Metalocalypse

Revisiting Dio's First Two Albums, 30 Years Later

It's hard to believe that it has been four years since legendary metal front man Ronnie James Dio passed away from cancer. His body of work and contributions to the metal world will never be forgotten, and that was hammered home recently when Foo Fighters released their Sonic Highways single "Something from Nothing," with a huge riff clearly culled from Dio's first solo hit, "Holy Diver."

Dave Grohl is a metal guy, so this very clearly isn't a coincidence. It's an obvious homage and tribute to the departed metal god, and it sticks out clearly to those of us who have been Dio devotees for most of our lives. Hearing that song, as great as it is on its own, immediately made me want to bust out Holy Diver all over again, and it reminded me that this year is the 30th anniversary of that album's follow-up, The Last In Line.

How do those two records hold up today? What is their legacy in the metal landscape? For all the praise heaped on Dio before and after his death, does his solo work truly hold up?

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Corey Deiterman