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Dio - Killing The Dragon

=Staff's pick

Killing The Dragon*
Along Comes A Spider*
Better In The Dark*
Rock & Roll
Throw Away Children
Before The Fall*
Cold Feet

Genre Heavy Metal
Ronnie James Dio
Tracks 10
Doug Aldrich
Runningtime 45 Min.
Label Eagle Records
Jimmy Bain
Release 27 May 2002
Simon Wright
Country USA
Similar artists ---

After some years out in no-mans land in the beginning of the 90's with albums such as such as Lock Up The Wolves, Strange Highways and Angry Machines where the earlier so characteristic melodies had to step aside in favour of dark, gloomy and slow riffs, Dio are now back with something that can be described as the best he has done since the 3 killeralbums in the mid-80's.
Magica was a tiny step forward back to what it once was, but here the steps are bigger.

My first impression was that this album was really good, and what I had been waiting for from Dio, but after a few listenings I find that feeling fade more and more away.
I still think this is very good, but there are a few things that hold back the grades for this album: the album seem shorter for every time I listen to it, and it feels like the songs are floating together into each other, and I miss those standout tracks on this album.
I have a hard time to see any of these songs are future classics - and I presume that that is what he aims for by going in this obvious direction with the music.

It opens good with strong riffing and even stronger vocallines in Killing The Dragon (that has touches of Powerslave with Iron Maiden over it) and Along Comes A Spider, but the album tend to loose a bit of its initial tempo in the midsection with songs such as Rock & Roll, Guilty and Throw Away Children, which all are way more heavy and dark, rather than emphazising on melody.
Paradoxly enough the song Rock & Roll, despite it's title, is the slowest and least good song on the album, and is falling back very much to what he did on Angry Machines.

There are an equal amount of uptempo songs, and more heavier and slow ones - Killing The Dragon, Along Comes A Spider, Better In The Dark, Push, Before The Fall are the more faster ones, and the rest focus on heavy slow riffs rather than melodies - that's this albums greatest weakness according to me.

The voice of Dio are still as good as in his prime years, and is worth standing ovations, cause the man isn't exactly getting younger for every year, and new guitarist Doug Aldrich delivers more than a handful of good riffs in the true and recognicable Diostyle.

This is definitly a step in the right direction, and if Dio can keep this up, we are looking at an interesting future regarding Dio.
Apart from the three immortal albums Holy Diver, Last In Line and Sacred Heart, I must say that this is the best he has done - so far.
But I hope this development is taken a few steps further in the future - that's when I'll really start enjoying it.

See also review of: Master Of The Moon , Evil Or Divine






6,5 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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