Posts Tagged ‘Ronnie James Dio’

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.

rainbow-rising-1976-album-coverWhen you think of the genre of heavy metal, there are certain faces that are immediately associated with it and those people are Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, and the late and great Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie was one of those guys that just embodied the genre of heavy metal and he did it with Elf, Black Sabbath, his solo band Dio, and the legendary post Deep Purple band Rainbow. Richie Blackmore had left Deep Purple and he wanted to start a new band that was his vision and he did so with Ronnie on vocals. On May 17, 1976, Rainbow with only Dio and Blackmore remaining from the previous album would release their second album Rising which would now feature Tony Carey (Keyboards), Jimmy Bain (Bass), and Cozy Powell (Drums) while the album was produced by Martin Birch. The album was a huge success for the band as Kerrang Magazine stated in 1981 that it was the greatest Heavy Metal album ever recorded while Rolling Stone ranked it 48TH on their 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time list while Loudwire ranked it 20TH on their Best 50 Metal Albums Of All Time list. The album peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts while going gold in the UK in 1979.

rainbow-823-6552-cd1. Tarot Woman– The track starts off with a cool spacey keyboard playing by Carey before the band eventually comes in led by Dio’s powerful vocals. I believe the track is about someone who is afraid of what the fortune teller has told them. The tarck features a cool solo by Blackmore. 5/5

2. Run With The Wolf– A track that kind of has a funky rock swagger to it as Dio leads the charge in this track that is all about werewolves I believe. I definitely am a fan of how the keys mix in very nicely with the guitars, they make a great pair in this track. 4.5/5

3. Starstruck– A cool rock track that is all about every rockers favorite types of fans in groupies, but this is apparently about one that took it a little too far and found out where he lived. 4.5/5

4. Do You Close Your Eyes-This is a cool rock track that seems to be about a girl that he knows that he can’t seem to figure out what her deal is, but all that he hopes is that she is into him like he is into her. 4.5/5

RAINBOW_RAINBOW+RISING-233360b5. Stargazer– An epic track on the album that starts off with a drum solo by Powell before Blackmore and company bring the thunder in a track that also features the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, a Vako Orchestron, and a turkish string instrument. The song is apparently a moral song that was written in the perspective of an slave in Egyptian times  that is forced to build something because a wizard becomes obsessed with flying to the stars. 5/5

6. A Light in the Black– The last track on the album that is another 8 minute epic track that is the sequel to the previous track that still follows this slave who attempts to try and fly home now that the wizard has fallen. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The weird thing about this album is that side two is so drastically different than the first side. The first side is a little more Purple rock side while the second side is more of that Dio awesomeness that we all love. Stargazer is definitely my favorite track on the album, but A Light In The Black is great and Tarot Woman is great too. I am going to give the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

heaven and hellIf you were to ask me what were the most legendary Black Sabbath records to not feature Ozzy Osbourne on Vocals, I would literally say Heaven And Hell and Born Again without thinking twice. Born Again was an album that featured former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan while Heaven And Hell, the band’s ninth studio album was the first to feature former Rainbow frontman Ronnie James Dio on vocals. It was the band’s first album without original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and the first album to not feature a long of songwriting from Geezer Butler who had written a lot of the previous material. The band still featured Tony Iommi (Guitar), Butler (Bass), and Bill Ward (Drums) as well as Geoff Nichols making his first appearance on keyboards. While the album is controversial to a lot of Sabbath faithfuls, it was a very successful record as it peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and was certified platinum in the US alone. Iommi commented on the difference between Ozzy and Dio saying, “Ozzy would sing with the riff. Just listen to ‘Iron Man’ and you’ll catch my drift: his vocal melody line copies the melody of the music. There was nothing wrong with that, but Ronnie liked singing across the riff instead of with it, come up with a melody that was different from that of the music, which musically opens a lot more doors. I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking Ozzy, but Ronnie’s approach opened up a new way for me to think …”

heaven and hell back cover1. Neon Knights– The hard charging in your face opening track kicks the album off into overdrive was subsequently the last track written for the record as a filler for the first side. 5/5

