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Not just a revamp but an improvement - 80%

kluseba, December 27th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Roadrunner Records

A cover song should always pay homage to the original performers yet give the track a new identity. Killswitch Engage managed to accomplish both elements. The band didn't only revamp a metal classic to use its own popularity a decade ago to introduce classic heavy metal to a new generation of metal fans but Killswitch Engage even managed to improve the original track by correcting its few minor flaws.

One thing that has always bothered me with the original song was the overlong atmospheric introduction leading towards the abrupt start of the track. This unnecessary overture has been cut down appropriately by Killswitch Engage and the transition between the opening sequence and the start of the main riff sounds much more coherent and smooth here.

Dio was one of the most skilled metal vocalists of all times without a doubt but he often overperformed his songs with lots of unintentionally amusing exclamations like"oh!", "uh!" and "yeah!" that have inspired the James Hetfields around the world. Killswitch Engage's Howard Jones uses this style in this cover version in small doses and it doesn't overstay its welcome. His performance is more to the point yet more varied. Ronnie James Dio was an excellent performer but always stuck to one specific style that he managed to make his own. Howard Jones might not be as skilled and unique but he is more versatile, nailing Dio's exaggerated exclamations as well as the song's melodic vocal lines and adding a few passionate restrained screams in the middle section that fit Killswitch Engage's regular metalcore style without contradicting the rest of the song.

The original song is obviously a classic but had a somewhat dry and smooth production and I always thought the instrumental passages were a little bit too slow and tame. Killswitch Engage plays the track with passion and speed. The crunchy guitar sound as well as the crystal clear guitar solo add new dynamics to the track and make it sound fresh and inspired. The rhythm section adds even more energy with a more versatile drum play. Only the bass guitar sounds more dynamic and present in the more rhythmic original version. The more restrained bass guitar might be this cover's only obvious flaw aside of the fact that original material is obviously always preferable over cover songs.

As if all these positive elements weren't enough, Killswitch Engage made an entertaining video clip for this song, recalling elements of Dio's original clip but with a bigger budget and a more interesting fantasy story that is truly intriguing to watch. This shows that Killswitch Engage really gave their cover version some thought instead of just trying to get attention.

In the end, Killswitch Engage didn't only manage to revamp a great classic heavy metal song but even succeeded in the challenging task of improving this charismatic track. Obviously, most contemporary metal bands receive a lot of criticism for paying homage to classics and this is also the case for Killswitch Engage's respectable effort. Some people even call this version a rape or a sin, proving that they are using words whose meanings they haven't fully understood which already discredits most naysayers right from the start. Obviously, everybody is entitled to accept or reject this version. Attention is however always a sort of compliment, even or maybe especially negative criticism. The reactions this cover version got show that "Holy Diver" is still a song that is incredibly important or even iconic in the metal scene and that Killswitch Engage have managed to inspire and touch people with their version in one way or another. As mentioned in the introduction, this was excatly what the band had been hoping for. Mission accomplished.

Not as bad as some would have you believe. - 70%

tshred666, September 17th, 2013

Maybe it's my age and my fondness for metalcore. Maybe it was the whole process of how I got into metal. Maybe it was my indoctrination by hard rock radio and Fuse circa '05-'08. Or maybe I'm a downright poseur who doesn't know a good cover if it broadsided him like a bull. Who knows? I sure don't, but what I do know is I enjoy this cover. Excluding the rather sterile breakdown this is a fine demonstration of a band morphing a song into another genre.

I can understand some of the complaints levied against this cover. Where the band is just trying to have fun the grandeur and splendor of the original composition gets lost in translation. Where once clear lines were drawn the picture becomes distorted. But this is by no means a parallel to the botched restoration of Ecce Homo. This is more comparable to Machine Head's covers of classic NWOBHM tracks like "The Sentinel" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name". It lacks the same kick, but it delivers a nice bitch slap. Where Campbell's original solo played up enough enough tension to be the toppings of the riff sundae Stroetzel and Dutkiewicz play up a fun and catchy back and forth that functions like rainbow sprinkles on a sea of french vanilla and chocolate syrup. The solo goes from being an integral part of the song's progression and atmosphere to being a pretty dressing with little distinct flavor. And I also understand the gripes with Foley's drumming and Jones' harsh vocals.

