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Dio – MASTER OF THE MOON (Sanctuary)

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Spitfire Records

Ronnie, and his historical pipes are back with a new record, new label, and, once again, new band members ! Over the years, Dio’s band mates have become a revolving door, this is not a new thing, and bringing in old band members to replace the replacements is also not new. On board for the new album are Jeff Pilson, a quick replacement for longtime (off and on) bassist Jimmy Bain, and Craig Goldy replaces Doug Aldritch, who lasted one album, 2002’s Killing The Dragon. And to make your head spin even more, Rudy Sarzo is now the Bassist, coming in after the record’s recording and will the hitting the tour with the band. This solidifys the line-up along with Dio and drummer Simon Wright. Yet, with all the changes, what we are drawn to is the man himself, Ronnie James Dio.

So how the does the music sound, after all, that’s what we are all here for after all. This is a straight up pre-butt rock/hair metal 80’s metal record, nothing the prog musings that was Magica. Most of the record kinda plods along, not breaking loose with high highs, or low lows, tending to stay in the safe middle ground. Even though Dio’s voice is still there, sounding great as usual, he doesn’t show it off with any
gigantic memorable chorus, preferring here to stick with the dirtier melodies, along with the gutter riffs and general sense of world weariness. The tune with the most pep in it’s step is lead off “One More For The Road”, the one tune that brings back memories of the past circa The Last In Line. Whatever momentum that gained there quickly dissapates into the plodding dirge that is the rest of the album. The Title cut is boring, as is anything that sounds just like on here, and one listen through they stick out like a soar thumb. Besides the opener, the tunes that rise above the ordinary would the “The Eyes”, which features a cool vocal effect and includes a nice little jam in the middle, “Death By Love”, displays a nice fluid beat and features the only real solo on the record, compliments of Mr. Goldy, and “I Am”, which includes a memorable chorus, good guitar work, and could convert well live.

PITRIFF RATING – 6/10 – Not much here that sets the world on fire, again, playing the safe route, sometimes boring, and sometimes merely good. It’s still a pleasure, after all these years, to hear the man’s voice, one of my favorite vocalists of all time, and he’s hasn’t lost a thing. Hopefully, after the touring for this record has ended, and they get into the studio with a their new, solid line-up and fresh ideas, they can pump out a wonderful time-aged Dio jam.

Brian Gould / Pitriff.com

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