Traditional heavy metal

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Heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues-rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo.

The first heavy metal bands (Proto) such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, though they were often critically reviled, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre’s evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM) such as Iron Maiden followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal had attracted a worldwide following of fans known as “metalheads” or “headbangers”.

Visit the NWoBHM sub-genre page for more details on this particular music movement.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Heavy_Metal

Inclusive Traditional Heavy Metal Genres

Melodic Metal is often short for Melodic Heavy Metal and as such is usually included under Traditional Heavy Metal on the MMA. On rare occasions Melodic Metal releases may also be included under Power Metal however, such as Arven's Black is the Colour (2013).

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • 666sharon666 [Leader]
  • Time Signature

traditional heavy metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

RAINBOW Rising Album Cover Rising
RAINBOW
4.51 | 130 ratings
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JUDAS PRIEST Sad Wings Of Destiny Album Cover Sad Wings Of Destiny
JUDAS PRIEST
4.47 | 136 ratings
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MANILLA ROAD Crystal Logic Album Cover Crystal Logic
MANILLA ROAD
4.65 | 25 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Paranoid Album Cover Paranoid
BLACK SABBATH
4.42 | 183 ratings
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IRON MAIDEN Powerslave Album Cover Powerslave
IRON MAIDEN
4.38 | 192 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Master Of Reality Album Cover Master Of Reality
BLACK SABBATH
4.38 | 150 ratings
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MANILLA ROAD The Deluge Album Cover The Deluge
MANILLA ROAD
4.65 | 16 ratings
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ACCEPT Breaker Album Cover Breaker
ACCEPT
4.49 | 28 ratings
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MOTÖRHEAD Ace of Spades Album Cover Ace of Spades
MOTÖRHEAD
4.36 | 67 ratings
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DIO Holy Diver Album Cover Holy Diver
DIO
4.32 | 113 ratings
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MOTÖRHEAD Inferno Album Cover Inferno
MOTÖRHEAD
4.54 | 18 ratings
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SAXON Wheels of Steel Album Cover Wheels of Steel
SAXON
4.40 | 38 ratings
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traditional heavy metal Music Reviews

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS Prevail I

Album · 2017 · Traditional heavy metal
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Kev Rowland
It's been three years since Kobra And The Lotus' last studio album ‘High Priestess’ was released back in 2014. Since then the Canadians have completed multiple tours worldwide (with the likes of Kamelot, Sonata Arctica and Demon Hunter to name a few), and are now back with their fourth release. Only singer Kobra Paige is still there from the 2009 debut ‘Out of the Pit’, and I am amazed that I haven’t heard her prior to this album, as here is a singer with plenty of power and passion, very much in the style of Doro. Musically this is a mix of traditional heavy metal with some power metal, while also at times slightly moving into symphonic, but they don’t stay on the last for too long.

This is all about punch guitars, great melodies and hooks, with some sublime singing over the top. Produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Epica etc) and mastered by Grammy award winning Ted Jensen, the sound is as strong as one would expect, and I actually found this to be a refreshing approach to the genre as here Kobra is very much part of the band, and not someone pushing herself to the forefront at the risk of taking away from the impact of the songs overall. ‘Prevail I’ is full of blistering guitars, pounding rhythms and haunting vocal melodies, and will be appreciated both by those who enjoy the more melodic side of metal and those who like the (much) heavier side of AOR. Apparently ‘Prevail II’ is going to be released in the near future, and I for one look forward to that with great anticipation as if it is as good as this it will be one to grab.

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS Prevail I

Album · 2017 · Traditional heavy metal
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adg211288
I have to be honest, when I first heard Canadian metal act Kobra and the Lotus I wasn't all that impressed. This would have been sometime after the release of their debut album Out of the Pit (2009) of course, a record that's since become quite obscure and from which only vocalist Kobra Paige herself still remains with the band today. This first impression was quickly forgotten with the band's second album, the self-titled Kobra and the Lotus (2012), where the band really upped their game, also adopting more of a power metal sound. With their third album High Priestess (2014), the band only continued to grow in my estimations, now also leaning in towards thrash metal in addition to their traditional and power metal elements of albums past. Back after three years with their fourth full-length album Prevail I (2017), the first of a pair with Prevail II slated to follow in the very near future, and I've little reason to doubt going in that more great things should be expected.

