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Dio’s Holy Diver while being a darn good release is certainly not a metal classic. I do agree that Holy Diver is certainly one of Dio’s best albums containing some of his best songs. Filler is present on some of the songs on this album like the album low point Shame on The Night. Holy Diver has more variety than the average Dio release also and shows some of his best songwriting and choruses.
Holy Diver’s songs range from early speed metal numbers, classic mid-tempo metal anthems, and melodic power metal. Practically ever song is mid-tempo or slower besides Stand Up And Shout, and Don’t Talk To Strangers both being some of the fastest songs Dio wrote in the 80’s. Keyboards are used both by Ronnie and Jimmy providing a great atmospheric intro to the title track and some nice notes throughout Rainbow In The dark. Semi-ballads are represented in the beginning of Don’t Talk To Strangers, and Invisible. Most songs on Holy Diver start with a strong lead than alternate between lead and main riff for most of the song.
The band’s performance is very solid considering they all were experienced musicians at this time. Ronnie James Dio’s vocals on Holy Diver are easily one of his best performances of his career showcasing his excellent range, melodic singing, and his ruff much more metal vocals. Vivian Campbell’s guitar work is probably his best of the three Dio albums he plays on, he’s well suited for crafting great classic metal leads and mid- tempo riffs that are either solid or excellent. Jimmy Bain’s bass guitar on Holy diver is very audible and really adds a nice low end effect to songs like Holy Diver and Straight Through The Heart. Vinny Appice’s drumming is his usual mid-tempo beats with lots of fills and hard hitting pounding.
Unfortunately Holy Diver is not a classic metal album a few major problems really take away from this albums enjoy ability. First off as said above filler is present on a few songs like the majority of Shame On The Night (a bad way to end a solid album), Straight Through The Heart, and Gypsy. Holy Diver seems to be based around four songs Stand Up And Shout, Holy Diver, Don’t Talk To Strangers, and Rainbow In The Dark. The rest of Holy Diver is not nearly as high quality as those four songs.
Holy Diver is certainly a solid album albeit an overrated album. Best songs are Stand Up And Shout, Holy Diver, Don’t Talk To Strangers, and Rainbow In The Dark. I recommend Holy Diver to any fan of Dio and classic metal but don’t expect this release to be an all time metal classic because it is not.
-5 points filler is present weakens quality of album
-5 points Holy Diver is based around to much around the standouts and not around the overall quality of the album
-5 points holy Diver ends on a low point with Shame On The Night easily one of Dio’s worst songs