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MAGIC “A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO” – DESERVES A LOUD METAL BRAVO!

Posted in classic rock, classic rock music, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, power metal music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

MAGIC/A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO – This compilation of songs, paying tribute to the late and forever legendary Ronnie James Dio, was released on July 20, 2010, on Magic Circle Music. The executive producer for this album is Joey DeMaio, bass guitarist and founding member of Metal legends… MANOWAR. Joey is also the founder and man-in-charge of Magic Circle Music, starting this record label back in 2005. HolyHell, Feinstein and Jack Starr’s Burning Starr are just a few of the many bands under the Magic Circle Music label and appearing on this tribute album as well.

The assemblage of Metal Bands heard on this Ronnie James Dio Tribute album gives it more added appeal, these are bands that are not vying for position at any Hollywood plastic awards shows, which brings a huge sigh of relief to me. Sincerity in Metal is key, especially when it comes to a tribute album for such a legend as Ronnie James Dio. In other words, you won’t hear any “club mix” or “flavor of the month” band here. It’s all real, especially when “The Kings Of Metal” themselves, are included on this album – MANOWAR. Their presence alone solidifies and justifies all the more reason to buy, listen to and enjoy this Ronnie James Dio Tribute. This album contains cover songs from Ronnie James Dio’s career with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, songs in which Ronnie not only sung his heart out on but cowrote as well.

There are two songs that are the exception here and are not covers, they are – Far Beyond by Feinstein and Never More by Neoclassical guitarist Dean Cascione. Far Beyond is from the debut album by Feinstein – Third Wish. David “Rock” Feinstein, (original guitarist for Elf and later guitarist/vocalist for the influential Heavy Metal Band – The Rods), can play some lean & mean Metal guitar. He displays his guitar prowess on Far Beyond, making for a fabulous salute to his cousin and former Elf band mate, Ronnie James Dio. Whoa, is this song melodic and John West on vocals is an absolute Metal treat to thine ears.

Dean Cascione showcases his guitar skills in a moving and emotional instrumental that is Never More. If Dean’s guitar could speak, it would be saying… thank you Ronnie, you are so missed. That is exactly how I interpret this guitar instrumental, with having it’s rightful place amongst the other songs on this album. Straight Through The Heart covered by Harlet just flat out Rocks. Todd Michael Hall on vocals is excellent… as he gives this DIO classic it’s just revered due.

MANOWAR cuts loose with the first song, a cover of the revered – Heaven And Hell. MANOWAR unleashes their very own thunder strike of Metal into Heaven And Hell, all the while adhering to this song’s original tempo and mystically dark mood. The bass of Joey DeMaio is heavily prominent in this cover, just as Geezer Butler’s bass is in the original. What a tremendous way to get this Ronnie James Dio Tribute album moving!

HolyHell covers Holy Diver, it’s a live recording done somewhere in Norway. Maria Breon on vocals brings another listening dimension to this ultra classic DIO song. Maria’s eloquent vocal style combined with the Power Metal of HolyHell comes recommended by Stone. I really enjoy listening to this cover and to this band. MetalForce covers The Last In Line. This Power Metal version is a mighty listen with Tristan Visser on guitar leaving quite a Metal impression on me, he takes on the solo with fearless Metal fury. Tarek Maghary on vocals gives The Last In Line the Old School emotion it so deserves.

Now, let’s talk about Jack Starr’s Burning Starr… unreal is the cover version of Catch The Rainbow by this legendary guitarist and his band. Todd Michael Hall on vocals is brilliant. Catch The Rainbow is without question, the most soothing Hard Rock song I have ever listened to… both the Rainbow original and this cover version as well. I’d have to pick this song along with the Heaven And Hell cover from Manowar as the two best songs on this album.

For those who may not know, Jack Starr was the founder and guitarist for the highly influential and renowned 1980’s Power Metal Band from New York – Virgin Steele. After the Virgin Steele era, Jack Starr continued onward with Burning Starr, his solo career, revisiting his love for the blues and having a stake in a few other bands. I could continue on and on with the history of Jack Starr… we’ll just leave that for another post in the future. After Burning Starr’s two decade absence of an album, Defiance was released in 2009 on Magic Circle Music. Defiance marks the fifth studio album release from Jack Starr’s… Burning Starr.

Joey DeMaio and all of these bands mentioned, have delivered quite the Old School and well deserved tribute to the late/great Ronnie James Dio with this compilation album. The historical Heavy Metal linkage associated with this tribute album is a thrill in and of itself! Combine this history with a few younger Metal bands that appear here and Magic – A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio truly bridges the gap between generations of Metal Bands and fans. Even the liner notes seem to glisten with that “days of Metal yesteryear” image. The four pages of photo’s celebrating Ronnie James Dio, within the liner notes, show him as a member of The Electric Elves, Rainbow and Black Sabbath.

