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A highway to Heaven! - 98%

DRAXSEN, December 8th, 2005

From the moment the first guitar screamed through the speakers I new I was in for an aural onslaught of listening pleasure. It was clear that DIO has stepped up the big league in terms of production quality. A winner in every sense of the word and body.

Jesus….. The first track is brilliant, from the lyrics questioning Christianity, the structure of the song and the mood it generates. It blew me away when the guitar impersonated a saw cutting down the cross. The imagery created is first class.

The title track “Strange Highways” again takes you to the place Ronnie is writing about and the music is the sound track to the movie Ronnie is verbalising. It was at this point I started to think that this is close to the best album I have ever heard. “Strange Highways” gives us a glimpse into the madness that insecurities generated by adult figures can cause,. “I am good for nothing, So they say”. as well as the pressure of structured religion. Man I could really relate to this song.

Firehead and Hollywood Black have the hole band kicking arse. Hard and Heavy. I have never been a big fan of Vinnie Appice (Drums) but he really comes of age. There is not the obvious mistakes that can be found on Mob Rules and Holy Diver. The guitars throughout this album bring the songs to life. I love it. There is so much energy, aggression and thoughtfulness that has gone into not only the guitar planning the songs and production in total. This album comes alive and can really take a hold of you, in more ways than one if you are not careful.

“Give Her A Gun”, spews social justice and you find yourself imagining shooting the bastards yourself. It was so relevant especially with the gang rapes we have been experiencing here in Australia inflicted upon white Australians by the Muslim community.

The best track on the album to me though is “PAIN” I cannot remember the last time that a song meant so much to me before or since. A huge wall of sound intruduces the song, and like every other track on this album the guitars and bass pound your brain. I am beginning to believe that this album is the soundtrack to my life. It is dark! It is evil and it will get inside your head.
Not for the faint hearted.
There is more depth in this album than his previous outings and I hope he continues on in this direction.