Paul Gilbert
The Dio Album

Label: Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group
Three similar bands: Rush/Marty Friedman/Steve Vai

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Neon Knights
2. Kill the King
3. Stand Up And Shout
4. Country Girl
5. Man On The Silver Mountain
6. Holy Diver
7. Heaven And Hell
8. Long Live Rock 'N' Roll
9. Lady Evil
10. Don't Talk to Strangers
11. Starstruck
12. The Last In Line

Paul Gilbert - all instruments

King of Clubs (1998)
Flying Dog (1998)
Alligator Farm (2000)
Raw Blues Power (2002)
Burning Organ (2002)
Gilbert Hotel (2003)
Space Ship One (2005)
Get Out of My Yard (2006)
Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar (2008)
United States (2009)
Fuzz Universe (2010)
Vibrato (2012)
Stone Pushing Uphill Man (2014)
I Can Destroy (2016)
Behold Electric Guitar (2019)

Werewolves of Portland (2021)
'TWAS (2021)

Bill Ray - drums

Engineered by Zach Bloomstein

Released 2023-04-07
Reviewed 2023-03-18


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Paul Gilbert takes on some iconic songs when he takes on the task of mimicking Dio’s Vocal lines with his guitar on this Dio Album. It is of course not an unaccomplished guitarist we are talking about here; Gilbert can be heard with bands like Racer X and Mr. Big, and he has done a number of instrumental albums, we have favourably reviewed one of them here at Hallowed. With this album he is taking on some of the most iconic metal songs out there, songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and not just the voice of Dio; but also the guitar playing of Blackmore, Iommi, Campbell, standard setters for millions of bands following them.

The first thing that strikes me is how I sometimes forget that Dio isn’t singing, Gilbert’s guitar sounds very much alike at times, and understandably less so at other times. The songs are well-known already and Gilbert is very true to the original, but thanks to his guitar doing the singing, it gets a fresh feel to it – probably also due to very strong production. One cool thing is that you sing along with the songs as you already know the lyrics and the guitar helps you to know what to sing where, could probably be a good one to help one who desires to be a great singer of Dio songs. Of course, we also get the most iconic songs like Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll, Kill the King, Man on the Silver Mountain, Holy Diver, Don’t Talk to Strangers, Neon Knights, to name about half of them.

The album is very varied thanks to the songs being from different bands and spread over a rather long period of time in terms of conception. And it needs to be varied as it is almost a full hour long, but that isn’t something you really notice when listening to it, it almost feels a little short when the last tones of The Last in Line fades away. A nostalgic journey of course, and a great showcase of how you can use your guitar, a fresh take on something classic. Sure, it isn’t really creative, all Guilbert does is lend his handiwork to songs already written for him – I am sure it was a challenge to emulate the voice of Dio, but that is not creative but rather skilled craftsmanship. Still, with an album like this it doesn’t really matter that it doesn’t offer anything fresh and new as these classic songs get a new fresh face, and one that we can enjoy for years to come.

You have to be a monumental fool, and sad excuse of a person if you don’t like this one. It has everything we need, great vocals (sorry, guitars), great songs, great production, great dynamics, it is enjoyable, and it is one of those albums that puts you in a better mood. I don’t think you should miss this one, it is great, and why not end with a quote from the album: Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll! This album shows why.