Maybe it's simply a case of expecting too much, but Prevail I isn't exactly everything I'd hoped it would be. On one hand if you want a modern sounding heavy metal album with great female vocals then check, you've got it here, with a couple of power metal moments on the side. But it's really not much more than that. Don't get me wrong, it's a good album for its style, but when an artist sets the bar high with their previous work, as Kobra and the Lotus did on their last two albums, then it also seems somewhat lacklustre. The thrash metal elements from High Priestess seem to have completely evaporated rather than developed further, and as hinted above the power metal elements have been considerably cut down too. I'd have called the last two albums power metal albums before heavy metal albums, so Prevail I really marks a shift back towards the band's original sound, although it's still much stronger than Out of the Pit of course. There are some new developments such as such neoclassical inspired lead guitar on the instrumental Check the Phyrg, but what has been gained doesn't balance out what their sound has lost on this album.

Now, there's nothing wrong with traditional heavy metal of course, and I've often wondered if Kobra and the Lotus's power and thrash metal elements were something of a fluke due to their self-branding as a hard rock/metal band, but the trouble is those elements were the instrumental strength of the self-titled and High Priestess. They worked well with Kobra Paige's strong vocals. It was a combination that produced some melodic, yet hard hitting metal music that was a joy to listen to and regularly revisit. I can't be the only one who had hopes for more of that. Prevail I, by comparison, actually seems to be a bit generic and forgettable. I'm left with a single hope that Prevail II, whenever it drops (it should at least be before Wintersun releases Time II), contains material more like High Priestess and isn't just more of the same as this first part, because that really would be a let down.

I will reiterate before I close this review; the songs on Prevail I aren't bad, but they aren't particularly special either. Some nice tracks here and there including Specimen X (The Mortal Chamber) and Check the Phyrg and definitely exceptional vocals from Kobra herself across the whole album, but it just doesn't manage to grab hold of me in the same way.

FAST KUTZ Burnin'

Album · 1987 · Traditional heavy metal
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aglasshouse
Quasi-NWoBHM band Fast Kutz arose to a mediocre prominence in 1987, with the legend himself Ozzy Osborne stating in a review for BBC One's that they were "the most energetic band {he'd} heard in ages". This is not praise to be taken lightly, nor is it praise that's easy to earn. So what exactly were these small-time bunch of English enthusiasts cranking out that made Ozzy almost sign the band to a label himself?

Well Burnin', the sole material ever officially released by the group, is admittedly quite a force to be reckoned with. This isn't necessarily due to a legendary revolutionary tactic or style that they employed, because on the surface Burnin' isn't exactly anything special in the writing or creativity department. What the band makes up for this however is in the intensity Ozzy was talking about that still holds up as remarkable even in latter-day. In a nutshell Fast Kutz are a powerful glam and heavy metal fusion band, acted out by a four-piece outfit. While such a fusion is often a recipe for silly and cringe-worthy disaster, Fast Kutz gets away with it with the intricacy and eclecticism of their instrumentation. Every member of the band is quite proficient in protecting each song from becoming monotonous with illustrious solos and powerful rhythms, especially guitarist Kenny Nicholson and drummer Paul Fowler. Songs like 'Dead or Alive' and 'Driving Me Crazy' are what keep this work from being less dated that many other albums of their caliber, and bands that faded into woeful obscurity around the same time this album was released, because they are content to unabashedly play music less from the mind and more from the soul.