But what I don't understand is all the senseless nitpicking that leads to distortions of the truth and outright absurdities. Take for example Mr. Jones' clean register. Any sane and rational individual would see him having a background in pop and rock music which makes the comparison to gospel singers a little silly and the comparison to a hack opera student downright stupid. If you're someone who listens to classical music and thinks that there's any similarity in the vocal technique between Placido Domingo wannabes and Howard Jones you need to punch yourself in the ears. No joke, if you think quirks in phrasing equates to similar timbres, even if you're trying to decry one as a half-hearted attempt at mimicking the other, you need to denounce your education as a musician.

While I am partial to the arguably heavier phrasing and production used on Dio's debut I have to give these guys credit where credit is due, this packs a nice modern edge. The layering on Howard's voice gives it the required presence in the mix, Mike D'Antonio's bass lays down a nice rhythmic foundation and adds a nice rumble to the mix, the axemen have a nice biting tone, and Foley's drums have a nice balance that sounds both modern and organic. The tempo shifts and variations on the original phrases all flow in an organic manner that lets you know this is a metalcore band paying homage to the Holy Father of the old guard.

Say what you will about my status as a metalhead for this, but please just learn how to spot the elements that are actually there and not create a metalcore boogie man. As the sardonic waiter said "Would you like some cheese with your whine?"

Oh, my... - 50%

Khat57, April 13th, 2010

I remember this being on the radio a lot when it first came out way back when. I was just getting into music then, and even back then, I hated this, not even knowing that it was a cover of Dio. Now, years later, after discovering the awesomeness that is Dio, you'd think I would hate this more knowing that they raped such a classic, right?

Well, yes and no. It's not entirely butchered, but there are moments that make me wince bad enough to lower the rating. I'm not a KSE-hater, I actually find them to be one of, if not the only tolerable metalcore band. Even so, if the KSE-isms were cut, this could have scored a 70, maybe even an 80 from me. The classic harpsichord intro is cut, which is actually a reasonable decision since they obviously wanted this to fit time constraints to get airplay. (and boy, did they ever get airplay...) That classic riff is still instantly recognizable, which is somewhat a relief. Howard Jones even emulates Dio's "Mmm, yeah, yeah" in the beginning, and overall, it sounds like a promising cover, minus that -core "whammy" effect that pops up every so often in the background. Where it really starts to go to shit is at 1:26, when they add... a fucking breakdown, of all things. Thankfully, it lasts all of 15 seconds, but it's still painful to sit through. When that breakdown ends, promise picks up again with a faithful rendition of the guitar solo. But during the next verse and chorus, my heart sinks with -core screaming in the background. Oh, ye gods...

This is such a mixed bag. When Howard Jones isn't screaming, he actually isn't too bad of a clean singer, and the instruments do a fine job at recreating the song. (minus that god-awful breakdown...) Cover songs are hard to review; if a band follows the original too closely, there is hardly any point of doing it in the first place, and if they stray too far from the original, it's hardly recognizable. Even a good cover would only warrant a score of about 80 from me. (unless it's Death's godly rendition of "Painkiller," of course) Here, KSE basically followed the original too closely and randomly added their own KSE-isms, making those sections unrecognizable, so they did a bit of both, trying to make both their own fan-base and fans of Dio happy, which... seems like an odd mix.

This isn't an abomination to music as I thought nearly 5 years ago when this came out, but I still wouldn't consider it worth purchasing. Just worth a listen to it once or twice on Youtube or the radio, wherever you hear it. If you like seeing potential crumble instantaneously, this is definitely one to listen to.

