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When this live album was recorded Dio was into his sixtieth year, his performance is great especially since he is so old and still touring like a mad man, but his voice isn't in top form on all the songs. Evil Or Divine: Live in New York while being quite good especially for a live album doesn’t really have any songs that haven’t been on previous compilations or live albums by Dio except for some newer material from Magica and Killing the Dragon. The production is top notch and really makes this album shine, and the rest of the members are on the top of their game as well. Many of Dio’s more speed metal oriented songs on here are even faster live especially We Rock.
The problems with this album sadly are partly because of Dio while for the most part he does these classics justice, you can tell his voice isn’t what it used to be. Again the track listing is also a flaw the Rainbow and Black Sabbath songs have been played live enough and it would have been better if he pulled out some more classic Dio songs. King of Rock and Roll, Strange Highways, Lock Up The Wolves, and Sacred Heart are just some of Dio’s classics that I would have enjoyed much more on this album. Another problem is that Evil Or Divine relies too much on material from Killing The Dragon which was a disappointing release, and worse not even the best songs off that album are even present. Unfortunately the main reason why Evil Or Divine relies so heavily on Killing The Dragon because this album was recorded from that tour.
The album highlight is certainly Doug Aldrich’s excellent 9 minute solo which has multiple styles like blues, shred, classic metal, and even a hint of neo-classical metal throughout its duration. Overall a great live album that is quite enjoyable to listen to. The best songs are Egypt/Children of the Sea (A great mix of both songs), Don’t Talk to Strangers, the Guitar Solo, and We Rock. I recommend this album to fans of Dio and any fan of classic metal looking for a good live album.
-6 points Dio’s somewhat erratic performance
-7 Track listing could have been much better
-7 Relies too much on material from Killing The Dragon
This album features Doug Aldrich on guitar, who not only was Dio's guitarist during Craig Goldy's unexpected absence in 2002 but is also current Dio guitarist because of Craig's unfortunate accident in 2005. But that aside, this album showcases some of his best playing. The entire band was spot on this night, and the recording quality was exceptional.
My only bone to pick with this album is that 2 tracks from the DVD, Drum Solo and Lord of the Last Day were not on it. I realize that is for time reasons, but they could've easily swapped out Lord of the Last Day for Fever Dreams, since it's the only song Doug didn't quite pull off.
This album starts with Killing The Dragon, and as usual Ronnie's voice is spot on for a man of so many years. And Doug's guitar playing is even better than in the studio, especially with his killer guitar solo. Then you get solid blocks of Dio classics until you get to Don't Talk To Strangers. This is an amazing track, namely again because of Doug's guitar solo. Vivian Campbell would've shed a tear over how tastefully done Doug did this solo in the same phrasing as he did oh so many years ago.
One more track, and then you get Doug's guitar solo. Yet again, an amazing guitar solo. You can really tell that he is influenced by guys like Hendrix and Tony Iommi as you listen to the things he plays.
Then another song, and then you get to Fever Dreams. This is where I am sad, becuase Doug kind of screwed up the rhythm and main riff to this song. That's why I think Lord of the Last Day should've been on here, since he didn't screw that song up at all. Needless to say, it's still not too bad.
After that comes Holy Diver... Very well done, but it sounds like Ronnie is wearing down just a little (but he bounces back after this song, so no worries). The guitar solo here is too sloppy which is a partial detract. It sounds almost rushed.
Then you get more solid Dio [and Black Sabbath] classics... Notable is Heaven and Hell with it's guitar solo and tempo change, as well as for the extra line of lyrics Ronnie adds in.
But the show closes with an amazingly upbeat version of We Rock with a great guitar solo with some added "WE ROCKS" and "YOU ROCK" at the end that make it classic.
So really, this is almost better than a compilation album, because you get to hear how good the band is in action. Unfortunately when you listen to the CD you can't see all the 'devil horns' that Ronnie flashes on the DVD that seal the deal, but the CD definitely proves that this band can rock hard and throw down with the best of them. If only they had thought a little more about Fever Dreams versus Lord of the Last Day, this album could've been perfect.