I guess my Metal enthusiasm has essentially spilled over on writing about this tribute album to Ronnie James Dio. What I walk away with, after listening to all of the songs on this album and realizing the history behind the music, is that the Heavy Metal genre is very much a diverse and well connected family tree. And this family tree I will continue to climb, love and explore for the rest of my Metal life.

* The very cool & Metal album cover illustration is by – Ken Kelly.

* For more info on the bands involved in this great tribute album to Ronnie James Dio, just click on the helpful links below:

MANOWAR – Official Website

MAGIC CIRCLE MUSIC

FEINSTEIN – Official Website

Jack Starr’s Burning Starr – Official Website

Jack Starr’s Burning Starr – myspace music page

HOLYHELL – Official Website

HOLYHELL – myspace music page

METALFORCE – myspace music page

DEAN CASCIONE – Official Website

Track Listing For MAGIC – A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio:

Heaven And Hell – Manowar

Holy Diver (Live In Norway)HolyHell

The Last In Line Metalforce

Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll Magic Circle All Star Band

I Speed At Night Awaken

A Light In The Black Crosswind

Never More Dean Cascione

Far BeyondFeinstein

Straight Through The HeartHarlet

Catch The RainbowJack Starr’s Burning Starr

* A Metal Roll Call To The Bands Heard On  Magic – A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio:

MANOWAR:

Eric Adams – vocals

Donnie Hamzik – drums

Karl Logan – guitar

Joey DeMaio – bass

HOLYHELL:

Maria Breon – vocals

Joe Stump – guitar

Francisco Palomo – keyboards

Jay Rigney – bass

Rhino – drums

METALFORCE:

Tarek Maghary – vocals

Tristan Visser – guitar

Jan Raddaatz – drums

Magic Circle All Star Band:

Sammy “Shmoulik” Avigal – vocals

Joe Stump – guitar

Jack Starr – guitar

AWAKEN:

Glenn DaGrossa – vocals

Artie Dillon – guitar & vocals

Joe Todaro – guitar

Freddy Villano – bass

Nick D’Alessandro – drums

CROSSWIND:

Kyriakos Vasdokas – vocals & guitar

Leon Tsorbatzoglou – guitar

Vasilis Mitsaris – drums

Guest Musician: Yiannis Papadopoulos – backing vocals

DEAN CASCIONE – guitar

FEINSTEIN:

David “Rock” Feinstein – guitar

John West – vocals

Jeff Howell – bass

Nate Horton – drums

Bob Twining – keyboards

HARLET:

Todd Michael Hall – vocals

Tod Walraven – guitar

Jon Hall – bass

Doug Julian – drums

JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR:

Jack Starr – guitar

Todd Michael Hall – vocals

Ned Michael Meloni – bass

Guest Musician: Rhino – drums

LONG LIVE THE MUSIC OF RONNIE JAMES DIO.

REST IN PEACE, RONNIE JAMES DIO.

Stone.

DIO “INTERMISSION” – LIVE ALBUM FROM 1986 IS A METAL MUST!

Posted in hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal songs, metal odyssey, Music, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

DIO – Released in June of 1986, DIOIntermission has always been a favorable listen for me. The lone studio track, Time To Burn is a major reason why I bought Intermission so many years ago. This song just stuck to me instantly, from the very first time I heard it on either WCCC FM or WHCN FM out of Hartford, Connecticut. The combination of the melodic hardness and lyrics of Time To Burn just never seems to dull on my Metal senses. I still get the same ostrich bumps on my arms and face when I listen to this song today. Metal be thy name. The only difference between now and then, while listening to this vintage DIO song, is that at this point in my Metal life… I don’t feel I have that much “Time To Burn” anymore.

Back in 1986, there was no such thing as itunes, so buying just the song Time To Burn was not an option for me. Buying a song or two like we do today, at any time of the day, with the click of a computer mouse, was pure Science Fiction back then. Of course I wanted the entire song package that Intermission bestowed, as of 1986 there was no official live DIO title until this album was released. Furthermore, I, like so many millions of other DIO fans, was riding the wave of incredible album releases by DIO during those early to mid 80’s… 1983’s Holy Diver, 1984’s The Last In Line and 1985’s Sacred Heart were a triple dose of Heavy Metal ecstasy and still are!