Nauseating - 1%

MaDTransilvanian, December 12th, 2009

I feel utterly sick to my stomach. I haven’t felt this bad when I listened to the worst deathcore bullshit, to Korn, to Slipknot, to Celine Dion, or to whatever awful “musician” one may think of in this day and age. All of those “artists”, horrible as they may be, at least have the decency to record and release their own worthless music and pretend it’s good. Such is unfortunately not the case for the stain upon metal that is Killswitch Engage. That’s because, since their own songs tend to be too weak for commercial success, they decided to make a cover of Dio’s timeless classic anthem Holy Diver and to actually market it as a single.

Now, beyond the dubious rationale behind using another man’s talent to achieve popularity for oneself, Killswitch Engage add injury to insult by completely crushing one of the most remarkable heavy metal songs recorded. Replacing the awesome opening riff is an abomination of a metalcore mutation, complete with obnoxiously loud production and overdone drumming. Then, after a few seconds, we get the vocals. Jones’ clean vocals are an atrocity, it makes this sound like some retarded gospel song or something, but, bad as it may be, that’s by far the best portion of the track, vocally. Harsh, generic metalcore growling. On Holy Diver. No. Fucking hell no. This song was gang raped, brutally. Where the original showed beauty and rhythm while being incredibly catchy, chaos and stupidity are the prevailing characteristics here. Even the original’s great solo was ruined by the excessive production mentioned earlier. The classic sound of the original was turned into some sort of bad wank session, destroying every single bit of atmosphere that Dio’s Holy Diver proudly has.

Avoid this like the plague. The song, the band, it doesn’t matter, just avoid it all. This truly deserves a merciless 0%, but it may have a slight redeeming characteristic to it, undoubtedly worth a point, and that’s the fact that it may have steered at least one ignorant fan of Killswitch Engage towards the better music that is Dio, and, if fate truly was generous to said person, to more classic, real heavy metal. This is what happens when insects attempt to copy the work of gods.

Let me explain to you why this sucks - 0%

Idontsuckdick, December 7th, 2008

The majority of people dislike this little cover because it puts a god awful genre into a classic song and was quickly and poorly done. But I have a different take on this. There is a far more evil and sinister work at hands here. What the two factors are in this cover that make it god awful are as follows:
1) The band used it as a publicity stunt to gain exposure
2) It in truth just doesn't sound good.

First I need to define why this truly sucks. What this band did was they took a classic song that everyone knows and loves and decided to cover it, and for what reason? MONEY. Ah yes, the greedy mans heart decided that he would rather make money than create good music.

Ok now this is where I really start to crap my pants. The band releases the song by itself as a single, no other music to accompany it on an album, and a video was made for it to promote their little creation. Read that again and consider it. Now do you realize what this is? It's a publicity stunt. Everybody knows and loves Dio and by covering this song Killswitch Engage gets the media and our beloved (yes, sarcasm) Kerrang to pick them up. Then they get promoted and whored, in which the public is told to check out the mighty masterpiece and remake of the classic song. But the media likes to overlook what the band did. They tried to show they were lovely musicians by putting a modern spin on the classic song, which was done poorly. A band can't just take the song and get famous off of it, it's basically plagiarism. By making a video for it the band is pretending it is their own work. They did not make their own themed music and put forth the effort to make it original, no instead they took somebody else’s work and got famous off of it. Disgusting plagiarism is how I see it.

And now what happens? Every 21st generation metal fan associates Holy Diver with "That totally cool Killswitch Engage thing." Bah, disgusting. I hope they realize it is a Dio song, and at least heard the original version.

The video is another depressing factor in this cover. The video, if you notice, does not incorporate any of the themes and context of the song into it. Instead we have sexy ladies, a goofy knight, and goofy people prancing around making a little joke and show out of it. But what gave them the right to make a video out of this song? Why not use one of their own songs with their own themes.

So let’s now focus on the actual song. No, it is not a good listen. This version can not be listened to and enjoyed; there is no amazing musical factor that causes the listener to enjoy it. The vocals do not amount to Dio at all; and so they say, let’s try to take it in a different direction by adding harsh vocals! Well that is not the point of the song, and they are not looking inventetive by doing it. Plus his harsh vocals just stink anyway. And the breakdown ah yes, so clever and ingenious. Smashing on the lowest note of the guitar and crashing on the symbols while the vocalist growls as loud as he can. Have I heard this before? OF COURSE. Just spin the classic song into a totally different direction if you wish, but try not to butcher it in the process. This song is no fun to listen to and I definitely would want the original version instead.

