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Ronnie James Dio is truly a living legend within metal, and “Master of the Moon” is a milestone for the band. It is his 10th solo studio album and I certainly had high hopes for it – most thanks to the excellent cover and title. But sadly the music didn’t reach my hopes; “Master of the Moon” is a rollercoaster, ups and downs and plenty of strange twists.
The first track doesn’t let you down for a second though. “One More for the Road” is a middle-fast rocker, which is easy listened and fun.
Track number two is a much sadder story – the title track is actually really unbearable. It is slow, with taunting guitars, which tries to set a certain mood, but fails instantly. The vocals from Dio are also totally worthless – he sounds bored, which I become too, and I can’t hear one interesting melody through the whole song. The guitar riffs continue in their slow, boring, uninteresting style and never stop to irritate me.
“The End of the World” is a much more joyful piece of music. It’s slow, but still much better vocals, some nice melodies and the guitar riffs are set straight again.
Then we hear “Shivers”. I love this song – it’s friggin’ wonderful. The cool guitar/synth riffs which appear in the chorus are brilliant, and the regular drums and guitars give the song a very appealing drive.
“The Man Who Would Be King” starts with some singing and a piano, which sounds like David Bowie. Very good! Then comes the guitar riffs and the drums, which shows that we’re going to hear a mid-tempo song once again. This is a very disturbing song to listen to; the verses contain boring riffs, pale drumming and weak singing, but the bridge and chorus is very nice with very good melodies. It feels like two different songs, the verses and choruses are completely different.
“The Eyes” is opened with some modern strange guitar sounds, and I hate it! They pop up now and then in the song, which otherwise is quite boring (my god, just boring songs on the album?). This song faces the same problem as the others: good choruses, but bad verses. I can’t figure out why Dio does it so, but it’s problem all right.
The album is saved by another fast song. “Living a Lie” is started with great, fast guitar riffs. The whole song is great – this is Dio in his right element! He should skip all those mid-tempo stuff and just go straight for the fast stuff. This shows what he can do.
Track number eight is another mid-tempo song, which I by now have been fed up with. “I Am” is one of the better ones though, which finally sound like “one” song. It’s not anything very memorable, but I still like it.
“Death by Love” is not very good either. A short description could be: boring, just like so many other songs on this album. By now I am really fed up with all these med-tempo songs, need I say more?
The album is closed by “In Dreams” and can you guess what!? Another mid-tempo track, just as boring as any other. I just shake my head in disbelief. How can Dio – the metal legend – set himself in this position?
I have mentioned one word more than any other and that is a perfect description of the album; boring. Most of the time there are boring riffs, no cool and rocky melodies and just a slow, dull tempo. It feels as if the album never really starts, it just stands still and doesn’t reach anywhere. Even though there are one or two good mid-tempo and slow songs, most of them are not living up to Dio’s normal standard.
There are some really good songs – “One More for the Road”, “The End of the World”, “Shiver” and “Living a Lie”, but only four songs can’t save this album. I am disappointed, really disappointed…