Not to say that Burnin' is exactly a thinking-man's album, because it isn't. I myself am one who very much enjoys the company of brain-food tunes, and although I can laud Fast Kutz for making a competent and steadfast release, my personal tastes come to a partial crossroads. In short, Burnin' is a very fun album that I have a lot of fun with when the mood is right, but at the same time can't find myself accessing with relative ease all the time.

Unfortunately Fast Kutz met their demise when their label Ebony Records went defunct around the time the band was to record their second album. The group faded away in a puff of smoke in 1988, leaving unlocked potential six feet under, occasionally rising in similar band Black Rose which Paul Fowler joined subsequently after Fast Kutz' dissolution. However, Burnin' still remains proud and, as a legacy, I believe it was a relatively good one.

METALLICA Hardwired... to Self-Destruct

Album · 2016 · Traditional heavy metal
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mlkpad14
5/4/17 (3 1/2 stars) - "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct" was 5 stars when it came out. Each single was major, and I stayed up all night listening to the album on the day of its release. What's more, that day I was packed with so much energy - in short, the album rejuvenated me.

The problem with the album is not that it isn't as good as Metallica's earlier stuff because honestly, it is still really good. Rather, the problem is that it just doesn't last. Unlike the true goodies and all the 5-star albums out there, it does not guarantee all those months and even years of listening. Hardly can most imagine the next generation listening to this album, and rather obvious is that absolutely no one in the generation afterward would have even heard of it.

As far as the album goes, people have managed to agree that it is pretty much modern-sounding thrash. "Hardwired" is most likely the craziest song on the album, with its three minutes of chaos. All the other songs are pinned at six or seven minutes, a reasonable length. While the first disc is half singles and all epics, the second disc is made up of slightly more gradual pieces. That is to say, they are still all thrash and epic, but not to the same extent as the first disc's

"Spit Out The Bone" was the perfect song to end the album, and the deluxe version's third disc had all of the right songs, as well. "Ronnie Rising Medley" and "When a Blind Man Cries" would have went unnoticed if they weren't included, and the older Metallica songs were surely some of their best.

In short, "Hardwired... To Self Destruct" is a fantastic album for Metallica to have released as possibly their last new studio work. On the other hand, it will be lost in time, and it has already lost its appeal to most of those that have excessively listened to it. It is quite sad... well, it is still awesome that they have made it this far. If Metallica can release another album just as good, I'm sure everyone will be flattered.

5/18/17 (EDIT: 5 stars) - I made the mistake to review this album before I saw most of it live. The second Metallica started with "Hardwired" my mouth dropped open and I was lost in a world of crazy fantasy. Honestly, as they continued through "Atlas, Rise!", "Moth Into Flame", and "Now That We're Dead"... It is awesome how my opinion changed so drastically!

This is an album for the centuries, and nothing Metallica has done or will do will EVER go to waste!

BLACK SABBATH Black Sabbath

Album · 1970 · Traditional heavy metal
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martindavey87
Music fads come and go so quickly that it's hard to keep up with a lot of them. That's why when Black Sabbath firmly established the genre of heavy metal (whether they solely created it or not is a different debate for another time) back in 1970, it's amazing that's it's stood the test of time and is still going strong today as one of the most popular genres of music in the world.

With that said, I'm not a massive Black Sabbath fan. I respect their achievements, and rightfully so, as the genre I hold so dear wouldn't exist without them, but that doesn't change the fact that their music just doesn't quite "do it" for me.

I can appreciate how revolutionary this was back in the day, nothing as heavy, dark or doom-laden had come before. However, by the time I came around to owning this CD, it sounded rather dated and didn't quite measure up to a lot of the stuff I was listening to at the time (I was born in 1987 to put that in context). Ozzy Osbourne's vocals are very primitive and somewhat annoying to listen to (story goes that he was only invited to join the band as he owned a PA), and Tony Iommi's guitars were never quite heavy or interesting enough for me.

That being said, there are one or two decent tracks, most notably 'N.I.B.' and the title track, but in all honesty I could think of thousands of other songs I'd rather listen to.