My biggest complaint about this is the band really just used this song to gain attention. I personally enjoy listening to covers, but those good covers are used in good context. The band enjoys the original song and wants to have fun playing the music they like. However they don’t use their cover to get big and try to make it their own, respect is given to the original writer. Killswitch Engage asserts that they really don't respect Dio, and they don't actually know much about him. They took his most popular song, in which Dio has many other which are better than it. They tried to rework it and the song just screams "PLAGIARISM".

So Killswitch Engage may say “Thanks Dio for allowing use to use your work, we love and respect you.” But what they are really saying is “Dio, we don’t care about you or your music, but thanks for letting us get big off of it. See you at the next loser of the year convention!”

"How To Fail Miserably" 101 - 2%

Black_Metal_Elite, June 23rd, 2008

Lets say, this 2% I gave to this album is because it starts off mediocre instead of all out fail. The riffs come in and it seems okay. The guitars feel decent, then you feel the slope begin. Actually, it�s quite quick. The vocals start and they seem to somewhat resonate Dio, then BAM! It ends. Most people who listen to real metal can pinpoint the part where your soul falls off the cliff while listening to this song.

If there were no harsh vocals from the vocalist, the song might even be passable... but wow! Never have I ever heard one part of the song (the vocals) ruin the entire thing. Yes, but that's why metalcore is terrible; because the vocals are unbearable. Combine this with covering a song from a metal 'God' and you're asking for a failure. This album probably sold out to many teens in the United States, so Killswitch Engage does not realize how much of a natural disaster this inflicted upon the Metal World. This one album (or song for a more accurate review) opened the door to many bands as a beacon of failure.
Why do I say this though? Bands have covered stuff before and failed. Well... this is why. In my hometown, a metalcore band opened up after a death metal band (I know, unorthodox) and the song covered was Holy Diver. The irritating vocals and the breakdowns made me leave. I've never left a concert in my life until that point. So... what's my point? This is occurring more regularly now, much more than you or I ever would have imagined. Half the metalcore bands now cover this stupid cover, and butcher it even further. WHY!? Why can they just cover the original song and drop the -core crap? This, my friends, is where I come full circle and say the same thing about this worthless piece of trash. Why did they ruin it? Do people who listen to this have such a low taste in music that the spawn of failure makes them glee with delight? I cannot answer that, but what I can answer for you is "Do NOT even waste your time downloading it". Of course, half of you will by the mere fact I said that; but for those of you who don't-- thank you. You saved 5 minutes of your eardrums for a better song before you go deaf.

So, let�s talk about the cover. Why is it a failure?
- Breakdowns
- Chugging riffs
- Terrible vocals
- "-core" written all over it
- Blasphemization to a piece of art

Seriously, if you enjoy the song, why modify it? There is not one reason to put a breakdown in the middle of a perfectly good song. I listened to this hoping there would be an honest cover work with none of this half time bullshit, but it happened. SLAM! You fall off the cliff I�ve been talking about the whole time. The best way to describe it without using any of those gay 'meme's is that feeling where your stomach fills with butterflies as you jump over a 60 foot tall cliff when you think its only 20 feet tall. The atrocity of the chugging improvisation with this song makes you want to piss on the band members for even thinking of releasing this. Would Dio put chugging metalcore riffs in Holy Diver? No. Why? Because he knows what the fuck he is doing; hence, his respect. The fortunate thing here, is that unlike a piece of artwork in life, this terrible band cannot actually damage the real Holy Diver, but rather make shitty copies your girlfriend or mom would listen to on a bad day.

Here lies a CD for 12 year old girls who themselves haven't hit puberty yet, and probably still dig the Backstreet Boys. Fuck you Killswitch Engage.

Classic old metal combined with generic metalcore. - 36%

Luxaky, May 9th, 2008

So, here it is. Metalcore meets classic metal.

