DIO – Dream Evil

DIO - Dream Evil
  • 7/10
    DIO - Dream Evil - 7/10


Sanctuary / SPV
Release date: July 21, 1987

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Very few vocalists in Rock can offer what Ronnie James Dio has to offer, especially technically speaking. The pressure has always been on for Dio and his guys to top previous album successes ever since Ronnie’s early days with Rainbow and Black Sabbath. How can any band keep up or, let alone, top albums like Holy Diver and The Last In Line? Well, the previous Dio album Sacred Heart showed just how difficult this task could be, as it failed to follow into the footsteps of its predecessors, despite being a hit album. After spearheading the Hear n’ Aid Heavy Metal benefit for famine relief in Africa project in ’86, a long and successful Sacred Heart world tour followed, but increasing tensions between Dio and Vivian Campbell led to Campbell’s departure from the band, and left fans all over the world with huge expectations for both this new album and Craig Goldy (ex-Driver, Rough Cutt, Giuffria); Campbell’s successor.

Stepping into the shoes of a guy like Vivian Campbell is not exactly a light challenge for any guitarist, and fans of Mr. Campbell’s style might need some time to get used to Goldy’s squeezy guitar sound. However, Dream Evil’s up-temp opening track, “Night People,” sounds fresh, alive, and makes you hungry for the rest of the album even though the chorus takes a bit of the punch out of the otherwise very fluent track. The title track “Dream Evil” strikes with solid Classic Hard Rock riffs, and Dio’s renowned vocal power comes to full exposure here. The title and chorus for “Sunset Superman” sounds somewhat unfortunate, but the song does have its moments and some nice dramatic bridges. Next is “All The Fools Sailed Away,” a powerful semi-ballad that boasts of an impressive keyboard/guitar combo solo. Other highlights include the up-tempo track “Overlove,” which also demonstrates Craig Goldy’s guitar skills. “Faces In The Window” is a well-written classic Dio song, and relies heavily on the tight rhythm section of drummer Vinnie Appice and bassist Jimmy Bain, but also delivers some speedy guitar licks and riffs by Goldy. Lyrically, Dream Evil delivers throughout the album in the familiar and somewhat expected fashion.

All in all, Dream Evil can be considered a good Dio album, but in direct comparison to its predecessor, Sacred Heart, somewhat lacks in the number of top quality songs the fans had gotten used to in past efforts, which is evident on average tracks like “Naked In The Rain” or “I Could Have Been A Dreamer.” Dream Evil does not enter the sacred realms of Holy Diver or The Last In Line, which is to be expected in a way due to the new line-up, but it still should, however, easily excite Dio fans all over the world.


  • Frankie Riester

    Frankie was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Cape Town, South Africa. He was born and raised near Stuttgart in Germany, and at the age of 15 he played in his first band. He went on and took professional vocal training lessons and also played the drums. He first got into Hard Rock and Metal at age 12 when his friend and him secretly sneaked into his older sister’s room and browsed through her vinyl collection and bumped into Deep Purple’s Made In Japan. He turned into a complete Scorpions fan throughout most of his teen years, but also had huge aspirations for Rainbow, Dio, and loved most of the 80s a lot. He was one of the founding members/vocalist/songwriter for the Balingen-based Hard Rock band Deadlock. After his band broke up, he recorded a solo album, Frankie’s Playground, which was produced by Tommy Newton and featured some great Metal musicians such as Tore Østby (Conception, Ark) and others. He also runs his own record label, Riester International Records.

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