1000x1000In the heavy metal and rock world, the late and great Ronnie James Dio was quite the journeyman having first appeared with Elf before joining Rainbow for most of the mid to late 70’s before replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. It was this journey that brought Ronnie the recognition in the music business so when he was done with his first stint with Sabbath, it was time to unleash everything he had that would change the metal world forever. Along with Vinny Appice (Drums), Dio would create his solo band with former Rainbow bandmate Jimmy Bain (Bass), and with former NWOBHM Sweet Savage guitarist Vivian Campbell (Guitar). On May 25, 1983, the band would unleash what would be wildely considered Dio’s greatest album and what Loudwire.com ranked 17TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list in Dio’s debut solo album Holy Diver. This album was Ronnie fully unleashing what he had started in Black Sabbath lyrically with all of the fantasy themes and it worked because the people loved it. The album was certified platinum by 1989 selling over a million and it peaked at 56 on The Billboard Top 200 charts.

holy diver1. Stand Up And Shout– an all guns blazing track that kicks ass and is basically about standing up for what you believe in and make sure they hear it. 5/5

2. Holy Diver– The first single off the album and probably one of the most recognizable tracks Dio ever recorded is according to him about a Christ like figure on another planet that sacrifices himself in order to save his people, but when they find out they selfishly want him to stay. 5/5

3. Gypsy– a track that to me is about a gypsy that has the ability to fool anyone and you have to believe that considering he used a lot of fantasy-esque stories for lyrics. 4/5

4. Caught In The Middle-a rock track that is Dio telling yourself that you need to believe in yourself and free yourself from the dull zombie like life that you’re living. 4/5

5. Don’t Talk To Strangers– I always loved the clean channel guitars in the beginning of this track before it launches itself into heavy metal overdrive. The track seems to be him telling you to truly find what brings true meaning into your life and not instant gratification. 5/5

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA6. Straight Through The Heart-Big Sabbath like riffs kick off this track into style as he talks about how sometimes people sugar coat what life is all about until you get kicked in the mouth figuratively by reality. 4.5/5

7. Invisible-a reality check of a track whose lyrics deal with people who felt invisible to the world because of the problems they had and the situation they were in. A very 70’s like sound to the track with it’s Nazareth Love Bites like guitar riff and weird effect on Dio’s vocals before the track goes into Sabbath like heavy metal mode. 4.5/5

8. Rainbow In The Dark-The second most popular Dio solo track ever and the second single off the album complete with keyboard parts. I think it’s a track that is all about being stuck in a place where you feel nothing is going right and so you search for that Rainbow In The Dark or ray of hope. 5/5

9. Shame On The Night-The last track on the album and certainly an interesting one which I think is about how devious the night can be and I think you know what I mean. I love the bass riff during the verses and how it’s the main instrument. 5/5

My Final Thoughts-This is probably one of the greatest Dio albums and I think a lot of it has to be with the fact that you can hear a lot of Heaven & Hell by Black Sabbath in this album. I definitely find that it’s certainly the strong point of the album besides the lyrics and his vocals. I wasn’t a huge fan of Gypsy and Caught In The Middle if I am being honest and Shame On The Night was out of nowhere for me as far as how really awesome the track was. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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