This is a power metal filled column, with none of the lighter stuff that occasionally creeps in.
Dio: Donnington Live 1983-1987
The name pretty much says it all. These are Dio’s set at the respective Donnington Festival years. The first disc is from the debut of his Ronnie James Dio’s solo band, featuring a very young Vivian Campbell (now in Def Leppard via Whitesnake) and the second one contains the “established” Dio’s triumphant return. While a few could grumble there is quite a bit of replication on these two CDs, most fans won’t care. 25 tracks from the much missed Dio is not something to be scoffed at. The live gigs were recorded originally by the BBC in the day. Despite their age there is none of the normal problems you can have with some BBC stuff, the sound quality is quite respectable.
As would expect from the vocal legend that is Dio, whose career charts some very big highs even back in the 80s, this is some good stuff. You get to hear his versions of Dio-era Black Sabbath and Rainbow. There is nothing quite like a full-on version of “Heaven & Hell” to get the juices flowing. You would be hard pressed as either a metal fan or a follower of Dio not to enjoy all that is on offer here. It might just get you to seek out CD versions of all your old Dio albums. The early Dio releases really do stand the test of time in quite an impressive way.
Everyone has their favourite Dio tracks and between the two CDs chances are one of these CDs will have that song. While maybe not the best live CDs ever they certainly are respectable CDs from a great band. Then again with legendary front-man Dio at the helm how exactly can you go wrong?
Atlantean Codex: The Golden Bough
Loosely based on the writings of one Sir James George Frazer and his theory that all religions came from the same basic root. Its heady stuff for a power metal CD that is for sure. The thing about the CD which is odd is that there are a lot of water sounds on it. Those who have been drinking heavily might wish to go to the loo first. This is quite a clever creation and many of the songs stand on their own. Considering the subject matter it would shock no one to hear there is a track, “A Prophet in the Forest”, that clocks in at 15 minutes.