In Metal truth, Intermission can easily be referred to as an EP, with only six songs. Five of the songs are live, with of course Time To Burn being the studio track. Track five is a live medley of three songs – Rock ‘N’ Roll Children, Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll and Man On The Silver Mountain. Adding two classic Rainbow songs into the live mix, with Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll and Man On The Silver Mountain was a brilliantly cool idea from Ronnie James Dio, in my Metal opinion. These two Rainbow songs were and forever will be synonymous with Ronnie James Dio.

The overall sound quality of the live songs are well above average, you won’t be listening to a bootleg when it comes to quality. Intermission will never go down in Metal history as the greatest live album… still it is an excellent live DIO album that is a must for new fans. Old School DIO and Heavy Metal fans should already be familiar with Intermission, embracing it as much as I do could differ from one fan to the next. Ronnie James Dio left us fans with an incredible and unparalleled catalog of music. Intermission is a DIO album that captured a moment in time and is too good to ignore.

Intermission is still readily available at nearly every online music retailer, plus it sells for well under ten dollars, (U.S.), in both new and used condition. I’ve also seen Intermission on vinyl, selling in the ten dollar, (U.S.), range for both new and used condition. Adding this DIO album to your DIO or Heavy Metal Music collection is a smart Metal move… who knows for how much longer it will be in print?

Track Listing For DIO – Intermission:

King Of Rock And Roll

Rainbow In The Dark

Sacred Heart

Time To Burn (Studio Track)

Rock ‘N’ Roll Children/Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll/Man On The Silver Mountain (Medley)

We Rock

* DIO – Intermission was originally released on Warner Bros. Records in North America.

The musicians of DIO, as heard on Intermission:

Ronnie James Dio – vocals

Vivian Campbell – guitar

Jimmy Bain – bass

Vinny Appice – drums

Claude Schnell – keyboards

Craig Goldy – guitar on Time To Burn (studio track)

* Craig Goldy has been the guitarist for: Rough Cutt, Giuffria and Craig Goldy’s Ritual.

* Intermission was the official introduction of Craig Goldy as the guitarist for DIO, replacing Vivian Campbell.

* Craig Goldy is the guitarist on DIO’s studio albums: Dream Evil (1987), Magica (2000) and Master Of The Moon (2004).

* You can check out more info on Craig Goldy by clicking on the link below:

CRAIG GOLDY – MySpace Music Page

* After leaving DIO, Vivian Campbell joined Whitesnake in 1987 for their World Tour, through 1988. Vivian Campbell went on to play guitar on Lou Gramm’s 1989 solo album – Long Hard Look. He also played guitar for Riverdogs and Shadow King before joining Def Leppard in 1993. The Def Leppard album from 1993, Retro Active, was Vivian Campbell’s first appearance as guitarist with them.

Stone.

RONNIE JAMES DIO – REST PEACEFULLY AND ROCK WITH THE ANGELS

Posted in hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

RONNIE JAMES DIO – Metal Odyssey wants to extend the deepest, most heart felt condolences to Wendy Dio, all of Ronnie James Dio’s family, friends, band mates of both past and present and his fans. Upon learning the sad news of Ronnie James Dio passing away today, May 16, 2010, I felt shock and grief, just as any fan has. Ronnie James Dio put up his valiant fight against cancer and heaven gained a Hard Rock and Heavy Metal patriarch. Arguably the greatest, if not one of the greatest singers in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal history was Ronnie James Dio. I, myself, have revered and enjoyed his voice, lyrics and songwriting for more than words can describe.

When I was a young teen, I did not listen very well to the adults trying to teach me in school. I did however, listen quite well to Ronnie James Dio through his songs. Be it Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath or his very own band DIO, the vocals and lyrics of Ronnie James Dio spoke to me… a friend that I only knew through songs and albums. I, like so many countless other fans, have felt that connection to Ronnie James Dio every time an album of his is played. For me, it never matters as to which Ronnie James Dio album that I listen to… I love them all. Ronnie James Dio was a living Hard Rock and Heavy Metal legend for decades and he shall remain a legend for eternity.

I feel blessed that I was able to see Ronnie James Dio in concert once, with his own band DIO. I still look back on that concert as if it were yesterday. Savatage and Megadeth were the opening bands for this DIO concert too… a Metal memory forever forged into my mind and soul. I shall miss knowing Ronnie James Dio is still around and making music. However, God wanted Ronnie James Dio to suffer no more… my only message to Heaven and the angels above is this – your all going to Rock like you never have before and Ronnie James Dio is gonna show you how.

In all of my life, I swear to never take the family and friends that surround me for granted. I don’t take for granted the musicians and bands that I am a fan of either. There shall never be another Ronnie James Dio and I shall never, ever, stop listening to his music for as long as I live. I will miss you Ronnie James Dio, words will never be able to express just how much. My tears today are not to be mistaken for only sadness of your passing… instead, they are to be understood as just how much your music meant to me on a deep and personal level. This by far, is the most difficult time I have ever had in my life writing for I am saying goodbye to Ronnie James Dio. Still, I am writing about a man that has given my life incredible joy through his music and I owe him a heartfelt thank you.

