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Dio – Master of the Moon

Label: Sanctuary Records
Format: CD
Released: 2004
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

After all these years Ronnie James Dio has not lost a bit of his voice, sounding as strong as ever on “Master of the Moon” and very evident on the disc’s title track with its rich chorus. This time around Craig Goldy returns on guitars which gives the tracks a different side from the Doug Aldrich release “Killing the Dragon”. Everything is still a traditional Dio album, though Craig does have his own style and guitar tone which brings the songs back to similar arrangements heard with a more Rainbow influence on albums “Dream Evil” and “Magica”.

 
On bass is Jeff Pilson from Dokken, who also adds something a little different to the music, he is not as straight ahead as Jimmy Bain, and adds more of a bounce like on the solid romper “Shivers”. Craig also constructs one of the more vibrant solos he has played in some time, hitting some cool notes and a run or two. Jeff has also appeared on two previous Dio records, one being the much underrated “Strange Highways”.

Opener “One More For The Road” has more in common with the heavier faster side to Dio (“I Speed at Night”), a side I would like see more of over the course of his albums. Later down the track listing “Living the Life” brings the pace up again.

“The Man Who Would Be King” has a darker tone and again harks back to his time in Rainbow a bit, followed by ‘The Eyes” featuring a talk box guitar riff, a very cool song. Keyboards are used and on the whole create darker tones for the compositions.

As always Ronnie perfectly annunciates each sylable perfectly making the need for a lyric sheet useless.

Fitting this into the Dio catalog I would say it’s a little bit of “Magica”, “Killing the Dragon”, and “The Last in Line” combined to make another strong record. Then again, it’s very rare that Dio has put out any bad material.
 
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