When it all comes down to it, it's just a matter of taste. While this is arguably one of the most influential albums of all time, I respect it for that, it's just not something I enjoy listening to. The record's status as a classic is certainly not in any danger due to my opinion, and hell, if you think this is blasphemous, you should check out my review for 'Paranoid'...

traditional heavy metal movie reviews

IRON MAIDEN Live After Death

Movie · 1985 · NWoBHM
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siLLy puPPy
Universally cited as one of the absolute best live albums of all time, LIVE AFTER DEATH is the first live album / video release of IRON MAIDEN’s classic early Bruce Dickinson years and was recorded during their “World Slavery Tour.” Despite lasting a whopping 331 days, this double LP album only took two venues as their source for representing their electric live performances. The first 13 tracks were recorded at the Long Beach Arena in California, USA and the remaining five tracks were taken from a night at Hammersmith Odeon in London. While LIVE AFTER DEATH was released both as audio LP and video VHS in 1985, the two aren’t exactly identical in content. The audio LP originally contained 18 tracks (one of which is “Intro: Churchill’s Speech”) but the VHS visual experience only had 14 tracks. Unfortunately when LIVE AFTER DEATH was originally released on CD it was too long for a single disc and instead of simply issuing a double disc, EMI unwisely decided to cut the last five tracks which included the Odeon performance, therefore it is highly advisable to obtain the Sanctuary remastered version which was released as a double disc and retains the entire run of one classic song after another.

LIVE AFTER DEATH is the absolute perfect live album. I very rarely put live albums high on my list of favorites because more often than not something or many things prevent them from capturing my attention and worthiness as essential. If it’s not the weak production values then it is the inability of the band to capture the magic that is manufactured in the studio. That is not the case here. IRON MAIDEN was at the pinnacle of their creative prowess at this point and after several outstanding and classic albums to mine for material, they perfectly execute these live performances and offer every little ounce of excitement heard on the studio releases. Bruce Dickinson nails the vocals and the thundering trio of Steve Harris’ bass and the guitar synergy of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith accompanied by Nikko McBrain’s stellar drumming style doesn’t get any better. While most of the tracks are performed rather faithfully to their studio versions, there is plenty of live improvisation taking places as well. Standout moments include Bruce’s attempt to get audience participation on “Running Free” and another great difference can be heard on “Revelations” where the tempo is upped and Bruce changes the vocal phrasing to make the track sound different and refreshed.

The video release offers all the theatrical visuals of the tour. The “Powerslave” album was based on ancient Egypt and likewise the stage was Egyptified to the max with sarcophagi, hieroglyphs and a mummified Eddie embellished with ridiculous amounts of pyrotechnics. The tour was a smashing success and this release whether it be audio or video is the perfect testimony to the genius that went into every single detail. The sound and mixing is perfect as well as Martin Birch found the perfect balance of every cast member and delivered one of the most satisfying production jobs for a live release that i have ever heard. In the visual department Jim Yukich perfectly captured two nights in Long Beach showing a great band doing great things at the peak of their game. Another piece of perfection with this one is the brilliant cover art of Derek Riggs surpassing previous album themes of Eddie as the mascot by incorporating those themes of previous albums covers and then putting it all on steroids. The spread of the album is breathtaking in content and color with the boldness of the yellows and blues. Every aspect of talent on board with this release guarantees to wake the dead. I cannot find one negative thing to say about it. It is true that Bruce doesn’t hit every note exactly as on the studio version every single time but when he doesn’t he offers interesting new ways of interpreting the classics. This is simply one of the most perfect live releases i have ever encountered and even MAIDEN themselves haven’t even come close to achieving similar results. Masterpiece.

OZZY OSBOURNE God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

Movie · 2011 · Traditional heavy metal
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progshine
It is an interesting documentary that tries to focus on his personal life. But it stays in the middle of the road in the end.

You have this big and interesting chunk talking about Sabbath then when it comes to his solo career they talk about 2 albums and... that's it.

