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It's really sad that one band can make so many shit song for one studio album. Although this release doesn't seem promising, no one can expect it to be so weak. It has its moments, and that's all. You have to be careful to capture those moments with your ear, otherwise they will easily slip away in the sea of this mediocrity. In most cases song which has name like the studio album has to be excellent one. That's so true here, 'cause besides that one two more deserve attention: The Prisoner Of Paradise and The Man Who Would Be King. Master Of The Moon shows beauty of Ronnie's voice with amazing refrain, doom metal riffs are cool, backing keyboards make nice and enjoyable ambient even though they are not lead instrument. With Japanese edition you can reward yourself with The Prisoner Of Paradise. It's faster than Master Of The Moon, but it has similar structure. Drums, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and keyboards created nice tempo and built this pleasant song. Ronnie sounds great too. The Man Who Would Be King gives power ballad feel, but it's just ordinary song with variable tempo. That's because of progressive metal touch, and after ballad intro, song gets standard doom metal heaviness.
This one could have been excellent, 'cause intro is really nice, Ronnie sings great, it has well-done mood changes, but close to the end song becomes a bit boring. That ending part decreased its chances to be the third excellent song. It's very good anyway. They Eyes has nice drums, electric and bass guitar rhythm. That combination made really enjoyable tempo and ambient, but the rest is nothing special at all. One More For The Road has nice classic heavy metal riffs, and faster tempo. This song is not slow like many others, and it probably stands as opener of this release which supposed to amaze listener, and make him keen on the rest of the album, but it didn't happen. Ronnie didn't make some greater performances, besides the fact that he fits well in songs Master Of The Moon, The Prisoner Of Paradise and The Man Who Would Be King. Generally speaking guitar solos are not impressive at all. There aren't many memorable riffs, but power chords with doom metal distortion. Also, lyrics are totally weird. You need to have a Dio's book beside you in order to understand the meaning of the lyrics. I can recognize his topic about good and evil, but the rest is too complicated for ordinary people who can't guess what went through his head while he was witting the lyrics.
Good sides of this release:
Besides two excellent songs Master Of The Moon and The Prisoner Of Paradise, and one very good song The Man Who Would Be King. If you want to fill your collection with this release, at least somehow find Japanese edition.
Bad sides of this release:
If you're not fan of Dio, or you want to try to give this band a listen, avoid this release, and don't waste your money. Majority of these songs are faceless, and they can't offer not a single good thing. There aren't many songs which will blow your mind or make you bang your head. Guitar solos are average, no interesting riffs and lyrics are hard to understand or don't have deeper meaning. Generally, this release is boring, faceless, not exciting or interesting.
Master Of The Moon and The Prisoner Of Paradise.