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One of my three favorite Dio solo albums - 90%

morbert, March 17th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, PolyGram

Ronnie James Dio, the little big man who became world famous when eventually joining Rainbow, Black Sabbath and of course singing on the Roger Glover song ‘Love Is All’ from 1975 which pretty much everyone knows, including our parents. He who even managed to become a succesful solo artist back in the eighties. 5 albums of him I still hold dearly from which 3 are utter highlights. ‘Dream Evil’ is one of these three.
‘Dream Evil’ was his fourth solo album in the eighties, following the more rock than metal oriented ‘Sacred Heart’ and stylewise went back to the first two.

We have two speed metal tunes. Full pace and rocking like madmen, ‘Night People’ and ‘Overlove’ from which the first is the better and the second is based around an incredibly good rocking riff. Of course, like on previous albums, the title track is a doom metal song with strong catchy chorus. Now the big ballad here ‘All the Fools Sailed Away’ is pretty damn good. Sensitive, dynamic, great catchy chorus. One of the finest Dio ballads ever written.

‘Sunset Superman’ is one of my most favorite Dio songs. The chorus might be simple but it is based about a powerful riff and the true strength of the song comes from the verses which combine superior riffing with one of Dio's strongest vocal lines. ‘Faces In The Window’ is an upbeat metal tune. Great pace, drive and majestic chorus. This is exactly what made eighties heavy metal so great!

As we all know, the more rock than metal oriented material from Dio CAN also be good. On the ‘Sacred Heart’ album the songs ‘King Of Rock And Roll’ and especially ‘Hungry For Heaven’ proved that Dio can sound more commercial yet still be catchy as hell. Those were amazing songs! The more maintstream rock on this album comes in the form of ‘I Could Have Been a Dreamer’, and ‘When a Woman Cries’. Unfortunately ‘When a Woman Cries’ is a mediocre song and rather bad way to end an otherwise pretty perfect album.

Last song I must mention is ‘Naked In The Rain’ which balances between rock and doom metal. All in all not one of the best songs one the album but once again a very, very strong chorus with which it earns its place on the album.

Productional values are great, solid and really breath that ‘late-eighties’ atmosphere with heavy drums, wide reverb laden guitars and dense yet supporting keys. The artwork is more than superb and maybe even my favorite Dio album cover.

Worst moment: ‘When a Woman Cries’
Best moments: The rest of the songs, the overall performance by ALL members, production & artwork.