anyone expect him to sound like he did almost 20 years ago?

The music is average. Doug Aldrich is the one guitarist that comes closest to sounding anything like vintage Vivian Cambell. His guitar sound seems to be a little muffled in the mix. He does a decent job in performing the songs. The band sounds uninspired, like they are just going through the motions. I think the Simon Wright does an excellent job at recreating Vinnie Appice's drum style.

Check out "Gypsy". This track is all over the place. The scream at the beginning is something you can mistake for another vocalist all together; very uncharacteristic of Dio. Also, we have a drum solo and this is only the third song! On top of that, there is a symphonic piece that closes out this track.

"Shame On The Night" clocks in at almost seventeen minutes, with a majority of it being dedicated to some drawn out guitar solos and keyboard arrangements. This reminds me of how some of old Rainbow songs got dragged out in the live setting as well.

The keyboard intro to "Gates of Babylon" sounds like it's being played on a cheap Casio keyboard! The string arrangements from the original are not even re-created accurately. The song is also a little slower than the original.

"Sign of the Southern Cross" is a tease. Dio only does about three minutes of this song before it goes right into "One Night In The City".

The version of "Heaven and Hell" presented here is probably the slowest and longest one yet but somehow Dio still sings this rather well.

I feel that Dio really set the bar high in trying to recreate live what is hands down his best record ever, yet he falls way short in doing a good job. Being realistic, this live release really makes me appreciate the studio versions that much more. Why bother purchasing this when you can listen to the originals in all their glory?

Dio, with all due respect, please, no more live albums unless they are recordings from when you were in your prime; recordings from albums that you toured for at the time they were originally released. I'm sure the Dio vaults have to have some gems buried somewhere……

If they ever make Viagra for vocals, I'm sure Dio will be getting it!


Killing Songs :
Heaven and Hell, Caught In The Middle, Man on the Silver Mountain
Jeff quoted no quote
Other albums by Dio that we have reviewed:
Dio - Sacred Heart reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Dio - The Last In Line reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Dio - Dream Evil reviewed by Thomas and quoted 93 / 100
Dio - Master of the Moon reviewed by Jeff and quoted 78 / 100
Dio - Lock Up the Wolves reviewed by Alex and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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