Sunday, May 16, 2010

The man, the myth, the metal

The next post was originally going to be about pen and paper RPGs, but fate saw fit to intervene. Ronnie James Dio was falsely reported dead yesterday, but, unfortunately, it happened for real this morning. I am actually tearing up a bit as I type this entry, because no man has shaped my taste in music as much as Dio. I got into metal fairly late (college), but the works of Dio hooked me on the genre more than anything else my roommates exposed me to. I own nearly every album by him and other bands he's been a part of during his illustrious career. I listen to those albums more than anything else in my collection.

I was fortunate enough to be able to see him in concert a few years ago. I was blown away; not just because I was finally experiencing music that had meant so much to me live, but because of the man's energy. Even in his 60s, Dio could put on a performance that puts frontmen a fraction his age to shame. Shame, I say. I can only think of one other concert out of the many I've been to that comes close to that Dio show.

I won't try to pretend Dio's music is deep and meaningful. He had the odd moment of brilliance, but much of his work has more in common with the cheese that is power metal. And there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes a person just wants to rock out and have fun, and Dio is my go-to artist when that's what I'm looking for in my metal. The man had an amazing voice, crafted music that pleased my ears with a consistency matched by no one, and only influenced nearly every prominent metal band to come after him. Dio has rocked for a long, long time; now that's all that really needs to be said on the subject.

The afterlife just became a much more metal place.

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