Honestly, I thought this cover was bearable for the first minute and thirty seconds, or so. The guitars were too prominent and the bass was nonexistent, but the clean vocals were actually pretty good. It sounded like a decent cover....

Until I heard those god-awful metalcore screams.

As soon as those...abominations...began, the song changed from a modern tribute to a good song into a generic metalcore number. Also, that bridge...good God. It's like they took it from something they saw on MTV and stuck it in the middle of the song and then said, "Yeah, we're so smart. We made a better riff than Dio."

The solo...I'll give some credit for trying, at least. Not much, though, because they failed to capture the same kind of emotion that the original version of the song did. Hey, though, at least they tried...

I think the worst part of the song was that horrific bridge with the screaming over it. The worst individual aspect, technologically, was the guitars. They were just too bloody aggressive for me.

The only redeeming factor, really, was the clean vocals. They weren't THAT bad...but there's not much else I can say about this song other than that it looks like an attempt to gain popularity with fans of classic metal by core-izing a classic song. In my opinion, it was a failed attempt.

Sorry lads, Dio for me anyday! - 29%

Crank_It_Up_To_666, May 1st, 2008

Well then. This has irritated a fair few people hasn’t it?

Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’ is a heavy metal classic – that’s a point that no-one, fan or not, can argue otherwise, so important the song is to so much heavy and extreme metal. So the mere thought of Killswitch Engage, already viewed with great (and not unwarranted) scepticism by faithful metallers, covering this sacred anthem is guaranteed to piss said metallers off. Those who don’t understand this would do well to remember just how close to the heart metalheads hold classics such as this, and hearing it being given a once-over by a band many do not even consider a metal band is like a kick in the teeth. Metalheads are not ‘ironic’ emo kids or scenesters – we place value on these classics, unlike those who will no doubt view this cover as a throwaway piece of pop culture instead of an affront to what metalheads hold most dear.

But it’s hardly fair on the Engage boys to denounce their rendition of Dio’s classic before hearing it – something many a metalhead has been all too eager to do, something that’s just as infuriating as the scenesters who would tell us that the original is irrelevant simply due to it’s age. So, what have the Killswitchers manage to bring to the legendary ‘Holy Diver’?

Well, to be honest...fuck all.

To be sure, this cover is by and large very faithful to the original, with most of the musical aspects remaining intact – the legendary opening main riff is repeated in faithful exactness, and the band even permit guitarist Joel Stroetzel to have a try at Vivian Campbell’s always memorable solo. Drummer Justin Foley puts a bit of extra effort in, replicating some of those awesome Vinny Appice fills rather than sticking to his usual abysmally bland, double bass dependant style. Howard Jones mostly stays true to Dio’s own vocal stylings, forgoing the incessant and irritating screaming to make more use of clean vocals that remain mercifully free of the wavering dramatics many metalcore vocalists indulge in.

Sounds good doesn’t it? Read on and be very disappointed...

Ultimately what ruins this little cover is KSE’s utter inability to exorcise their hardcore leanings for just a few minutes. That wonderful bridge from Dio’s original (“There’s a truth as hard as steeeeeeeeel, yeah!”) that sounded like the musical equivalent of a phoenix rising is, to put it bluntly, mauled here by the band, who re-work the section into yet another bloody chugga-chugga breakdown, with Jones deciding that hitting the high notes is too much bother and instead falling back to his perpetually annoying screaming. Despite favouring clean vocals throughout, this tendency to let a few of his metalcore shrieks slip in occurs just a few times too often.

While Stroetzel does, as mentioned, attempt to do the solo justice, ultimately his rendition comes across as depressingly dull and lifeless, almost as though it’s been thrown in at the last second for the sake of satisfying those who would complain with even more vociferous force if they had forsaken it. Mike D’Antonio’s bass is best ignored, his playing lacking so much in variety, and following the guitars so closely, it simply becomes an uninteresting chugging noise in the background. And of course, KSE’s indomitable urge to include a squeal between every single riff can be found here, and still capable of pissing everyone off from ridiculous overuse.

