Killing the Dragon is the ninth studio album by the American heavy metal band Dio. It was released May 21, 2002 through Spitfire Records and was produced by frontman Ronnie James Dio. Somewhere in Ronnie James Dio's attic is a portrait of a decrepit rock star growing old in his place. There's no other explanation; Killing the Dragon proves that the vocalist's career is boundless, as he keeps putting out excellent albums. Unlike his previous release (the excellent concept album Magica), Dio goes for a more straightforward metal approach here. New guitarist Doug Aldrich captures the classic Dio sound on the fast-paced "Better in the Dark" and the title track, with its memorable riffs and blistering solos. "Throw Away Children," which deals with the death of a runaway girl, is as passionate musically as it is lyrically, while the dark anthem "Rock & Roll" is hypnotic and Sabbath-like as it builds at a slow and heavy-handed pace. In all, it's a solid collection of traditional metal rockers, all of which are wonderfully recognizable as Dio standards. Only death and taxes are more reliable than he is.