Holy Diver Live

Dio

Since his passing on May 16, 2010, Ronnie James Dio has been honored with a tasteful memorial, and numerous tributes from various television, radio, magazine and online outlets. While box sets, books and products bearing the Dio logo will not doubt hit the marketplace in the coming months and years, Eagle Vision has repackaged Holy Diver Live, previously available on DVD, and now plumped up visually and sonically for Blu-ray Disc.

This show was filmed at London’s Astoria Theatre on October 22, 2005 — just a few months before Dio rejoined Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice to form Heaven & Hell. Squeezed into between songs from his days with Rainbow and Black Sabbath is Holy Diver, the singer’s 1983 solo debut, in its entirety. A classic metal album, beholden to hard hitting thumps in the night, heavy guitars and Dio’s commanding voice.

For this show, the singer is supported by a worthy crew of musicians: drummer Simon Wright, bassist Rudy Sarzo, keyboardist Scott Warren and guitarist Doug Aldrich, a veteran clutch player whose logged time with everyone from House of Lords to Whitesnake. Considering the wealth of material — and in Aldrich’s case, the task of replicating immortal guitar parts created by Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and Vivian Campbell — the band does an admirable job. Wright, who played with AC/DC for six years, gets an extended solo that you’ll either love (most likely if you’re a drummer) or step way from. Sarzo, who got his first big break with Dio’s arch-rival Ozzy Osbourne, is the consummate pro, as interesting to watch as Dio himself.

“Holy Diver” and “Rainbow In The Dark” are the stand-outs from Holy Diver. For older fans, there’s “Heaven & Hell” and “Sign Of The Southern Cross” from his Black Sabbath days, and “Tarot Woman,” “Gates Of Babylon,” “Man On The Silver Mountain” and “Long Live Rock N’ Roll” from his Rainbow days. All of which make this show as definitive an overview of the man’s spectacular career as you can get. Packed with bonus interviews from Dio, his band and crew members, this Blu-ray of Holy Diver Live, in all its high definition splendor, is a remarkable tribute to a special vocalist of extraordinary range, soul and power.

~ Shawn Perry

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