Dio – Lock Up The Wolves

Tonight, for the first time in a long time, I got deeply into the wine. So, it’s time for a Drunk Review! Damn, this has been a while! I feel good.

I’m lovely toasty and I am going to rip through a record Mike gave 2/5 stars. Let’s find out why he was so hard on it…

Wild One starts the record off with a fuckin’ bang. What a pace! Crazy guitars! If this is anything like the rest of the record is gonna be like, I’m all in baby, yeah! This has to be a Dio hits track, right?

Born On The Sun is blues rock. Yes, it’s 80s soundtrack fodder (from 1990), and wtf is it with Dio and rainbows? ;), but still. This is a blues ripper and I liked it!

Hey Angel is pure rock, it’s plodding and heavy and feels so damn good at high volume. Yeah, maybe the lyrics are sorta bad, and it might not be the most exciting thing they’ve ever reorded, but I say this song fits its era just fine.

Between Two Hearts’ pretty intro gives way to a decent, heavy slow rocker. I liked this too. Dammit Mike, I’m drunk and I’m listening and I’m trying to figure out why all you guys were so hard on this record. This is a cool tune!

Night Music almost has an AC/DC intro. Fun! The song breaks into a decent rocker with heavy guitars.  There’s good thought behind this stuff, and that guitar is so sharp it cuts just listening to it.

Lock Up The Wolves is 8.5 minutes long. I’ll pour some more wine for the duration, here. Well, they could’ve left off the entire first minute. And boy do they ever let those pauses hang. But damn, it only makes it heavier. This song hits hard. Huge guitar solo that I absolutely loved. This was awesome!

Evil On Queen Street swaggers along menacingly, dammit this is another heavy bluesy track and I liked it too! I think all you guys that slammed this album may have missed the point completely. By this juncture in the record, it’s obvious that Dio was after something that lurks underneath. This wasn’t a typical Dio album. This was built to make you bang your head to the heavy, the crunchy, the evil. A song like this proves it!

Walk On Water brings back the fast pace, a totally pleasing track that checks all the Dio boxes on the list. Seriously, listen to that guitar solo. The riff is pure Dio. It’s all here.

Twisted is another mid-tempo heavy-hitter. This is soundtrack music, from some movie in the 80s. It would have been perfect. Dio really lets the vocals wail here (like he ever didn’t let them wail, but you know). Yup, another winner!

Why Are They Watching Me is a great paranoia conspiracy song that, of course, rocks like hell. Because Dio didn’t know how to do anything other than rock. Even in the break-down, when it cuts to half-tempo. It doesn’t last long and it’s still cool.

My Eyes has a pretty acoustic intro that quickly gives way to another slicing guitar riff, then bounces back to the pretty part. It all works. When it’s lovely, it’s lovely. When it rocks, it rocks fucking hard! There is much to love, here.

So where’s the issue?

In sum: I am, by this point, pleasantly drunk. But I can still type (mostly) without typos, and I was able to manipulate the youtubes with enough skill to hear this entire album and I am still sober enough to disagree with all you guys. I loved this record. Maybe it isn’t the “classic” Dio, maybe it’s because it’s all new guys playing behind him and for some reason that was a no no, but I cannot join the pile-on in hating this album.

True, it’s not his best (how would I know, I haven’t heard them all), but I, for one, give this pretty full marks. You can go ahead and say ‘what does he know, he’s drunk. If he heard it sober, he’d cringe to read his own words’ but I don’t even think that would happen. I liked this record! A lot!

DIO!  \m/   \m/



Posted on May 17, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I dunno man, in this case I request a sober review. I think the win got to your head.

    If I ever have trouble falling asleep, I put on this album. There should be a slogan:

    Lock Up the Wolves: Better than Atavan.


  2. Hmm… This might be another one you’ve persuaded me to investigate! As I said on Mike’s blog this was the first Dio I ever bought and I just had no time for it. Too boring.

    But I’ve listened to a few tracks online and liked them all. Not quite up there with heyday Dio but still good. I’m also more used to the plodding style he seemed to favour every since so I would maybe give this a fairer hearing this time out. I read Jon saying he listened to it recently and thought it was better than he remembered. I’m intrigued, put it that way!


  3. First song is ass crackin and for me the rest of this slid off the rails fast!
    Just remember at the time Dio had put together a good band for this record but it came up way short.
    Esp at the time 1990 some bands were hitting the skids back than in creativity well for me anyways like I’m some big shot!! Hahahaha…..but hey I was buying this stuff and well I was let down but I’m not a hardcore Dio guy like Mike and some of u fellas but Man U can’t go wrong with Holy Diver & Last In Line so when I think of Lock Up The Wolves I go blank……
    Good early am read Aaron…..hope yout heads not hurtin!


    • Thanks Deke, I don’t usually drink enough to have a hurtin’ head the following morning. I’m a responsible Daddy and all, now. But I had enough to be feeling mighty fine, and I liked this record. Yeah, it’s slower, maybe the lyrics are a little silly, but I think it holds up. Maybe the thing is to not try to compare it to Holy Diver or all the other big Dio faves. This was a new band, and it’s its own thing. I liked the slower. It still hits hard. Ah well, can’t win ’em all. Me, I give ‘er thumbs up for sure.


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