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Dio

Lock Up the Wolves

Review by Gary Hill

I have to say that I was never a big fan of Dio's solo work when he was huge in the 1980s. I realize now that was a mistake, and have been playing catch up. I think a lot of people disregarded him after the first couple albums. I think this disc, which is a particularly strong one, shows that to also be a big mistake. Sure, some of it sounds like playing it safe, but when you can create something this good while not taking any chances, you are really talented.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Wild One
Firing in fast and furious, this is a screaming hot metal stomper. It's also a great choice for album opener.
Born on the Sun
A metal stomper arrangement brings this into being, but with a less intense tempo than the opening of the previous piece. It drops to a trademark stripped back Dio sound for the verse. That's the kind of thing that calls to mind Sabbath's Heaven and Hell album. This has some cool twists along the road.
Hey Angel
While this is sort of a by-the-numbers Dio tune, it has a lot of charm and style. The hooks and riffs are all solid. The tune really rocks.
Between Two Hearts
I love the intricate ballad based guitar sound that starts this. The first vocals come in over the top of that backdrop. The cut rocks out more after that first vocal section. The number continues alternating between the more rocking edges and a balladic motif that returns after a time. This is both classy and classic Dio.
Night Music
This is a more mainstream metal tune. It's another that feels a bit by-the-numbers, but still works well. The hooks are strong.
Lock Up the Wolves
The title track starts with a freaky keyboards and effects section. The cut drives out to a hard rocking metal stomper that has a slower concept to it. This has a lot of magic packed into it. This thing is really meaty. it has a great guitar sound and solid chorus hooks. It is one of the highlights of the set.
Evil on Queen Street
This is a classy metal stomper. It is another standout tune on a disc with a lot of strong music. The guitar soloing on this is so cool.
Walk on Water

High energy and driving, this is another powerhouse. It's a screamer that works so well.

Twisted
This is another tasty metal stomper. Perhaps it's a bit generic, but it's so meaty that it really doesn't matter.
Why Are They Watching Me
We're still in the powerhouse, trademark Dio metal zone here. This is another powerhouse tune.
My Eyes
A balladic approach brings this in and holds it (sans vocals) for a time. Then the cut explodes out into a harder rocking instrumental movement. It drops back to the ballad-style for the first vocals. That section really makes me think of Dio's Rainbow days. This really does a great job of combining the more metal side with that Rainbow concept. This is an epic piece that is easily the most dynamic number on the album. It's a powerful tune. It's a great closer, too.
 
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