The Dio Album by Paul Gilbert reduces the originals to a jarring, overplayed jumbles

Paul Gilbert's misguided Ronnie James Dio tribute is more hell than heaven

Paul Gilbert - The Dio Album cover art
(Image: © Mascot Label Group)

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Best known for his work with Racer X and Mr. Big, there’s no denying that Paul Gilbert is a phenomenally talented guitarist, but he’s had a shocker here. 

The Dio Album features 12 covers of some of the late legend Ronnie James Dio's most iconic works with a certain twist: Gilbert has replaced the would-be vocals with verbatim lead guitar parts. 

Credit where it’s due for the technical and no-doubt painstaking precision, but lacking the guiding nuance of a voice, classics like Neon Knights and Starstruck are reduced to jarring, overplayed jumbles.

By track two’s annihilation of Kill The King, any novelty has ejected itself from the solar system. This labour of love sadly misses the mark.

Chris Lord

Copywriter, music journalist and drummer. Once fist bumped James Hetfield. Words for The Guardian, Gear4Music, Metro, Exposed Mag.