Rest In Peace Ronnie James Dio, you deserve your rightful place in Heaven.

1942 – 2010

LONG LIVE THE MUSIC OF RONNIE JAMES DIO.

Stone.

MEGADETH “ENDGAME” – Thrash Metal Glory Arrives September 15, 2009

Posted in 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's thrash metal bands, cool album covers, current thrash metal, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal concerts, metal music, metal music this decade, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, old school thrash metal music, spooky album covers, Thrash Metal, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal music, thrash metal today, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Dave Mustaine photo!Megadeth. Just the name alone sounds like true Metal. Thrash Metal. The name Megadeth alone, reaches out and stuns the uninformed as to the fact, that this band is seriously heavy about all things MetalOne of the kings of Thrash Metal. Dave Mustaine… a founding father of Thrash Metal and unreal good guitarist, a Metal legend. (Gee, did I leave out any other important accolades here?). Really, any Metal fan has to agree that Dave Mustaine has the Megadeth Metal machine running full tilt… for quite a long time too. I am Metal giddy that “Endgame” is coming out on September 15th… the month of September looks better already, for me. If you do not count today, (September 2nd), there are just 13 days left until the Megadeth Thrash Metal onslaught of new material becomes heard in it’s entirety. That is less than two weeks away. I am Metal psyched. I was fortunate enough to see back in the late 80’s, a Metal triple bill of Savatage, Megadeth and DIO. The New Haven Coliseum was never the same after that show… that structure no longer exists. What a night of Metal it was… Megadeth blew me away, Dave Mustaine earned a fan for life. Dave Mustaine… Thrash Metal Champion. Megadeth shall return… Endgame.

Megadeth "Endgame" large pic

DIO “The Last In Line” will last my Metal Music lifetime

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, cool album covers, creepy album covers, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1984, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, power metal music, ronnie james dio, scary album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150DIO, Ronnie James Dio, my Heavy Metal vocal savior, when I served time in High School, back in the 1980’s. (I know I use that punch line about High School often, regardless, it is just the plain truth). The lyrics of DIO’s songs were motivating, captivating and always exhilarating for me while I was growing up in my late teen years. For Metal sake, DIO’s lyrics were influential to me while I was in my early twenties as well. What I took from the lyrical creativity of Ronnie James Dio so many years ago, I no longer take hold of as strong. As I grew up, (well, I think I matured somewhat since the ’80’s), the lyrics of DIO seemed to take on a more entertaining feeling… lyrical interpretation has changed for me over the years, based on life experiences. Seriously, when I used to listen to the song “The Last In Line”, back in High School, well, I equated the lyrics to my being the last in line. I was a typical authority hating – know it all as a teenager, therefore, totally normal for a Metalhead back in the 1980’s. Fast forward to 2009, I equate the lyrics as inspiring still, only I do not dwell on myself and always being the victim, (as I did as a teenager). Plus, being a middle aged Metalhead, I now respect or tolerate authority, depending on the situation. The Heavy Metal of DIO and many, many other Metal bands from decades past encouraged and instilled a strong feeling of hope for me, when I was young… I shall never forget this. The escapism of DIO’s Heavy Metal was the elixir that worked for me years ago… this escapism still works for me now. That is why this 1984 album from DIO “The Last In Line”, will last my Metal Music lifetime.

“Mystery” is another song from the “Last In Line” album that is in my Metal opinion, untouchable. This is one song, that lyrically, I can still relate to. Life is a mystery, plain and simple. There really is nothing more to scrutinize… no one really knows where they are going to be tomorrow. Heck, back in High School, the guidance counselors used to waste their time with us kids, asking us where we want to be, what we want to do when we grow up. These guidance counselors all had a job to do, with fine intentions. The truth is, the paths I took to get where I am now were filled with detours, delays, trauma, luck of the draw, misfortune and certainly fortunate opportunities. In other words… mystery. They don’t teach this in school. I never knew when I was going to get married, plus I never knew how many children my wife and I would have. Mystery.

This is by far and large, the single most influential Heavy Metal song I have ever listened to in my life. Now, the next time you are on a dreaded job interview and the interviewer asks you – “where do you want to be in five years, ten years from now”?… look at this fool straight in the face and tell he or she, as Ronnie James Dio so eloquently put it, “it’s always a mystery, not what it seems to be, it’s always a mystery,  just like you and me”. 

200px-DioTheLastInLine

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