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.
Dio is a heavy metal band formed by big-voiced Ronnie James Dio, in 1982, after his stint with Black Sabbath. The original line-up was Dio with Vinny Appice (drums), Vivian Campbell (guitar), and Jimmy Bain (bass). Claude Schnell was brought in after the first album so that Dio could be released from keyboard duties to concentrate on vocals.Their first three records were released in yearly succession, starting with 1983's Holy Diver and followed by The Last in Line and Sacred Heart. The first two achieved platinum sales, making those albums their most successful to date.
The UK's leading big band, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra, were chosen by producer Mike Valentine for his exploration into the sound differences between direct cut vinyl and a multi-track analogue tape recording and mix done of exactly the same event. The album had to be recorded live so he had to choose a selection of music which would be of the perfect length. Valentine chose a recording studio which not only had a superb sounding space, but also an engineer versed in the black art of cutting live vinyl. Ultimately, he chose Air Studios with engineers Jake Jackson and John Webber. The Syd Lawrence Orchestra led by Chris Dean perform music consisting of eight pieces from the big band era, the creations of Glen Miller, Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman played live at Air Studios. That recording is now available on CD - enjoy!