Once again I took the risk and bought a tribute album, in this case even one that was produced by Dwell records. This act of seemingly blatant masochism was not triggered by a certain thickness or complete lack of wit, but instead by some exceptionally positive comments on this very product by other reviewers.

Thankfully I was not disappointed, which is a state of mind that seems to be much too rare with Dwell tribute albums. "Awaken the Demon - A Tribute to Dio" is quite a good album with interesting covers, despite them being played by the usual plethora of bands never heard of outside the exclusive realms of underground tape trading (and possibly not even there). As a whole, most tracks sound rather good. The selection of tracks is good, too, although I can't for the life of me imagine why Opposite Earth wanted to cover a positively mediocre track such as "Caught in the Middle". Aurora Borialis do a death metal version of "We Rock" that isn't half bad, Division do a faster version of "Heaven and Hell" (pretty good), and other tracks gathering positive vibes are Steel Prophet ("Neon Knights"), Enertia ("Invisible"), Black Earth ("King of Rock and Roll") and Tyrant ("Holy Diver"). As usual, there are a couple of vocalists that deserve to be hung, drawn and quartered for ripping to threads songs like "Rainbow in the Dark" (Division), "Caught in the Middle" (Division), "Evil Eyes" (Imagika) and "Last in Line" (Psycho Scream). As a whole, however, "Awaken the Demon" leaves an uncommonly good impression, partly caused by the closing track, Seven Witches' "Shame on the Night" (of which the final bit contains many other Dio song fragments).



Written April 2000


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