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A Classic - 88%

slayer21394, December 14th, 2003

This album starts out with the song "Tarot Woman", which begins with an amazng keyboard intro, and after a few minutes, fades into the first riff. Tarot Woman is loaded with lots of great riffs, and some killer soloing, courtesy of Ritchie Blackmore. The lyrics are about...uhh...a tarot woman? I guess that sounds about right.

The next song, "Run with the Wolf", is a cool song, but doesn't really have anything that stands out, unlike most of the other the other songs on this album. I guess it's about running with the wolves.

"Starstruck" starts out with a kickass riff, and continues with more kickass riffs throughout the song. Like the previous song, nothing that really stands out, but it's definitely better than the last one. It's about a crazy fan that follows him everywhere he goes.

"Do You Close Your Eyes" is a great song with a killer intro riff, and hilarious lyrics. It's the best song since Tarot Woman. I forgot most of the lyrics, but the first chorus goes like this:
Do you close your eyes?
Do you close your eyes?
Do you close your eyes?
When you're making love?
Makin' sweet love to meeeeeee!

Hahahaha, classic. Anyway, now for the moment you listened to the whole album waiting for. (Cue drum roll)...

"Stargazer"! Finally. Stargazer is the best song on the album. It's hard to explain wait, I'll do it now. Opening up with an impressive drum solo...

[Impressive Drum Solo (noun) : A drum solo that shows definite skill, and adds to the overall feeling of a song, without being a massive, overdone, pretentious borefest (see Achilles: Agony and Ecstasy in 8 Parts) Les Binks is also quite good at doing IDS's.]

...the song moves into a simple, yet powerful opening riff. Some great effects during the chorus, one of the most amazing vocal performances ever, several very powerful riffs, and a solo that screams "I own your soul, biatch!" in 5 different languages.
Oh yea, and the lyrics are awesome. The song is about a supposed wizard that brings people (including Dio) into the middle of the desert and commands them to build a massive stone tower "in the heat and the rain, with whips and chains". Lots of people die of thirst during the nine years it takes to build. The wizard is going to climb the tower and fly from the top. He falls and dies instead. Doh! Double Doh for dying of thirst in the RAIN.

Why did I spend so much time on that song? Because it rules, and is way more complex than anything else on the album. For some reason, while I was typing this, I got the idea that the lyrics are supposed to have a hidden meaning. Like Dio is telling you to never trust false prophets, or you'll die of thirst in the desert, even though you're in the heat and rain. With whips and chains.

Whew! Wasn't that fun? Damn right it was, you bitch. Last song. "A Light in the Black". Awesome. After a few minutes, it gets to The Ultimate Lead Section, and becomes incredible. The longest lead section I've ever heard. Roughly 4 fucking minutes of non-stop soloing. Actually it's divided into a keyboard solo and a guitar solo. The keyboard solo is fucking great, and the guitar solo is incredible.

The lyrics to this song, and thus the song itself, are basically an extension of Stargazer, expanding this massive epic to 16:38 minutes. Very few songs can get that long and keep my attention for the whole time. One of them is not "Achilles: Agony and Ecstasy in 8 Parts". Actually,the lyrics are an extension of the end of Stargazer, which sounds pretty boring, but since half of it is soloing, it's alright.

I forgot to mention that everyone on this band is outstanding at their respective instruments, except Jimmy Bain, but I say that because I can't really hear the bass. I'm sure he's got some good stuff in there. Dio doesn't play any instruments here, like he does on Holy Diver. Yes, you remember those keyboards on Rainbow in the Dark.

I got the remastered version, which means I got improved sound, and I don't know about the original, but mine has the lyrics to *gasp* 2 whole songs! I think that's really gay. It's like what Kreator did with Coma of Souls, except Kreator need to save money, and they actually put the lyrics to 6 songs in! Oh well, I guess I can forgive. By the way, you'll need a microscope to read the lyrics, which are in approximately in .5 size font. The booklet is really lame, especially for a remastered edition. Just a picture of the band, the last two songs' lyrics, and some other shit that I seriously can't read at all because of the font size. And the cover is weird.

This album proves that you don't have to be ultra-technical and blazing fast to prove that your band is extremely talented, and more of today's modern bands should take the hint. Actually, most modern bands should fuck off and die, since they don't have talent anyway, and Ritchie Blackmore owns their souls.

Definitely a classic, and a must-own for any fan of any type of rock/metal who doesn't only listen to one sub-sub-genre of metal in their room alone all day and night.

What sucks alot is that no one will read this review, even though I spent so long typing it. Assholes!