While Black Sabbath fans tend to agree on most things, the argument over singers Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio still rages on. Just who was the better frontman? Most will obviously side with the former but there are still those who insist Dio will always be number one. Ozzy was responsible for six of the finest albums in the annals of heavy metal but Dio rescued that same band (at least temporarily) from total collapse with two hugely important albums of his own.
Originally released back in 2005 (although a DVD had come out a couple of years before), Evil or Divine – Live in New York City (BMG) was recorded on Dio‘s 2002 world tour and still holds up as a great live representation of the band at that point. Promoting the Killing the Dragon (Spitfire) album, the title track is joined by ‘Push’, ‘Rock & Roll’ and ‘Guilty’, with ‘Fever Dreams’ and ‘Lord of the Last Day’ from Magica (Spitfire) making up the rest of their more modern entries.
Celebrating 50 years in the music business, legendary guitarist Michael Schenker has recruited a wide selection of different musicians on the latest release, Immortal (Nuclear Blast), a hard-edged rock album that perfectly showcases his talent and versatility. With Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow) acting as the main singer, the vocal side is bolstered by the likes of Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), the record’s co-producer Michael Voss (Mad Max) and former Rainbow frontman Joe Lynn Turner.
Ronnie James Dio is getting a comic book! Z2, the premier destination for top quality music-based comics and graphic novels, has teamed up with the Ronnie James Dio estate to create a comic book based on the cover art of DIO’s classic debut album, Holy Diver. Tentatively due in the summer of 2021, “Ronnie James Dio’s Holy Diver” will be created by legends like writer by Steve Niles, with art by Scott Hampton and cover by Bill Sienkiewicz. The news of the Dio comic book was broken by Ronnie’s widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio during an appearance on the latest episode of Syfy Wire’s “Metal Crush”.
The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund (https://www.diocancerfund.org), founded in memory of the late rock legend, will commemorate what would have been Dio’s 78th birthday on July 10 with a video in which rock music celebrities talk about what Ronnie and his music has meant to them. Dio lost his months-long battle with gastric cancer 10 years ago, and the charity founded after his passing has raised more than $2 million to fight the disease that took his life. Largely compiled from red carpet interviews with celebrity guests at various Dio Cancer Fund events, including the 10th Anniversary Awards Gala held at the Avalon in Hollywood in February (see our coverage here) just before the pandemic shutdown, the video contains special video messages from Rob Halford and Geezer Butler, who were close friends of Dio’s. Among those also expressing their thoughts are Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Rudy Sarzo, Craig Goldy, Scott Warren, Simon Wright and Vinny Appice of the Dio band, Fred Coury, Robbie Crane and Ricky Warwick of Black Star Riders, Ahmet Zappa, Joey Vera, Glenn Hughes, Jeff Pilson, Doug Aldrich, Terry Ilous and Eddie Trunk, who hosts most of the Dio Cancer Fund events.Continue reading
Pantera, Down, and En Minor singer Philip H. Anselmo shared a new video with Revolver Magazine to discuss the best metal singers ever. He mentioned Rob “The Metal God” Halford and Ronnie James Dio. Yesterday (May 16th, 2020) marked the tenth anniversary of Dio’s death from cancer. Anselmo has always cited Halford as an influence, as evidenced by his early work in Pantera. Continue reading
It seems unreal, but Ronnie James Dio died ten years ago May 16th, 2010. He died after a long bout with stomach cancer. His incredible voice enduring personality is synonymous with the metal genre. As a signer with his own solo band Dio, as well as Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, Rainbow, and Elf, he was the inspiration of countless singers to follow in his footsteps. Dio gave heavy metal a lot of its fantasy elements thematically in the Power Metal and Symphonic Metal genres. He is responsible for countless genre classics, both songs, and albums, including his first album with Black Sabbath, Heaven, and Hell (Vertigo). Countless Dio inspired bands to operate today named for his songs or lyrics, there are charity events, tribute tours, and charity events that raise money to try to cure the disease that took his life, and even a major metal festival stage at Bloodstock Open Air is named for his memory. Let’s raise a glass along with the horns to Dio today!
Black Sabbath, one of the greatest bands ever, was an act in transition as it entered the 1980s. Less than a year earlier they sacked their legendary lead singer Ozzy Osbourne and replaced him with equally great Ronnie James Dio, previously of Rainbow. The flailing former greats and the hungry vocalist reignited each others passion for Heavy Metal to create something incredible in Heaven and Hell (Vertigo/Warner Bros) The album not only gave the band a shot in the arm, but it also launched their second era with a bang, one their fans would never forget. Continue reading
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Ghost Cult caught up with Last In Line frontman Andrew Freeman a few months back to discuss the goings-on with the group, and all the ways the band made up mostly of former Ronnie James Dio’s DIO band work hard to preserve his legacy. The band also makes their own music, which is totally killer, and in their classic Heavy Metal style. We spoke to Andrew about how the group formed, the depth and songwriting of their 2019 album II (Frontiers Records SRL), opening for UFO, his approach to singing, and the band’s plans for their third album, already underway. Catch the band on their upcoming tour dates and purchase tickets at this link!
Mar 20 The Beacon Theatre Hopewell
Mar 21 BLE Ballroom Blitz
La Fontaine Bleue, Glen Burnie, MD
Mar 22 at Penn’s Peak, with Special Guest Lynch Mob
Jim Thorpe, PA
Mar 26 at Ramona Mainstage
Mar 27 Last In Line, The Hard Way, Angeles, Love Razer, Da Vang, Royal Rebels, Kodiak
Whisky A Go-Go, West Hollywood, CA
Mar 28 at Count’s Vamp’d!
Las Vegas, NV
May 29 at Buffalo Rose
Golden, COContinue reading