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Oh the uselessness! - 25%

hells_unicorn, May 18th, 2009

I’m not sure who to feel pity for here, the poor dope who put this compilation together or the slightly poorer dope who would pay money for it. It’s not so much an issue of the album in question containing bad songs, but more so that the sheer multiplicity of compilations out there possessing most or all of these songs is so numerous that the reason for putting this together eludes me. I could much better rationalize re-releasing one of the half dozen existing compilations, but I guess we’d have less album cover artists coming up with new trifles to go with insignificant releases.

The primary redeeming factor of this otherwise universal failure is the pacing from song to song. Although there isn’t a consistent chronology at work in the track listing, each one of these songs tend to flow well into the other. The choice of “Holy Diver” as an opening song is basically a good one as it starts off with a nice dreary keyboard intro that functions well as a segue to the rest of the album. Things get picked up a notch with the more intense and emotional “Don’t Talk To Strangers” and is maintained through the energetic yet more radio oriented and simplistic “Rainbow In The Dark”.

Things basically taper off the further the listen goes until it completely falls apart at the end. The inclusion of “Jesus, Mary And The Holy Ghost” is puzzling as the sludge oriented riffs and generally aggressive atmosphere is completely at odds with all of the epic sounding 80s heavy/doom metal going on throughout the rest of this album. It’s followed by the king of all Dio fanfares turned 80s mainstream listening “Hungry For Heaven”, the weakest song from the weakest album of the Vivian Campbell years, owing much of its inferiority to that dominant, Bon Jovi oriented keyboard part that all but completely dwarfs the guitars. It’s not the worse thing I’ve ever heard and is actually mildly enjoyable, but is among the last songs that I’d pick for any Dio compilation.

The general lesson learned here is that if you want to make 10 otherwise decent songs sound lacking, jam them together onto a series of interchangeable best of releases, varied only by what album art is being used and how the clichéd summation on the inside of the CD insert is worded. Don’t waste your time on this and definitely don’t waste your money on this. I feel cheated just for having spent 4 paragraphs trying to say something remotely positive about it.