Dio Evil Or Divine

Depending on where your tastes lie regarding classic metal, this new live DVD by Ronnie James Dio and band may be either a godsend or a bore. I haven't been a fan of the ex-Black Sabbath and Rainbow singer's solo work since his first two albums, so reviewing this is a little like getting your 15th birthday cake when turning 30. Filmed live at New York's Roseland Ballroom on December 13 last year (a Friday of course), the disc documents the entire night's performance by Dio and band, which currently features former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright in its ranks. The band's delivery is great: they play well and are competent in backing up Dio, who at 63 can still hit every note and is in total control. Sound-wise, this collection is impeccably recorded, a great sounding set in 5.1 that retains its bite without being too slick, but the footage leaves a lot to be desired. Filmed with digital technology, the playback, at times, is like watching a streaming internet broadcast. Some of the camera shots, especially those of the drummer, are often very choppy. So while it is great to hear the band doing a good job on older classics like "Holy Diver" and "The Last In Line," it's sometimes a little difficult to watch. One major highlight that makes it all worthwhile though: Tenacious D's appearance in the promo video for "Push," off the band's last album, is priceless. Check out the reworked lyrics they give to "Heaven And Hell," it's total stoner savant brilliance. Extras: in-depth interview with Ronnie James Dio; behind the scenes footage; photo gallery and promo video for "Push" (featuring Tenacious D). (Eagle/Spitfire/EMI)