2. Children Of The Sea– A very melodic track that was originally written when Ozzy was still the singer of the band. Iommi played the riff for the track and Dio instantly wrote lyrics for the track and Children Of The Sea was born. I think the track has something to do with mankind sort of ruining the earth. 5/5

3. Lady Evil– I love the opening bass riff that goes with the raunchy rock riff that Iommi provides and honestly I think it’s about ladies of the night. I could be wrong, but women can mystifying. 4.5/5

4. Heaven And Hell– The title track is one of the greatest Dio led Sabbath songs ever written and it ranks right up there with the rest of Sabbath’s catalog. Dio has said that the song is about choosing the right path that leads you to be the better you. 5/5

black-sabbath-heaven-and-hell-deluxe-edition-4-cd5. Wishing Well– an awesome track that is just rocks from beginning to end about how you can’t buy happiness no matter how much you try. You have to learn to love to be happy. 4.5/5

6. Die Young-a very cool into by Geoff Nichols helps kick off the track as Iommi comes in with a cool riff in stereo as Dio sings that you have to live to the fullest everyday because here today gone tomorrow. 4.5/5

7. Walk Away– A riff that sort of reminds me of something AC/DC would write just in the beginning though because as soon as it kicks off, it’s pretty cool in this track about staying away from women that are troubled. 4.5/5

8. Lonely Is The Word– The last track on the album has a bad ass riff that drives the song throughout which showcases the amazing teamwork of Iommi and Butler in this track about how being at the very top can be lonely especially if you crash. A very underrated track by the band with a very cool instrumental section. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This was a completely different Black Sabbath then what we were used to with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals. Loudwire ranked it 23RD on their Best 50 Metal Albums Of All Time. While I agree with Zakk Wylde on one point that Black Sabbath is Ozzy Osbourne, Tony and Ronnie did make one hell of a record. My favorite tracks on the album are Lady Evil, the title track, Lonely Is The World, and Children Of The Sea. I would love to hear the Ozzy version of Children Of The Sea especially if Tony still has it. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

War Of The Covers New The Mob RulesLast week, we had one heck of a triple threat match that saw Krokus come from behind to win by two votes in who covered Sweet’s The Ballroom Blitz better. Well now for this week’s War Of The Covers, we have another epic triple threat match that features some real titans of metal covering one of the greatest voices in Metal. In 2010, the world lost one of the greats in Ronnie James Dio in a battle with cancer. Ronnie left behind an epic legacy that included music with Rainbow, solo material, and his time with Black Sabbath which we are looking at today. In 1981, Black Sabbath would release their second album with Dio in The Mob Rules which featured the epic title track which is our focus today. In 2002, heavy metal band Fozzy which features members of Stuck Mojo with wrestler Chris Jericho released a cover of the song on their album Happenstance. In 2011, Iced Earth would release their tenth album Dystopia with Stu Block on vocals that featured a cover of the track. In 2013, Adrenaline Mob, the band that featured John Moyer of Disturbed and Mike Portnoy formerly of Dream Theater would release a covers EP called Covertà that featured a cover of the track as well. Now only one cover of The Mob Rules can reign supreme and you have until the very next War Of The Covers to decide so choose wisely and have fun with it.

