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Friday, November 9, 2012
Dio – The Very Beast of … Vol. 2 album review
Dio – The
Very Beast of … Vol. 2 review
through: Niji Ent. Group. Release Date: Available now.
I for one
have been a big Dio fan, Ronnie James Dio that is, since his Rainbow days, all
the way through Black Sabbath, Dio the band and his final Heaven and Hell band
and yes of course like so many others, I was devastated when the world
learned of his tragic passing two years ago.
really was THE legendary voice, to me and I know many other rock fans, in far
surpassing what Ozzy Osbourne did in Black Sabbath and no, I am not knocking
Ozzy’s classic work with Sabbath, I just think Dio’s voice has been and will remain,
superior to anything Ozzy does. Period! - Er, that's like full stop for my good old UK readers!
comment:I can feel the backlash coming now!!!
So what of
this second volume of ‘The Very Beast of Dio – Vol. 2’ then?
For starters, the cover is awful, there I said it!!!
one thing, to many folks around the globe this comes as a surprise release,
especially since 'Volume 1' was only ever released officially in the USA and
Canada … Perhaps there could’ve been a repackaging of the first to capture both
versions, I think personally that would’ve been better, let’s face it, new
‘Best Of’s’ of artist's are issued again and again anyway, so why not get this
one done right?
That’s just my take on it and to be completely honest, that
request is twofold …
Why? It’s like this, put simply and again I
love the voice of R.J.D., but the selection for 'Volume 2' is simply nowhere near
as strong as 'Volume 1,' I wish it was …
I don’t believe Ronnie would’ve agreed
with the track selection for release.
contained from the first album alone, ‘Stand Up and Shout’ – The ultimate! –
‘Holy Diver’ – Killer! – ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ – A crossover track that fans of
many genres accepted and enjoyed. – and ‘Straight Through The Heart’ – Just
absolute unforgettable gems like ‘We Rock,’ ‘The Last In Line,’ ‘Mystery,’
‘King of Rock and Roll’ and it just goes on for the other eight masters, all taken
from the first six studio albums and the live ‘Intermission’ release.
is compiled of tracks from the last three official Dio studio releases in
‘Angry Machines,’ ‘Killing The Dragon’ and ‘Master of the Moon’ and a few bonus
forgive me Ronnie (RIP) but … These last few studio albums have some great material
and absolutely great players including guitarists the likes of Doug Aldrich,
Craig Goldy and Tracy G, as well as Jimmy Bain and Jeff Pilson (Bass), Scott
Warren (Keys) and two great drummers in Vinnie Appice and Simon Wright, but I
just don’t feel the songs are overall quite as strong.
but I think I think the majority missed a lot of the hooks and melody from the
said ‘Killing The Dragon,’ I think is certainly of the better material on the
compilation which includes four cuts here from the album of the same name.
a great song to open any Dio album, Dio fans will know it well no doubt …
next again from the same album and this became a popular track, quite possibly
helped by the entertaining video that accompanied it at the time featuring a
certain Jack Black in his Tenacious D guise.
again a very good studio and live track.
‘The Eyes’ I think is a bit of a cult favourite, of course a great vocal
performance from Ronnie and quite a dark number, but I felt it was OK
personally, it's not one of my fav’s and is taken from the ‘Master of the Moon’ album.
Comes A Spider’ next from the ‘Killing …’ album grabs my attention once more,
great up tempo Dio number.
material here from ‘Killing …’ is ‘Better In The Dark,’ which whips along
nicely too in classic Dio fashion. Love it!
Dreams’ from ‘Magica’ next almost follows a ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ song
structure through the verses.
track that I feel isn’t one of the Dio’s better songs and yes I still like it,
it’s just it feels a little like it’s missing something.
possibly my least favourite Dio album ‘Angry Machines’ comes ‘Black,’ and it’s
just too weird for me, I’ll leave it there.
