DIO – Holy Diver (New 2022 Remaster) *HQ*

DIO - Holy Diver (New 2022 Remaster) *HQ* full

Ronnie James DIO would have turned 80 years old on July 10. Among the greatest heavy metal singers of all time, Dio’s career spanned five decades, touched millions of fans and pioneered his signature “devil’s horns,” one of the most popular hand gestures in the world. Dio also provided vocals and lyrics for some of the most iconic rock albums of all time with Black Sabbath and Rainbow, before establishing his own band Dio as a metal force with their 1983 debut ”Holy Diver”.
Rhino Records revisits this epic metal moment on “Holy Diver: Super Deluxe Edition”, a four-CD box set including a new remaster, an unreleased concert, a CD of rarities, and a disc including a new remix of the LP.
The other day we featured the Joe Barresi remix, now we go on the new 2022 remastering of “Holy Diver”, also released as standalone album. Cover art is also newly done by longtime Dio artist, Marc Sasso.

Before the release of ”Holy Diver”, Ronnie James Dio was merely the greatest hired gun in the history of rock’n’roll. In 1974, Deep Purple’s Roger Glover drafted the diminutive American, born Ronald Padavona, to sing on his bongwater-soaked rock opera, The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast. Dio’s performance so impressed former Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore that he hired him to front his new neoclassical hard-rock band Rainbow.
Dio made three albums with Blackmore, but left Rainbow in 1979 to join Black Sabbath, taking on the daunting task of replacing the newly solo Ozzy Osbourne for the band’s Heaven and Hell. Dio’s second album with Sabbath, 1981’s Mob Rules, was another masterpiece, but Dio was growing tired of standing in the shadows of his more visible bandmates. (His debut with Rainbow was literally called Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.)
When Sabbath showed him the door, it was a blessing in disguise. The midnight sea was calling.

There was no question what the 40-year-old singer would call his new band. DIO formally launched in the fall of 1982, with the eponymous rocker on the microphone and fellow Sabbath expat Vinny Appice behind the drumkit.
After a brief dalliance with future Ozzy guitarist Jake E. Lee, the band’s lineup solidified: Dio, Appice, former Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain, and guitarist Vivian Campbell, from the Belfast band Sweet Savage.
Their first album, ”Holy Diver”, came out the following spring. The supporting players were crucial, but they were just that: supporting players. At last, there was a recorded document of Ronnie James Dio as a true bandleader.

”Holy Diver” opens with “Stand Up and Shout,”—or, more accurately, it opens with the main riff to “Stand Up and Shout,” one of the most iconic and ubiquitous runs of notes in metal history. That simple, blues-based power-chord progression is an object of totemic power, passed from metal guitarist to metal guitarist like a talisman. It just screams heavy metal. Variations on the riff showed up on Riot’s “Swords and Tequila” in 1981, Accept’s “Flash Rockin’ Man” in 1982, Mercyful Fate’s “Curse of the Pharaohs” in 1983, and Iron Maiden’s “2 Minutes to Midnight” in 1984.
The urgent, double-time version that Vivian Campbell plays on “Stand Up and Shout” lands right in the middle of that timeline, and while its similarity to those other riffs is almost certainly coincidental, it’s fitting that it announces the arrival of Dio.
First on ”Holy Diver”, and then on the nine additional Dio albums he would make before dying of stomach cancer in 2010, the singer would bend the sound and aesthetic of classic heavy metal to his will.

All the ecstatic truths of Ronnie James Dio are in full bloom on ”Holy Diver”. His rich baritone is in career-best form, clarion-clear even when he digs into his lower register for a little extra grit. By ’83, operatic tenors with soaring falsettos were becoming a new standard in metal. Singers like Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, and Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate seemed like the future of the genre.
Dio couldn’t always hang with those guys on pure technique, but he anchored his voice in a deep, convincing earthiness they couldn’t quite access. His clean articulation of every syllable was also key to his appeal. Audiences could sing along to a Dio song within a couple repetitions of the chorus, even if it was their first time hearing it.