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2017-headerAfter an awesome first round, we are looking for your help to keep the momentum going because without you guys, there is no Pedal To The Metal Tournament. You the fans have always decided the outcome of the tournament as you have crowned champion after champion. So, with that being said, we have some awesome matches for you guys to check out and we are keeping them all in the same post for now for the sweet sixteen. We strongly encourage that you vote for every match up in the tournament because this is all about supporting the metal community no matter what sub-genre it is. In the Dio/Lemmy division, Queensryche looks to keep their luck going as they take on the legend from Germany U.D.O. meanwhile Accept is looking to keep the fight alive as they take on former two time champion Judas Priest. The Hanneman divsion has some great match ups like one mega match that pins Big Four members Megadeth against Slayer. The other match is a good one as well and it features one band that brings a strong argument to the table as to why it should be the Big Five and not the Big Four in Exodus as they take on a band that brings a strong argument as to why that Big Four stuff should be expanded to more in Testament. The Schuldiner division features the defending champion Destruction take on Viking Metal Kings Amon Amarth as well as 2015 winner Kreator taking on the mighty Cannibal Corpse. The last division, the metal to the core division, features Lamb Of God taking on All That Remains while Killswitch Engage does battle with Trivium. You all have until the end of Match 21st to vote for who you want to see move on the Elite 8 round. So, vote carefully and wisely, but have a lot of fun and spread the word.

2017 Bracket sweet sixteen

There was a screw up where the Slayer/Megadeth match closed early, so we have another poll for all of you to keep voting for that one. At the end, we’ll combine both scores together. Sorry for the inconvenience

pedal-2016-promoLast night was Alumni Takeover Weekend over at Bridgewater State University’s radio station WBIM 91.5FM. The reason it’s special and why I did a show is because that is my Alma Mater and I was a DJ at the radio station where I hosted the show Pedal To The Metal. It’s a tradition that has been going on for some time at the school during Homecoming weekend where alumni of the station will come and take over the station for a weekend. It’s an awesome tradition that I wish was more than just one weekend a year because it’s so nice to run into some familiar faces and hear some stories from some of the guys that came before you. I want to go ahead and thank John Coombs for putting this together once again and I hope he feels better, it wasn’t the same without him there. I also want to thank the school for allowing us to do this and the current staff at WBIM for allowing us to come and takeover the station from them. Here is my playlist from that featured a special Black Sabbath medley (of sorts).

1. Inside The Fire by Disturbed

2. The Threat Is Real by Megadeth

3. Square Hammer by Ghost

4. Room 24 by Volbeat

5. One Of Us Is The Killer by The Dillinger Escape Plan

6. Turn Off The Radio by A Day To Remember

7. Babylon’s Burning by W.A.S.P.

8. Brotherhood Of Man by Motorhead

9. On With The Show by Motley Crue

10. Children Of The Grave (Vocalist Medley) by Black Sabbath*

11. Sail Away by Deep Purple

12. Metal Gods by Judas Priest

* Vocalist Medley featured Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Martin, and Ronnie James Dio on the same track.

pedalWell, now it’s down to this and the Elite 8 round of the 2016 Pedal To The Metal Tournament has come to a close. It has been a really interesting tournament so far as who you would expect to win hasn’t and sometimes the battles are lopsided. We have seen some upsets in the tourney, but that is what makes these things interesting. In the Dio division final, Iron Maiden was looking to make the final four for the second year in a row while newcomer Primal Fear was looking to continue their streak. Unfortunately, some dreams come to an end and Iron Maiden pulled off a lopsided victory beating Primal Fear 160 to 50. In the Lemmy Kilmister division final, Avenged Sevenfold and Ghost were looking to continue making waves as both bands took out some giants along the way to this match. Unfortunately for Avenged Sevenfold, the road ends here as Ghost easily took them down 110 to 61. In the Jeff Hanneman division, we had a pretty tight race as Testament and Megadeth were both looking for a shot at the final four. Testament ultimately came out in the end big winners as they beat Megadeth 114 to 99.

The Final FourI saved the best match for last because this one was exciting. In the Chuck Schuldiner division, we had the defending champions Kreator take on fellow Big Teutonic Four member Destruction in a match where the lead changed every day. When I first followed this match, Destruction had a pretty comfortable lead over Kreator, but it quickly changed the next day. All of a sudden, Kreator had the comfortable lead over Destruction and with a day left to vote it looked like they increased their chances to defend the title successfully. That is until I checked the results today and Destruction was back in the lead. In fact, Destruction has eliminated the defending champion Kreator 186 to 153. So, you’re final four round is set and ready to go. Testament will be taking on Destruction while Iron Maiden does battle with Ghost.