In short, this is a masterpiece of metal being reworked for a culture of listeners entirely separate from metalheads, and there is little denying that Killswitch Engage have dumbed down more than a few aspects for the sake of setting modern ‘hardcore’ kids limbs a’ flying in the pit.
Whether or not this is your kettle of fish is up to you, but be assured that there is little that KSE has done with this cover that will impress the average warrior of steel. Especially not while Dio’s original still rings out as hard and as heavy as it has ever done.

Stop being bitches about this - 72%

HexDemon666, February 20th, 2008

Okay, I'm really sick of looking at all of these reviews that bash this song. "OMG it's a Dio song done by a metalcore band so it sux!!!!!!1" Seriously, shut the fuck up. This is a perfectly decent cover, and I'm really not a huge fan of Killswitch Engage.

From all the music I've listened to, I've found that there are three types of covers that can be done. Complete copies: these covers are where the band does virtually nothing to deviate from the original song. Unless you're a cover band, I really don't think anyone should do this, but there are exceptions (Teas'n, Pleas'n by Shadows Fall is a good example where nothing but extra distortion is added). Complete makeovers: these songs are done in a completely different style or fashion. This is usually a bad idea simply because they tend to turn out bad, but again, there are exceptions (Black Night by Deicide where a classic Deep Purple song was completely death metal-ized). The final happens to be my favorite, and that I can't think of a name for. It's when a band takes a song, stays true to it, but adds in their own flavor. This is what Killswitch did.

See, where with the first type you're almost always better off listening to the original and with the second, they usually suck, these types are taking what is already a great song and making it (arguably) greater. If not, different at least. Killswitch didn't do much to change the song, but they added more distortion, it's heavier, it's got some squeals, and it's got some screams. I mean, seriously, Holy Diver is great already, but a bit heavier and it'd be even greater. That's what Killswitch did. Now, nothing can replace the original, but this is a perfectly respectable cover. If you like Dio (or at least Holy Diver) and you like Killswitch Engage (or metalcore to say the least), you'll like this song. Don't stick your nose up at it just because you think Dio is untouchable or it's "sacreligious" to cover a classic.

If you don't like Killswitch or metalcore, then why are you bitching? You wouldn't like any cover they could've done, so just go listen to the original and shut up. If you do like Killswitch, I can't see why you wouldn't like this unless you fall into the aforementioned bitch category of hating a cover just for the sake of it being a new band playing an old song. That's just fucking stupid. Now, I'm going to be honest, though I respect what they did, I really hated the screaming on this song. I think the vocalist would've been much better off singing clean the whole way through. Other than that, though, nothing has really been changed. Yeah, it's heavier and there are some embellishments here and there (squeals, bends, etc) in the guitar work, but everything else seems to be koshur.

So what am I trying to say with all of this? It's a great cover that pays respect to the original, but still retains that metalcore/Killswitch Engage flavor that you'd expect being that, you know, they played the song. Other than some minor, personal distastes of my own, I like it and the song remains true to the original. The only real reason you would hate this song is if you hated Killswitch or metalcore OR if you're dumb and hate covers of classics just because they're classics. Either way, you shouldn't be wasting your time listening to this or reviewing it. If you're not one of those people, check it out. Maybe you really won't like it for some other reason, I don't know, but from what I can tell, people just hate it because of the song in question and who covered it, paying no heed to the actual musicality of it.

I can't give it a much higher rating because, as I said, there are parts I don't like and, being a cover, I can't honestly give this a score that could ever top the original since it isn't their own work. But it's still good. It's one of few songs I hear on the radio these days that I enjoy listening to before I plug in my Zune.

Bitches, Please! - 78%

caspian, November 20th, 2007

KsE have long been a whipping boy for many metalheads, and it's not completely invalid- while I think their first two albums rocked hard, since their switch to Howard Jones (not necessarily his fault, mind) they've began a slow, agonizing decent into emo, albeit that of the incredibly catchy, not-as-bad-as-most-emo-bands variety. But emo nonetheless.

So, while I can understand in theory why most people would be pretty upset with this cover, in practice the only valid complaint would be Howard's screaming. Take out the slightly awkward breakdown and the screaming and you've got something that's a hell of a lot better then the original.

