Saturday, 6 August 2011

CD Review: Sacred Heart, by Dio (1985)

For his third album in three years after going solo, Dio cranks the handle one more time, and it almost breaks off in his hand. The machinery on Sacred Heart is creaky, rusty, and held together by the paint. An ugly and deepening rift between Dio and guitarist Vivian Campbell during the recording would not have helped, with Campbell leaving the band soon after, and Dio the band quickly losing relevance.

Dio tries to stay faithful to the same formula that served him so much better with Holy Diver and The Last In Line, but this time the inspiration just isn't there. Title track Sacred Heart almost saves the day, but even it straddles the line between a beat that is deliberate and plodding. Opener King of Rock And Roll is blatantly faux live, but at least contains some energy. Rock 'N' Roll Children delivers conviction despite adhering to a most predictable structure, but it stands out due to the much weaker material on the rest of the album.

The more feeble songs are epitomized by Hungry For Heaven, which starts out as just average but after a limp solo dips into endless irritating repetition that screams of exhausted creativity.

Sacred Heart has all the hallmarks of a rushed and troubled project, shovelling product out of the door to keep the cash coming in, accepting as a consequence mediocre quality and a reputational downgrade.


Ronnie James Dio - Vocals
Vinny Appice - Drums
Jimmy Bain - Bass
Vivian Campbell - Guitar
Claude Schnell - Keyboards

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. King Of Rock And Roll - 8
2. Sacred Heart - 9
3. Another Lie - 7
4. Rock 'N' Roll Children - 8
5. Hungry For Heaven - 5
6. Like The Beat Of A Heart - 7
7. Just Another Day - 7
8. Fallen Angels - 6
9. Shoot Shoot - 6

Average: 7.00

Produced by Ronnie James Dio.
Engineered by Angelo Arcuri. Mastered by Greg Fulginiti.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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