10 Best + Really Different Covers of Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’


Produced in May of 1983, Dio’s debut LP – Holy Diver – is among the the greatest large metallic albums at any time, and a huge explanation why is its title track.

It is centered all-around “a Christ figure” who, according to Ronnie James Dio, goes to yet another planet to do “exactly the identical as we’ve seemingly expert . . . dying for the sins of gentleman so that gentleman can start off yet again.” That concept, coupled with its killer riffs and melodies, resulted in an quick vintage.

It was only a matter of time, then, just before quite a few other artists reinterpreted “Holy Diver,” with the 10 below (which are ranked worst to best) exemplifying some definitely remarkable adjustments. They are not all shiny diamonds or rainbows in the dark, but they’re absolutely worthy of recognition if absolutely nothing else.

Loudwire contributor Jordan Blum is a university English professor and author of ‘Opeth: Every Music Each and every Album‘, ‘Desire Theater: Each and every Album Just about every Track‘ and ‘Jethro Tull: Every Tune Each and every Album.’

  • 10

    Pat Boone

    Bland pop/place crooner Pat Boone is no stranger to sanitizing edgy music (see: “Tutti Frutti”). Unfortunately, he gave “Holy Diver” the exact cure on 1997’s addresses compilation, In a Metal Temper: No Far more Mr. Good Male.

    The jazzy orchestral opening is unsuitable but not as well egregious however, at the time it will get going, it becomes an unapologetically lame and wholesome swing/Major Band abomination. It is not that any of the performances are poor – Boone, his backing singers and the musicians do their positions nicely – but they are in comprehensive opposition to the original’s spirit and focus on demographic. At minimum it is a contemporary take, appropriate?

  • 9

    Model New Idol

    Like the Boone piece, Brand name New Idol’s synthpop rendition (from another style-unique assemblage, 2004’s Elektrokuted: 17 Steel & Rock Tracks Revisited) warrants a bit of credit score for performing a little something new. Of system, that doesn’t indicate that it’s fantastic.

    On the contrary, its techno beats, computerized timbres and posh vocals rework the music into a superficially glamourous, innocuous and dated shame. Real, there’s a incredibly faint essence of goth rock and industrial steel that could be appealing if weren’t undercut by the prevailing upbeatness and glittery sheen. Where’s the grittiness? Where’s the hookiness? Where’s the purpose for it to exist?

  • 8

    Tracy Thornton

    It is a daring overhaul that doesn’t deface the core of “Holy Diver.” Spearheaded by steel pannist Tracy Thorton – who’s also tailored major steel requirements this kind of as Iron Maiden’s “Aces High” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” – it’s a colourful and affectionate instrumental conversion.

    The syncopation is unassuming and repetitive, and there’s minimal to it over and above the combination of percussion and steelpan, but it nails what it’s aiming for. Does it match Dio’s variation? Definitely not, but it’s a outstanding illustration of how musicians who focus in working with non-regular instruments can make a track their own with out performing a disservice to their inspiration.

  • 7


    Taken from 1997’s Humppamaratooni – which basically interprets to The Hump Marathon – the retitled “Humpparaakki” sees the Finnish humppa quintet swapping the multifaceted aggressiveness of their predecessor for a quirkier and more rapidly variation.

    In truth, it is downright carnivalistic, with a jubilant hodgepodge of accordion, organ, bass and drums setting the foundation for the comparably playful (but nevertheless slightly intense) singing. The supporting chants are wonderful, too, and although it’s clearly at minimum a tad tongue-in-cheek, “Humpparaakki” is nevertheless meticulously arranged and performed.

    It’s just a shame that its a lot shorter duration leads to a deficiency of solos and other trademark gildings.

