Dio: The Very Beast Of Dio Vol. 2

Dio’s back catalogue roars back for seconds

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It’s an unpopular thing to say, but before he reunited with his Black Sabbath bandmates and reignited both their careers under the Heaven And Hell banner, Ronnie James Dio made some fairly average records.

No one’s going to deny the grace and power of Holy Diver and The Last In Line, or his powerful and emotive roar, which never lost its impact, but as the years progressed there was a pretty substantial drop-off in the quality of his recordings.

The original Beast Of collected all his early gems and went gold; it’ll be a marvel if Vol. 2 does the same. There’s very little wrong with Killing The Dragon and Fever Dreams, but they’re easily the high watermark among so many so-so moments like the droning Feed My Head and the blunt Along Comes A Spider.

Admittedly, there’s the hard-to-find Electra here and Metal Will Never Die, but listen to the latter and you can understand why it might have remained hidden away all this time. It’s arguable that this collection won’t serve Dio’s legacy at all unlike The Devil You Know does and will.