Head’ from ‘Magica’ really doesn’t do too much for me either really, but then
‘Magica’ was a concept style album, which perhaps was in a little too much of a
Prog rock / metal type direction.
it’s someone’s favourite, it’s just not mine!
next from ‘Master of the Moon’ is a dark, creeping up on you style track, nice
guitar solo but kind of doesn’t go that far for me. It’s a steady chug along
version of ‘Hunter of the Heart’ from ‘Angry Machines’ up next … It’s really
not a Dio classic to me …
prime example of why I don’t think the track selection for the compilation is
nothing wrong with Ronnie’s voice on any of the songs that aren’t favourites of
mine, they just don’t feel like – to me – that they are the ‘best of’ or ‘Beast
of’Dio’s latter work.
opening track from ‘Master of the Moon,’‘One More For the Road’ is next and
it’s a pretty steady rocker.
enjoyable to me!
the Last Day’ from ‘Magica’ is chug along rocker, if somewhat plodding …
So to the first
of the ‘Bonus tracks’ and ‘Electra’ is first which it says in the albums sleeve
notes is taken from ‘Magica 2’ … I cannot find any record of a ‘Magica 2’
having been released anywhere …?
it’s a slower paced rocker which I like, but it does feel a little
directionless and really does go around and around on itself to be honest.
Certainly feels appropriate to be a part of a concept release.
As It’s Not About Love’ from ‘Magica’ is certainly still of the concept styling
with the first two and a half minutes being a beautifully sung ballad like
intro and then wham! In crash power chords, actually in doom laden style,
before the song gets back on the song track and the epic style of the song
continues to drive the track home.
grace perhaps from ‘Angry Machines,’ is the beautiful and almost Queen like ‘This
Is Your Life.’
truly moving piano and vocal track; I love it, perhaps ironic for Ronnie too ...
Will Never Die’ is a track that was unearthed by Ronnie’s cousin and former
band mate in Elf, David ‘Rock’ Feinstein.
solid, steady rock anthem like track that sadly could have been finished better
on Ronnie’s vocal mix.
It seems as
though the vocal was pushed up in the mix, but not done right as it distorts as
the track gets heavier. Shame …
track here is ‘The Prisoner of Paradise,’ which was originally only available
on the Japanese release of ‘Master of the Moon.’
actually a really enjoyable track to close to compilation with.
overall, I’ve already told you that – IMHO - I don’t think it was the best overall
choice of tracks for the ‘Very Beast of Dio – Vol. 2.’
to say that everyone on here, like on the first ‘Very Beast of Dio,’ was a
winner, but really the first three Dio albums were the first lineup of Dio,
perhaps the classic lineup?!
Dio album ‘Dream Evil’ was really equally as good to me to be honest too, where
Craig Goldy had stepped in for Vivian Campbell to play in a classy style, which
is something I think he’s always done.
that I think with the frequent lineup changes Ronnie’s own band had, it was
hard to keep the consistency of the songwriting, but of course there was still
plenty of class work.
a Dio fan, then of course you’re going to want this, for the bonus tracks alone.
As a Dio
fan of old, I was disappointed by the horrible cover; I thought Uriah Heep’s‘Abominog’
cover was bad for looking pretty gruesome. This certainly tops that!
couldn’t have been a little more tasteful, maybe with a rainbow somewhere
there, Ronnie always loved to sing about ‘em!
out of 5 – For poor choice of track listing.
knock the musicianship at all though, so your call there folks!
Also folks, if you are a fan of the music of Ronnie James Dio, please, I urge you, go and check out Dio Disciples - Not so sure on name choice, but it shows dedication I guess?! - the band made up of Ronnie's former Dio bandmates, of course with the exception of the vocalists involved and the bassist.
The current lineup features:
Tim "Ripper" Owens (Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Oni Logan (Lynch Mob) on Vocals
Craig Goldy - Guitars (Ex-Dio)
Bjorn Anglund - Bass (Yngwie Malmsteen)
Scott Warren - Keyboards (Dio,Heaven & Hell)
Simon Wright - Drums (Dio, AC/DC, UFO).
Dio Disciple tour dates can be found at the below Dio website.