DIO - Master Of The Moon

Dio - Master Of The Moon

10 songs
46:07 minutes
***** ***
Steamhammer / SPV


If we talk about heavy metal, there is no way around Ronnie James Dio. Apart from being metal's best vocalist ever (and don't even think about disagreeing here), he's been with bands like Rainbow or Black Sabbath when they were at their most creative, until he started his solo career with one of the most overwhelming album - Holy Diver - already more than 20 years ago. Dio is now 55 years old (and he doesn't look it), and he still knows how to deliver good heavy metal albums.

It's unfair to compare his newer material to the classic stuff he did in the 70s at early 80s (the same way no one would expect the same level of genius from Ozzy Osbourne or Plant/Page these days), but Master Of The Moon is some of the best Dio I have heard in a very long time. With Craig Goldie back on the guitars, and other well seasoned musicians (Scott Warren on the keyboard, Simon Wright behind the drums and Rudy Sarzo on bass), the album starts already with a surprisingly fast One More For The Road. From there on, it's mostly mid-tempo stuff (apart from the equally sizzling Living The Lie), working just fine most of them time. While the long The Eyes is comparatively boring, you get another highlight with the moving epic The Man Who Would Be King, an attack at the insanity of the Bush administration, which already got some whacko right wing website all furious at Dio.

But again I need to emphasise that it's unfair to expect Dungeons and Dragons lyrics, because Dio has always been a metal artist totally involved with fighting social injustices (Hear'n'Aid in the mid-Eighties, right now he's associated with Children Of The Night, fighting juvenile prostitution).

Master Of The Moon may not be the classic Dio delivered more than 20 years ago, but compared to what he did in the recent past and to what similar aged artists do these days, this is a more than respectable album that should please every fan of melodic epic metal. Most younger bands would be proud to achieve such a level of intensity!

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