The lyrics on ”Holy Diver” frequently push metaphor beyond its breaking point. Dio sings about velvet lies, a truth as hard as steel, the palace of the virgin, the chalice of the soul, and a rainbow in the dark. He chose words that sounded good coming out of his mouth first, conjured a vivid image second, and made logical sense third — if at all. What the hell is a holy diver, anyway?
The cover art suggests it’s a priest who’s been tossed into the sea by a demon, but the lyrics provide no such concrete evidence: “Holy diver / You’re the star of the masquerade / No need to look so afraid / Jump on the tiger.”
Dio preferred piling on imagery to building a coherent narrative, but his overarching themes always came into focus. He liked to speak to people who felt alone in the world, who needed his songs to overcome whatever private adversity they were going through. “You’ve been left on your own / Like a rainbow in the dark” may not be the most cogent simile ever written, but when Dio sang it, its empowering beams shone through.

”Holy Diver” also helped codify traditional heavy metal as a recognizable sound, particularly in the United States. With thrash rising on the California coast and cutting-edge regional scenes emerging in Europe and the UK, Dio became a standard bearer for old-school metal.
Bain and Appice formed a rock-solid rhythm section; Campbell’s style was firmly rooted in the blues, proficient but not overly flashy or technical. Their chemistry on ”Holy Diver” belies the fact that they had only started playing together months prior.

“Gypsy” swings like Zeppelin on amphetamines, “Caught in the Middle” crunches in groovy lockstep, and “Shame on the Night” wrings high drama out of a simple blues backbone. “Rainbow in the Dark” is a pop-metal banger before the vocabulary for such a thing existed, built around a lilting motif played on a cheap Yamaha keyboard. It’s one of the best metal / hard rock songs ever written, and according to Campbell, “we had the fucking song written in 10 minutes.”

Dio went into the recording sessions of this album with something to prove, and he left with one of metal’s holy grails, a classic of the same magnitude as Paranoid and The Number of the Beast.
His work with Rainbow and Sabbath was just as pivotal to the genre, but ”Holy Diver” is his zenith — the most ‘Dio album’ of all time. These are the songs that made Dio the avatar and patron saint of dorky metalheads everywhere.
Here was a 5’4″, middle-aged man, singing about rainbows and tigers and drinking red wine from a golden goblet. His very existence was a siren song for dweebs; if you were uncool, Dio was for you.

Consider the virtuosic opening sequence of 2006’s still-awesome Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny: Our hero (Troy Gentile, playing a young Jack Black) is terrorized by his buttoned-up Christian father (played by Meat Loaf), who destroys all his rock’n’roll paraphernalia and slams the bedroom door.
Only one poster survives the melee — the star of the masquerade, the rainbow in the dark, the truth as hard as steel. Ronnie James Dio, seated on his throne, comes to life and urges the crestfallen teen onward: “You will face your inner demons,” he instructs. “Now go, my son, and rock.”

The new 2022 remaster sounds much better than the previous, offering a beefier listen without sacrificing the character of the original recording. It’s fuller in the deep end of the sonic spectrum.
A must have classic


01 – Stand Up and Shout (2022 Remaster)
02 – Holy Diver (2022 Remaster)
03 – Gypsy (2022 Remaster)
04 – Caught in the Middle (2022 Remaster)
05 – Don’t Talk to Strangers (2022 Remaster)
06 – Straight Through the Heart (2022 Remaster)
07 – Invisible (2022 Remaster)
08 – Rainbow in the Dark (2022 Remaster)
09 – Shame on the Night (2022 Remaster)

Ronnie James Dio – vocals, keyboards, production
Vinny Appice – drums
Jimmy Bain – bass, keyboards
Vivian Campbell – guitar



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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can you get the whole box set?

  2. kosedi says:

    Thank you for this remaster version…

  3. melodified says:

    Thank you. I liked the Barresi version as well.

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