Dio - Master Of The Moon
After quite a few years as a more or less fading star, Dio made a bit of a comeback with Killing The Dragon back in 2002. Even though it was not, and has yet not grown into, a classic killer album that you kind of expect to be released from Dio everytime the time comes for a new release, it was a decent and enjoyable album which indicated a newborn energy and spirit from the tiny man with the mighty voice (<<-- most used clichée of the metal word?)
The expectations from my side before this release, was a more intense and faster driven album then what we have been served lately, but unfortunatly they have chosen to stay on the more laid back and soft side. This album is more of a flirt with the latest, and questionable, albums Angry Machines and Magica, than it is a development of Killing The Dragon.
I personally don't understand why the man insists on staying on the slow and gloomy road. Speed it up, if only so little, and it will be awesome. It can't fail with this voice and the apperant latent capacity to compose refrains. But as it is now....it's just very anonymous and dull. I, for one, love the classic Dio, but this is just "in-through-one-ear-and-out-through-the-other". The album does not at all contain any memorable riffs, passages or hooks, so it gives a pretty bitter after taste after it has faded out. "Was this it....?" Yes, unfortunatly it seemed to be.
Not even the few songs that are a bit more uptempo than the others (One More For The Road and Living The Lie), or the ones that contain fragments of some new fresh thinking or are the least bit driven by a bit of tempo and heavy metal behind it (Death By Love), are especially inspiring. The songwriting is obviously in a stalemate state and that has to be dealt with seriously in the nearest future if Dio want to maintain his position as one of the most classic metal acts there is.
The last album woke the spirit in many listeners, I think, and gave hope for this new album to be more of a vitamin injection, but the truth is that it's going the other way around. A pretty non-saying album, and does not invite for head banging to the new songs on future concerts. We'll still have to stick with the old, immortal classics. No new ones are being born here.