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The Dragon May Be Dead, But the Dio Is Alive! - 62%

thebloodfeaster, July 29th, 2002

This album starts off extremely strong with the title track. I think this song will go down as one of the classics in his solo career. It's a razor sharp metal song with fantasy lyrics like we could expect from Dio back in the early days. Along Came a Spider is more of a rock song, but it sure as hell does ROCK! I have to admit that I was not listening to metal in the 80's, but I get the same feel from this album that I do from listening to his 80's material. I don't really care for Better In the Dark that much because the main guitar line sounds too much like a typical Motley Crue type hard rock riff. The singing is still good on it though, as it is everywhere else on the cd. Dio's voice sounds as strong as ever. Don't let the name of the song Rock & Roll fool you. It's possibly the heaviest and darkest track on the album, and has less of a traditional hard rock feel than many of the others. The chorus sounds like it would be a song that could go over really well with a live audience. Push is an example of a song for which Rock & Roll would be a more fitting title, but unlike Better In the Dark, this song kicks ass. Throw Away the Children is another slow, catchy, almost-ballad. Before the Fall is a song I like even less than Better In the Dark. The band tries to do something interesting with a little organ sound in the middle, but it doesn't prevent it from being a total filler song. Unfortunately, the next and last song is only barely better. It's really a shame that this album ends on such a weak note when it started off so strong. Overall though, it's the best thing Dio's put out since Strange Highways.