It's pretty simple really. KsE do it faster, do it with much better production and just inject a whole lot of life into what was originally a completely dry and lifeless song with excellent vocals. Whilst the instruments in the original crawl along at a tempo that could be generously described as 'plodding', here there's actually some sort of momentum (some may call it 'chugga chugga', I call it adding a bit of extra notage here and there and making it more exciting). Adding a little bit of extra harmony lead action was also an excellent move. Indeed, the only criticism I can give to the instruments would be the slightly metalcore-ish productions (did we really need clicky kick drums?) but overall that's no big deal, as 20 odd years of recording technology has made the guitars sound a hell of a lot bigger and crunchier then the original recording. I'll take clicky drums if it means I can get a much bigger guitar sound as a result.

One sticking point could be the vocals- I'm not the biggest fan of Dio but even I know that he is one hell of a vocalist- possessing a huge, soaring voice that typifies heavy metal vocals. (or at least, good heavy metal vocals.) Luckily, our big Negro friend in Mr.Jones delivers a sterling performance, and with the exception of some awkward screaming sections here and there, he does an excellent job. Does it match Dio's performance? Well, not quite, but it's close- which is the most that any other metal vocalist could hope for.

Honestly, I really liked this, whereas Dio's version bores me. The breakdown was a poor move (and the main reason why this doesn't get a higher mark) but it's short and it could've been a hell of a lot worse. Just because Dio recorded his version 24 years earlier doesn't mean it's better. KsE do a much better job at this- faster, more energetic, and with a much, much better video clip. Get this one instead of the original.

Oh C'mon... it's not THAT bad... - 69%

JoeCapricorn, November 14th, 2007

This song is actually quite true to the original version... with the exception of the breakdown, the screaming vocals, the production, the downtuned guitars, higher speed, and the overall metalcoreness of the song...

But the solo, general riffs, and most of the vocals are true to the original. Hell, Howard even pulls off a mean Dio impression. Does it work? Maybe not for the people who grew up listening to Dio, but for the younger generation it sure as hell does! It seems to have caught the attention of so many KsE fans that it has been requested during every show the band has played for the past year.

So what is this single? This is a way to capitalize on the desire of KsE fans to own a copy of this song that they are able to play on their MP3 player, without having to go out and buy a compilation full of shitty covers by mostly shitty bands.

It's not nearly as good as the original, but in my case, I haven't heard the original in a long while before hearing this song, and I enjoyed this cover, but the superiority of the original made me enjoy that song even better than before this cover was even made.

The halls of metal have been vandalized. - 0%

hells_unicorn, October 30th, 2007

Having been a rabid fan of Ronnie James Dio for the better part of 14 years, I like to keep up with any and all bands covering his material. I have nearly every tribute album containing anything from his Rainbow, Sabbath, or Dio releases and in most cases bands have been able to be faithful, although no substitute to the original. Unfortunately there comes along the occasional exception to the rule, and in this particular case, an extremely grotesque one at that.

I have never bothered much with Killswitch Engage, because when you’ve heard one metalcore band you’ve essentially heard them all. You get diarrhea-like down tuned guitar grooves that listen worse then a sheep getting fucked with a chainsaw, you get lousy mock opera vocals trading occasional shouts with a toneless girlie man screamer, half assed soloing, and a bunch of other things that keep metalcore bands from truly living up to the greatness of the first half of their genre’s title. But in the case of this terrible butchering of a timeless classic, simply piercing your ear drums with an icepick doesn’t cut it.

Everything about this re-make is wrong on so many levels that I doubt I can do justice with it by blurting out every profane metaphor in my mind a thousand times. The singer adds all these unnecessary extra notes to the melody and comes off sounding like Pacido Domingo after jumping onto a bicycle with the seat missing. The solo showcases some technical skill, but absolutely no fucking soul, even Vivian Campbell’s all rhythm parts in Def Leppard have more spirit than this mess of notes. But the worst part is that the drummer decided to throw in all these beat changes that throw off the continuity of the entire song. Dio’s music is meant to display the lyrical brilliance of its author, not for some hack drummer to show off his ability to change between beats 2 or 3 times in every verse.

