Dio Master of the Moon

The wee wizard of metal is back, yet again, for another offering of elfin inspiration rock. And man, does opener "One More For the Road” ever rock in classic Dio style, a perfect nine a.m. wake-up call to get one ready to conquer Merlin, or the eight-hour work day, depending. But what’s this? The rest of the album unexpectedly veers into the mid-tempo area that we all wish Dio would just steer clear from, track after miserable track blending into one forgettable, murky mess. There’s just something so life-draining when Dio and his capable crew crank out those sluggish numbers, which is precisely not the reason one grabs for a Dio release. Normally known for his life-affirming, get-up-and-slay rockers, albums like this, which seems to be every couple releases these days, just drain and the slayer becomes the slayed, tired and ready for a nap. (Sanctuary)