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Dio's first solo album Holy Diver just plain and simple defines the words HEAVY METAL. Today there are so my sub-genres with the likes of Death, Black, Power, Progressive, Grove, Trash, Gothic, etc that many forget the plain and simple great "heavy metal" discs like Holy Diver. This disc is plain and simple HEAVY METAL with no frills. This is just fantastic guitar playing, killer riffs, God like vocals, and smart lyrics.
The reason I decided to sit down and write a review on this disc is for a horrific event that happened to me. I ended up with two mint copies of this CD and offered to give one for free to a friend of mine, a friend that is also a "true" heavy metal fan. My friend turned it down saying "I respect Dio more than I like him". I was flabbergasted! First of all who would turn down a free Dio disc and second how could anyone not like the album Holy Diver?
I don't care what anyone says, if you like heavy metal, you are going to like this disc. Like I mentioned before, this album has fantastic guitar playing, smart lyrics, god like singing, and killer riffs. What metal fan doesn't like these things?
Well, I for one love these things and Holy Diver was one of the pinnacle albums to make me become such a die hard metal head. Dio here proves his one of the kings when it comes to the genre.
The album opens with the fantastic rocker Stand Up and Shout. Right of the bat by this song you know that Dio is going for a harder approach than his Black Sabbath outings. Dio has always been good at starting his first solo albums (as well as the Sabbath discs he sung on) with great fast paced rockers. I sadly have never witnessed Dio live but I can imagine that this is a great live song. Then comes the grand title track with its moody, foreboding intro and then an explosive riff. The title track is one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time...hands down. Other album highlights include Don't Talk to Strangers (which starts off with Dio's mellow singing and then explodes with another thunderous riff), Straight through the Heart, and perhaps Dio's best known song Rainbow in the Dark. Caught in the Middle, Gypsy, Invisible, and Shame on the Night are all weaker compared to the other tracks but they are far from terrible. Just great metal rockers.
If I were going on a life long space mission and I could only take 5 CDs with me to listen to for the rest of my life, Holy Diver would be one of the discs. This is just a pinnacle album that is a staple in every collection.
Oh, and by the way. If one of your friends offers you this CD for free (but then again, you should already have this in your collection), TAKE IT! If you don't like this CD...then I'm afraid to say that your a poser. STAND UP AND SHOUT!!!