Sabaton, by the overly talented Gryphyn, and I was also working on a review for the new Red Fang album but it all is getting pushed back a day (sorry Gryphyn) so I can bring memory back to one of the mad men of metal: Ronnie James Dio, who died of stomach cancer one year ago today.
It's weird because although I am only in my twenties, thinking of Dio's passing still brings me sadness. I mean, a couple of months previous Peter Steele of Type O Negative died, and he had a much more 'actual' impact on my life, having bought ToN albums and seen them live. But although I lament his death, it is still not anywhere close to what I feel about Dio. In my delusions of grandeur I always hoped I would bump into Dio at the store or at work or something, and that with my stupidly-large knowledge of heavy metal, I could smooth talk my way onto his next tour or something. I know it's foolish but it's my dream ok? I find myself having this same daydream at work now sometimes, before I remember that he has died and that it's a 100% impossibility (as opposed to the 99.9% as it was before). Makes me feel even shittier at my shitty job.
I grew up listening to Holy Diver, another album I can thank my dad for, and when I began to expand my horizons I quickly discovered Ronnie's years at the helm of Black Sabbath. The next step was discovering Rainbow, and that only happened because I had noticed a lot of metal acts covering Rainbow songs or citing the band as a musical reference. It happened so often that I decided to check the group out, which is when I discovered that Dio was the front-man for that act as well! By this point I was in college and was well within the idea that 'Dio is God' (hell it means God in Spanish), and I wanted more. I picked up all his solo efforts, and the few Sabbath albums I was missing, before I looked back to before Rainbow, to what would be my most surprising and probably favorite discovery; Dio's first rock act: Elf. It was totally unlike anything that I had heard the man play before, but there he was, with his booming voice and bard-like singing quality. There was my metal God. Sense then, I still listen to his solo works occasionally, the Black Sabbath years a little less then that, and his final release Heaven & Hell a few times as well. But I listen to Elf all the time, at least one album a month, often the whole discography.
What I find most surprising about Dio's passing is the lack of fanfare today, at the anniversary of this legend's death. Now I'm not saying that there should be a party, but there should be some serious mention and/or thought given to the man's memory. The only website that I've seen so far, with anything more then a passing note has been from That Devil Music, and for that I commend them! They aren't having just an article (like I am, sorry) but an all-day wealth of posts dedicated to the man. Something that I think every site should do on some level.
Pantera gets all-day (in some cases all-week) articles from numerous blogs/websites and the godfather of heavy metal barely gets a passing word... that's a sad day for me.
So go out, think about Ronnie James Dio and all that he has done for your life and others like you. Tell a friend, tell a stranger, tell FaceBook, do something. He deserves so much more then he is getting and it actually angers me that a legend is forgotten so quickly.