In my entire history as a reviewer I have never scored anything below a 15, and I thought it ridiculous for anyone to score a release at zero because I assumed that even the worst musical performance in the world had some functional merit. I now stand corrected, this is a travesty that no human being should have to endure, let alone any fan of Dio who owns all of his albums and considers him the greatest artist in metal’s near 4 decade history.

Classic metal song butchered by core - 50%

IWP, October 30th, 2007

By now, everyone should know the song Holy Diver is. At least if you call yourself a metalhead, anyway. Most people also know the infamous metalcore band, Killswitch Engaged. As for the genre itself, most bands consist of heavy distortion, mixed with generic "hardcore" screaming and breakdowns, that to most people a.k.a. morons sounds "heavy" and "aggressive". However, people such as myself know better. I will admit though, I can tolerate certain metalcore bands. Unearth, for example, are pretty decent. However, Killswitch are NOT a core band that I can tolerate. Most of their music is boring and genrerally awful.

Now onto the song itself. Holy Diver (originally by the god himself, Ronnie James Dio) is one hell of an awesome song. One thing I hate is when shitty modern bands cover classic songs such as this. Especially if it's a shitty cover. Now Killswitch did not do too bad of a job on this song. In fact, musically, it's pretty good. It has an updated sound to it. The melodys are pretty good too. Everything goes fine and dandy until that son of a bitch of a singer starts screaming in the pre-chorus. That's when everything in this song goes to shit. If he only would've stayed with his clean singing, this would've been a pretty decent, if not, good cover. Way to ruin a good song, asshole!

So basically, what we have here is yet another crapcore band sucking the dick of a classic metal band. We've seen this before when Trivium tried to turn thrash on The Crusade when Heafy tried to sound just like James Hetfield, but never quite got it right. I would've given this review a 60% since musically, the cover is pretty good, but I had to take 10 points off, because in my opinion, this has to be one of the most overrated songs of 2007. If you're a Killswitch fanboy who for some reason or another thinks that Killswitch wrote this song, listen to the original version by Dio, because it's at least 100 times better. I'll leave it at that. Burn your Killswitch cds, and go get some Dio and Iron Maiden.

RAPE - 5%

Empyreal, October 29th, 2007

Well this is exactly what I thought it'd be. Killswitch Engage, being the infamously bad metalcore band they are, need no introduction at all. This is a single cover of Ronnie James Dio's classic "Holy Diver," and as expected, it sucks massive elephant testes.

To be fair to the band, they didn't just rehash the original "Holy Diver" song, as that would be boring. However, they did not do it justice at all, rather brutally mutilating it and tearing it to shreds, leaving its tattered remains on the damp, cold pavement of some slummy back alleyway, probably behind a 7-11 that was just waiting to be robbed at the same time. This is a shorter and more pugilistic song than the original, and it doesn't waste much time or try to deceive you - this is metalcore, folks, right to the very core (with the emphasis on core, yes). We have macho-man heavy downtuned guitar riffs chugging away like two rabbits making love, and a lack of that special something that made the original so cool (most likely due to the uber-modern production) as all of you no doubt expected before you even heard one note. But the real clincher comes next, as we have a really fucking awful moshy sort of breakdown that just sends the whole thing to Hell in a white lace handbasket, complete with shitty harsh vocals and stop-start riffage that could've come out of any of the band's other songs. I could bitch a lot about how the band could've at least kept it metal, or about how much of a travesty it is that they did this, but I'm being realistic's Killswitch Engage, and that's all that needs to be said. What did you expect?

I would definitely give this a 0%, as it's certainly infuriating enough, but it gets a few points because the clean vocals here are really quite good, and it shows what he could do if he ditched this lame band and joined a real metal band instead. Howard Jones's voice is clear and powerful, a driving force, with a slight bit of "bounce" that manages to elevate him a lot higher than an average mallcore vocalist. Seriously, he's really good, at least until he starts screaming. Sigh.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.