Killing the Dragon [Bonus Tracks]by Dio
Ronnie James and his latest version of Dio roll out another collection of songs on Killing the Dragon, steeped in the requisite medieval imagery he loves to use. The songs and the sound remain the same throughout, and as far as Dio is concerned this can be both good and bad. From the beginning he takes listeners down a familiar route with "Killing the Dragon," which begins with a sinister intro and quickly kicks in with a classic metal guitar riff -- formulaic yes, but definitely rocking. The song's subject is the computer ("small gods with electrical hearts"), referred to as the dragon, and how it is now "time to be killing the dragon again." Dio's voice is in fine form, as is the musicianship of his current lineup, including the latest addition of Doug Aldrich on guitar, who successfully captures the classic Dio sound. This release occasionally treads in too-shallow water, trying to sustain the magic on songs such as "Push" and "Guilty" with overly simplistic lyrics and hollow melodies. However, with songs such as "Along Comes a Spider," "Before the Fall" (a forceful rocker with great keyboard additions by Scott Warren), and "Rock & Roll" (a melodious ballad inspired by the September 11th tragedy that is very Sabbath-like in its pacing), Dio remains in classic form. "Throw Away Children," a song about runaways and child abuse that includes the requisite children's chorus, tries to mark the same vein as Pat Benatar's "Hell Is for Children," but ultimately is unsuccessful. The song was originally supposed to be used for Children of the Night (an organization that rescues children from street prostitution), but the lyrics were deemed too depressing. One could easily accuse Dio of being formulaic and unchanging, and while that is oftentimes true, it is also his consistency that gives him a quality of sound that fans know they can depend on. At one point he sings, "Kneel and behold your new king" -- same as the old king but still worthy of the metal crown. This is a welcome addition to any fan's collection.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsDio Primary Artist
Jimmy Bain Bass,Keyboards
Ronnie James Dio Vocals
Scott Warren Keyboards
Doug Aldrich Guitar
Simon Wright Drums
Technical CreditsWyn Davis Engineer
Ronnie James Dio Producer
Wendy Dio Management
Carol Kaye Publicity
Peter Tsakiris Art Direction
Mark Sasso Illustrations
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KILLING THE DRAGON Opening is very ambient HOLY DIVER(the song) like. This has a chug-chug-chug riff I love to death! Doug's guitaring in the chorus is brilliant. Reminds me of the song Sacred Heart just with a bit more heaviness, plodding style. Lyrics 9/10 Solo 9/10 Song 9/10 ALONG COMES A SPIDER Reminds me of the songs Faces At The Window & Overlove. very straight ahead, simplistic riffage. Lyrics 9/10 Solo 10/10 absolutely ripping!! Song 9/10 SCREAM We've all heard this one! Just love it and it is very simple, stright forward DIO mayhem!! Lyrics 10/10 Solo 9/10 Song 10/10 BETTER IN THE DARK Very FACES AT THE WINDOW and/or OVERLOVEish. This could be right off of DREAM EVIL. Lyrics 7/10 - what does he mean??? hehheh Solo 8/10 Song 8/10 ROCK AND ROLL Beginning is like the start of the song Last IN Line, then kicks into a MAGICAish riff, the usual Heaven And Hell/Holy Diver beat...bass heavy! Lyrics 10/10 very cool stuff being said here Solo 7/10 weakest of the batch..but better than 90% of what's out there right now! Song 9/10 gonna be a great live song...right between Holy Diver & Heaven N Hell!! PUSH I LOVE this song!!! This sounds like SHOOT, SHOOT and JUST ANOTHER DAY and ANOTHER LIE..in other words SACRED HEARTish!!!! Very poppy and hookish...great stuff! Lyrics 10/10 Solo 9/10 Song 10/10 GUILTY This one reminds me of MYSTERY. Very poppish, a great compliment to PUSH. Ronnie really shines here! Lyrics 10/10 - because we ALL are GUILTY...the chorus is so sing alongy that it works!!! Solo 8/10 Song 10/10 I hum it for christsakes!!! hehhe heh THROWN AWAY THE CHILDREN This is very epic. Drums in the beginning. Very ALL THE FOOLS SAILED AWAYish. The emotion in Ronnie's voice comes thru crystal clear! This is gonna get major play in my CD player!!! Lyrics 10/10 - beautifully put and the chorus is brilliant ( the kids choir is eerie) Solo 10/10 lots of feeling and emotion coming thru Song 10/10 one of the best on the CD. BEFORE THE FALL TV Crimes is the first thing that comes to mind. The hook hear is deadly and contagious! DIO sounds like the devil in this song (a good thing)!! Lyrics 10/10 the line about happiness smashing into a wall is great!!! Solo 10/10 Organ solo...what??? an ORGAN solo???..yep and it works!!! Song 10/10 evil sounding RJD ALWAYS a 10!! COLD FEET This one reminds me of EVIL ON QUEEN ST. from LOCK UP THE WOLVES...very bluesy, jumpy..I can see RJD bouncing around on stage!!! Don't know why this is called COLD FEET but it kicks much butt! Lyrics 10/10 Solo 9/10 Song 10/10 Very hummable chorus. Well, I have to say that I added up all the points and it came to 93/100. I didn't think it would be that high when I first got it but it grows on you like a fungus. If Vinny was on drums this would have been way more heavier..almost DEHIUMANIZER heavy. RJD sounds like a God that he is...Doug is on par(at least) with Goldy..and Bain is rock solid...Simon is good...better than good...but a bit more heaviness would have put this into classic range for me. KTD is very SACRED HEART and DREAM EVILish...and that's a good thing!
In short, ''Killing the Dragon'' could have easily fit between ''Dream Evil'' and ''Lock up the Wolves''. It had enough ''Dream Evil'' for the hard rock fans, and enough ''Lock up the Wolves'' for the blues rock fans. RJD's voice is in good form. One of the first things that caught my attention was the great bass riffs. The guitar solos were good. However, after listening to the CD a few times, I realized something was missing - Vinnie's drumming! Simon Wright is a great drummer, but his style is quite different from the classic Dio sound that was attributed to Vinnie. I kept listening for the tenor drum fills and cutting cymbals, but they just weren't there. Dio was really close to capturing his classic sound on this CD, but Vinnie's contributions are sorely missed.
This album would have sold millions 20 years ago. It's consistency reminds me of AC/DC Back In Black, where every song is an absolute killer! Doug Aldrich has one of the cleanest guitar sounds around and he is definitely a confident and accomplished musician. Not enough can be said about Ronnie's voice...still vibrant, solid, and howling after all these years.
great cd even if dio's getting alittle old. U dont have to be old to listen to him though, im 13 and i love his stuff. Killing the Dragon (the Song) is the best song on the album- very heavy riffing dun-dada-duh alot like iron maidens powerslave (which is awsome)Rock and Roll is also a gem. Souds alot like Led Zeppelin's Kashmire though. Scream and better in the dark are also really good. Throw Amay Children is one of his greatest, featureing a children's choir in the corus, but still ver very heavy/ DIO ROCKS