Released by: April 7th, 2023
Genre: Instrumental DIO
All Instruments: Paul Gilbert
Drums: Bill Ray
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
12. The Last In Line
Often inspiration can come from things that we normally don’t expect, or just from spontaneous opportunity, things we can often overlook can give meaning to so much fruitful art. This kinda happen to guitar legend Paul Gilbert one day, as a mere tip of a hat with the Dio logo on it got Gilbert’s juices flowing, and decided he wanted to pay tribute to the Heavy Metal icon, the late Ronnie James Dio. How unquestionably Gilbert, a man who doesn’t need any introduction, or doesn’t require cover songs to validate anything he has done in the past, wanted to do this. A full instrumental record devoted to a living legend? Hell Yeah, please!!!
The chosen tracks here you can tell we’re carefully crafted from the obvious DIO classics to his time in Black Sabbath. Out of a handful of folks in the Rock realm that could pull this off, I think Gilbert is on that list unquestionably, not being a stranger to instrumental music himself with an extensive back catalog and collaborations galore.
All the instrumentation is handled by Gilbert and the drum work by Bill Ray is outstanding.
We start this all-time playlist with Neon Knights, one of Ronnies Black Sabbath’s classics, and boy is it well done. When you first hear this, it does the original justice, but it also brings a new flavor to its high-octane rendition. Yes, Paul shreds on this, but is not in any way shape, or form a showboating performance, just a fantastic modern rendition of a classic. Another one that just slays is “Stand Up and Shout”, boy the guitar work is timeless here, love it, and the drum work is stellar too.
How Paul conducted his rendition of “Man On The Silver Mountain”, is very well executed, with pristine riffage, but with a keen attaintment to the delicacies in the original construct that made that tune a timeless classic by Rainbow. I think the man in black himself would be proud of this one.
When I heard this “Holy Diver” version I was in awe of once again, the master class by Gilbert of yea, another tune that has been covered many times over, but yet the instrumental version of this just freaking slays man. One of my favorites DIO tunes comes in “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, one in which original axeman Vivian Campbell just rips, Gilbert follows suit in such similar fashion, another top-notch rendition well worth the price of admission.
Any fans of Gilbert and DIO have to check this out, an immense talent paying the ultimate tribute to a Legend. This doesn’t disappoint one bit. Paul Gilbert goes into the lab, reconstructs timeless Metal classics without compromising the integrity of the original, and still makes it his own. The fact that you want to sing every song out loud and the record still has enough assortment of Gilbert’s fusion and style, is a feat in itself. Check it out you won’t regret it!!!
Check out our interview with Paul here for more details about music for the DIO ablum came together…
Written by: Shadow Editor