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Master of the Moon
Artist: Dio 
Label: Sanctuary Records
Length: 10/46:27

Ronnie James Dio has an undeniable place in the history of heavy metal.  He has two of top three “100 Most Metal Moments” according to VH1, he claims the dubious distinction of having originated the “devil horn” sign that is ubiquitous at metal concerts, and he has been a member of Rainbow and Black Sabbath, two of metal’s founding fathers.

Now, the question would be: can a man whose fame came in the late '70’s and '80’s put out a heavy metal album in 2004 that rocks, yet reaches anyone under the age of 35?

Master of the Moon is very much an album that breaks no new ground musically.  To Dio fans, this will be a good thing ­ the CD fits in well next to Lock Up the Wolves or Sacred Heart. It’s no Holy Diver, however. Songs like “One More for the Road” show exactly where Jack Black drew a lot of his inspiration in “School of Rock.”

“The Eyes” is guitar-driven and powerful.  “The Man Who Would Be King” is typically overwrought, metal opera, 80’s rock.  One plus here is the presence of Jeff Pilson, always a good thing (he has since been replaced by Rudy Sarzo, no slouch either).

Redundancy seems to be the theme here.  Almost every song sounds alike, or like a previous Dio recording.  Many fans will be perfectly happy with Master of the Moon, simply due to its trademarked Dio sound.  If you’re looking for anything new or fresh from the Mighty Mite, though, you will be disappointed.

Brian A. Smith
6 September 2004



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