Ronnie James Dio is probably best known for his run with heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath. However, some may also know him from his project beforehand with Ritchie Blackmore (or, if you're a real fan, then maybe even from the Elf period), of Deep Purple, who joined together to form Rainbow. After Dio left Rainbow, he went on to join Black Sabbath, and helped the band release some of their most memorable work. After he left Sabbath, he decided to pursue a solo career to show people that he could make music on his own perfectly well. Holy Diver, Dio's debut album, shows that very clearly. While it's not the best metal album of all time, it certainly has its memorable moments. Holy Diver is the band's most well received album, while the others are generally received as failures (relatively) by critics. Some tracks on the album really stand out from the others- namely, Holy Diver, Rainbow In The Dark, and Stand Up and Shout. The rest of the songs are good, with the only 'bad' song being Invisible. Rainbow In The Dark went on to become a surprise hit, landing at #14 on the US Mainstream Rock Charts (while Holy Diver only reached #40.) The song has been used in multiple venues, such as the popular game Rock Band 3.
Overall, this is an amazing album. Ronnie James Dio influenced so many artists in his career, and appeared on albums from numerous bands, ranging from Black Sabbath to Tenacious D. Unfortunately, he passed away last May. RIP Ronnie James Dio, one of the greatest metal vocalists of all time.
(9 out of 10)