Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 13 years ago today, Dio took us on his second-to-last magical journey with his own band with the release of Killing the Dragon.
This was Dio’s second to last album under the name ‘Dio,’ and it’s a solid release. The best upgrade on this album, in my opinion, is guitarist Doug Aldrich. While the riffs on this album aren’t the strongest on a Dio album, Doug makes up for it in FANTASTIC lead guitar work. His solos are absolutely sick. I love his guitar tone too. The title track is an awesome, mystical, yet very real track. Dio nailed the track perfectly live, too. “Rock & Roll” has a strong chorus, and a great groove. The music video for “Push” has a funny intro by Tenacious D, although I don’t think it’s one of the better songs on the album. Also, Scott Warren shows off some catchy keyboard work on “Before the Fall.”
Though I think it’s a solid Dio release, it’s on the lower end of the spectrum, in terms of Dio releases for me. I personally don’t feel that it’s quite as ‘deep’ of an album as Dio normally goes for. It’s fun, for sure, but Dio usually has all of that and more. This one might be a bit simpler, for me. Even though I enjoy the song “Rock & Roll,” the riff is oddly similar to “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin. “Better in the Dark” and “Throw Away Children” are particularly bland tracks on the album, in my opinion.
Favorite Tracks: “Killing the Dragon,” “Rock & Roll,” “Scream.”
This is a good Dio album, but I don’t think it’s one of the strongest from his later catalog. It’s not an album that I think is going to change the minds of the people who think only the first three albums are worth listening to. The highlight on the album is easily Doug Aldrich’s lead guitar work, which may be the best lead work Dio ever had on a Dio album. Give this one a listen, but don’t give up on Ronnie’s later work if you don’t find this one to be amazing.