  • 6

    Steve ‘N’ Seagulls

    Like their humppa comrades, the similarly frisky Steve ‘N’ Seagulls hail from Finland. Nevertheless, they emphasis on cooking up a peculiar manufacturer of rockabilly, really hard rock, nation and bluegrass, all of which is on display screen in this article. The rustic banjo prelude is stylishly inviting, presenting a custom made still identifiable motif.

    Furthermore, the direct vocals and backing harmonies are dignified and alluring, just as the at any time-expanding arrangement gets to be lusciously pastoral by the conclusion. Along the way, there is a resourceful 3-way instrumental trade-off, and all round, it does what all terrific addresses should really: stay true to the authentic amidst adding hundreds of unique flair.

  • 5


    With a title like Metalachi, you really a great deal know what to be expecting, and this Mexican ensemble really don’t disappoint. As with all the tracks from 2018’s Tres, this one particular funnels the DNA of its forebearer into a legitimate mariachi template.

    Thus, trumpet, violin, acoustic guitar, guitarron and exuberant singing are prioritized in excess of common steel aspects. That claimed, there is a interesting electric powered guitar solo about halfway in. It is an extremely festive and welcoming alternative to Dio’s composition, showcasing why Metalachi are masters of what they do (and why they did not ought to have to be eradicated from America’s Bought Talent’s 10th time).

  • 4


    American musician Andrew James Witzke has his palms in quite a few jobs, ranging from nation outfit Ski’s Region Trash to goth rock troupe Beloved Enemy. Even so, it’s his 1950s rock ‘n’ roll endeavor, Ski-King, that’s probably the most impressive one, as his 2013 choose on “Holy Diver” demonstrates.

    With its Southern twang and precise tempo, it form of seems like what might’ve transpired if the 1983 installment was alone a heftier reincarn
    ation of a Johnny Hard cash or Elvis Presley song. It is marginally foreboding, of course, but it is also fairly lighthearted and loose, with down-dwelling accentuations and Witzke’s spirited temperament shining as a result of.

  • 3

    Puddles Pity Social gathering

    Considerably like how Gary Jules ingeniously reinvented Tears for Fears’ “Mad Earth,” Puddles Pity Celebration transformed “Holy Diver” into a powerfully vacant and sorrowful gem. Led by sensitive acoustic guitar fingerpicking and downtrodden bass notes, “Big” Mike Geier sings with unadulterated poignancy.

    The reverberation on his voice provides to the track’s haunting weightiness as nicely, underscoring the craftsmanship he puts into announcing each individual syllable. And finally, the unanticipated detours into “We Three Kings” and “Eye of the Tiger” surprise and amuse, respectively, with no detracting from the piece’s overarching pathos. It proves that it is frequently the sparsest tracks that linger the longest.

  • 2

    Killswitch Engage

    This is very easily the most devoted entry on this checklist because the metalcore fivesome stick really carefully to Dio’s vision. Nonetheless, it���s also authentic and great not to involve, specially due to the fact the team injects sufficient of their have flavor to make it experience distinctive.

    Exclusively, equally the guitar do the job and Howard Jones’ voice are a little bit fuller and – dare I say – more epic. In addition, Jones’ occasional screams, together with the trickier guitar solo and elaborate percussion, incorporate ferocity and complexity. It is a damn wonderful substitute and a faultless exercising in precise emulation, so there is seriously nothing to dislike or criticize about it.

  • 1

    Discomfort of Salvation

    Pain of Salvation is a person of Sweden’s biggest contemporary bands, with an irresistibly idiosyncratic blend of progressive metal and art rock punctuating approximately almost everything they do. Obviously, they lean pretty much totally on the latter group for their jazzily natural adaption, and it’s all the improved for it.

    Frontman Daniel Gildenlöw’s soulful manner and expansive vary are immediately charming, and the encompassing harmonies illustrate the vocal elasticity of his bandmates. In the same way, the arrangement is characteristically innovative nevertheless eccentric, with its mild tones and vibe evolving into a vigorously articulate and adventurous jam as only they could build. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment.

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