Look, if you're doing a documentary or you focus on the music or in the person, every documentary that tries to do both end up staying in the middle of the fail road.

This is interesting, it gives you an idea how Ozzy was really in bad shape for so many years and how he turned things around, but it's far away from being a great and complete documentary.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY The European Invasion: Doom Troopin' Live

Movie · 2006 · Traditional heavy metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Doom Troopin’ Live: The European Invasion is a live concert video from Black Label Society, available on Blu-Ray. It documents the European leg of their touring in support of ‘Mafia.’

The setlist is fairly heavily comprised of material from the ‘Mafia’ and ‘The Blessed Hellride’ albums, with little from the first three records, which may be disappointing if its your only BLS video purchase, but which does result in little crossover with their other DVD ‘Boozed Broozed & Broken Boned.’ A similar idea to Kiss’ Alive II perhaps.

There are 16 tracks in the main Paris concert according to the back of the box but three of those are jamming. They tease the crowd with a bit of ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ for example. Plenty of the time between songs is given over for additional guitar soloing as well.

It’s a decent mix of fast and slow, its mostly heavy but there’s a bit of light in there and it gives a lot of time over to Zack’s guitar talents, without wasting too much time away from actual songs. I think a good balance has been struck of all of Black Label’s constituent parts.

The performance is fairly strong, noticeably so on the ballads. Zack has a good stage presence pumping fists, pointing and striking poses, although some of the spoken crowd interaction is very mumbled and hard to make out. A lot of the songs feel a lot faster, louder and heavier live than they did on record, and feel crunchier and more earthy sounding. The drumming in particular is a lot more impressive live; Craig Nunemacher has a lot of character I hadn’t noticed before seeing this.

I think the sound is very good. Its well mixed, fairly heavy and the songs have bite. It feels ‘live enough’ but it isn’t sloppy. Again, a good balance has been struck, this time between concert-feel and actually good sound.

There was a fair amount of effort put into the stage design too; mic stands made out of chains, skulls on plinths, an impromptu pub made out of amplifiers with beer sat on it, flashing siren lights, BLS banners etc. There’s a professional looking lighting show and the camera work is well done. So in one way, it’s a good looking concert too.

In another way however, the visuals are the only letdown for me as the editing is a bit distracting. A lot of time, especially in the earlier songs, is given over to fancy effects, going black and white momentarily, screen overlays, slow motion, fake film grain etc. which some viewers may find a bit too distracting. Luckily instances of this reduce as the show goes on. It isn’t enough to spoil the concert in my opinion, but if you are picky about that sort of thing I would recommend that you try before you buy it.

I had read negative reviews about this concert stating either that Zack was miming his vocals, that there were very obvious vocal overdubs or that the audio and video were out of synch. Whichever way, if you look at his mouth it doesn’t match the sound of the singing. That would have been a huge letdown for me. I was worried because the same vocal-synching issue had been a fairly big distraction on a Marilyn Manson and a Queensrÿche Blu-Ray I owned and I didn’t want to buy this if it shared the same problem.

I looked on youtube to see footage from the DVD which indeed had the problem, but read reviews that claimed the problem didn’t exist. Luckily when I watch my copy (region 0 Blu-Ray, with the audio set to DTS HD Master Audio) there is no issue at all. All the tom rolls, guitar solos and singing matches what you see on screen. Admittedly, Zack has a lot of effects on his vocals, other members do backing vocals and there are some sections of pre-recorded music like in lots of concerts, that you were never meant to think was live, but that’s about it.

The bonus features include an extra four songs (‘Been A Long Time,’ ‘Suicide Messiah,’ ‘Stillborn’ with massive extended-jam & ‘Genocide Junkies’) from London, three music videos from the Mafia album, a making-of for the ‘Suicide Messiah’ video and a 50-minute documentary feature called ‘Backstage Pass.’

