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Dio - 'The Very Beast Of: Vol 2' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 11, 2013    
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A rather fine collection of Dio material.

Yet another compilation (there’s 17 tracks) featuring the incomparable Ronnie James Dio to follow ‘The Singles Collection’ reviewed by Neil Daniels last time. “But this is Vol. 2” I hear you exclaim! “What about Vol. 1?” Well, boys and girls, ‘The Very Beast Of Dio’ was only ever released in the USA and Canada, but sold so well that Niji Entertainment is releasing this current volume on a worldwide basis, and it’s also on the Dio on-line store.

There’s over 78 minutes of music crammed onto this release, and it continues from where the original volume left off – from 1996 onwards. Thus the material included here focuses upon tracks from the last phase of recordings released under the Dio banner, and taken from ‘Angry Machines’, ‘Last In Live’, ‘Magica’, ‘Killing The Dragon’ and ‘Master Of The Moon’ along with three bonus tracks, of which more anon.

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Now, we will all have our favourite Dio songs and favourite incarnation of the band and across this lengthy album not everything will necessarily resonate, and for me it’s the second half of this album that I have found really worthwhile, starting with the brutally heavy live track ‘Hunter Of The Heart’. ‘One More For The Road’, ‘Lord Of The Last Day’, ‘As Long As It’s Not About Love’ and ‘This Is Your Life’ are all amazing songs and for very different reasons, the last of these four, of course, being a very fragile and really rather sad number from ‘Angry Machines’. Two of the others are from ‘Magica’ and possibly THE prime reason for investing in this volume is the bonus track ‘Electra’ taken from ‘Magica II’. “‘Magica II’?” Well, yes! As many of you will undoubtedly already know, as originally conceived, ‘Magica’ was going to be a trilogy, and at the time of RJD’s passing he was working on the second part of this. ‘Electra’ comes from this and is a wonderfully heavy but melodic number, and provides the merest of glimpses into what might have been.

The other two bonus cuts at the end of the album – ‘Metal Will Never Die’ and ‘The Prisoner Of Paradise’ are also two excellent songs to have here. The former was one of the last songs to be recorded by Ronnie, and was originally released on David ‘Rock’ Feinstein’s album ‘Bitten By The Beast’, while the latter was only released on the Japanese version of ‘Master Of The Moon’.

I reckon this is a rather fine collection of Dio material, and is well worth investigation if your curiosity has been piqued by my comments.

Paul Jerome Smith

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