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Much better than Killing The Dragon - 80%

Metalwontdie, July 15th, 2009

Master of the Moon is certainly a step up from Killing The Dragon in quality and songwriting even boasting a few progressive metal moments. Dio decided to bring some older ideas to the table this time around mainly the much more doom metal oriented tempo and atmosphere. Master of the Moon is probably Dio’s most melodic and atmosphere oriented album he has ever released, even his voice is less of a focus here. Guitar work is also less of a focus, instead repeating slow-tempo and mid-tempo riffs drag the album along literally.

The songs themselves are filled with a heavier keyboard use than on any other Dio release. Melodic doom metal as said above is certainly the main focus on Master of the Moon and I can safely say because of this factor this is Dio’s heaviest album to date. Most of the songs are solid unlike Killing The Dragon which had some really good standouts but a lot of throw away songs. Like usual Dio starts off a few songs in a ballad type format like on The Man Who Would Be King.

Dio unfortunately gives one of his worst vocal performances of his career he is old so I will give him that but he just can’t compare to his younger self. Craig Goldy solos less here than on any other album with Dio and really doesn’t use to many leads mainly slow and galloping riffs. Jeff Pilson bass is very audible considering the songs have a very low end bass feel to them. The rest of the member’s performances are solid but nothing special.

Master of the Moon does have some big problems mainly in the enjoy ability factor. While most of the songs are entertaining they also repeat themselves to much and lack that epic sound that Dio is known for. Solos, leads, and choruses that were so important to Dio’s previous albums are almost entirely non present on Master of the Moon. Finally no speed metal numbers are present which a disappointment is considering Dio always wrote strong speedy songs.

Master of the Moon while far from an excellent album should be praised manly because of the new take on Dio’s sound and the heaviness which is unequaled compared to any other Dio release. Best songs are One More For The Road, Shivers, Living The Lie, and Death By Love. I recommend this release only to diehard Dio fans and doom metal aficionados.

-5 points no speed metal songs present
-5 points much more repetitive than on other Dio releases
-5 points Dio’s trademark epic ness is not present
-5 points leads, solos, and choruses suffer on this release