The video is 1080i HD Widescreen 16:9 (1.78:1). The audio options are LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS HD Master Audio

Overall, this is a fairly enjoyable Blu-Ray with a well performed and sounding concert and some interesting extras. I would recommend it if you like the band, as long as you aren’t very picking about over-edited concerts or only like the early material.

JUDAS PRIEST Rising In The East

Movie · 2005 · Traditional heavy metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Opening with the classic double punch of `The Hellion/Electric Eye,’ you know that this concert is going to be good.

The band do their best to mix a diverse career spanning set list with playing all their biggest hits and do a pretty successful job, managing to cover a full five songs from their then new `Angel of Retribution,’ album with their big hits like `Breaking the Law,’ `Living After Midnight,’ and `You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,’ while still playing at least one song from their less famous `Point of Entry,’ `Turbo,’ and `Ram It Down,’ albums.

Musically, the band are on fire, with impressive guitar soloing, energetic on stage performances and drummer Scott Travis playing songs harder, with confidence and authority that makes them sound that much heavier and tighter. The band are playing on a fairly large stage with elaborate set pieces, risers and of course, the famous motorcycle.

Some fans have made a lot of complaints about Rob Halford’s performance here, but with the sole exception of the vocals on the track `Painkiller,’ (which, as it happens has impossibly difficult vocals to begin with) I think these complaints are pretty off the mark.

If you need proof that Rob can still reach those high notes see the `You’re Possessing Me,’ scream in `A Touch of Evil’ or indeed the entire performance of the fast and high pitched `Riding on the Wind.’

Furthermore Rob’s whole on-stage attitude is a winner, seeming genuinely pleased each and every time the crowd gets a sing along moment correct, adding little Robotic Walk gestures to `Metal Gods,’ and generally looking like he’s giving it his all, to the point where he is sweating and red in the face, not because he can’t hack it, but rather because he’s giving it his very all.

Even if you do for some reason take exception with Rob, there is simply no denying the performances of Glen, Scott, Ian and Mr. Downing who all blast away like a well oiled machine, but with the energy of a much younger band.

In terms of camera, editing, sound and mix there really isn’t anything to complain about, everything is handled well and the whole package is as slick and professional as you would hope for from a band of their size.

Overall this is a great looking and great sounding DVD from Judas Priest and that alone should have you interested, add to that an interesting set list and dismiss the complaints about Rob and you should find `Rising In The East,’ a really worthy addition to your collection.

DIO Holy Diver Live

Movie · 2006 · Traditional heavy metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Dio’s Holy Diver Live is a very enjoyable release from one of Rock and Metal’s most famous artists.

During the two hour run time the band play a selection of songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio in addition to performing the entire of the Holy Diver album.

If the band’s line up or the concert’s tracklisting bothers you then feel free to give this a miss, but for everyone else you’ll find a very strong Live Blu Ray indeed.

The sound, both in terms of recording quality and mix is simply excellent and the picture quality is very high, with suitable camera work and a good pace of editing.

Ronnie James Dio’s performance live is fantastic as always and the band which includes Doug Aldrich on guitar, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Scott Warren on keyboards are on top form, performing professionally and delivering the material with flair and enthusiasm.

Drummer Simon Wright even performs a surprisingly enjoyable and musical drum solo, which is lengthy enough to sink your teeth into but still short enough that it never becomes boring.

The band also enliven the material with little twists on the material here and there, such as different drum fills or guitar licks than on record as well as adding dynamic endings to some of the songs which faded out on their original albums.

The only complaint to be had about the film is that there are one or two shots in which the drums on screen are blatantly not coming out of the speakers (simple editing mistakes, where you can see snare rolls in the background during sections without snare rolls) but there are only about three such mistakes in the whole film and therfor not really worth too much concern.

Otherwise, this is a superb release, a strong performance of a selection of classic material, shot and sounding excellent.

Even though there are already a lot of Dio DVDs available, Holy Diver Live is definitely worth getting unless you lost all interest in the prospect of Dio live DVDs anyway, in which case you already know this isn’t for you. For everyone else, this is highly recommended.

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