Various Artists
A Light in the Black: A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio
(Massacre Records)

A Light in the Black is a two-disk, 20-track tribute album honoring the late Ronnie James Dio, with cuts selected from his days in Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (later Rainbow), Black Sabbath, and, of course, Dio. Among the bands who cover songs on the venerated singer’s retrospective are Crystal Ball, MessengeR, Gun Barrel, Gloryful, The Order, Metal Inquisitor, Circle of Silence, Burden of Grief, Love Might Kill, Rebellion, Iron Fate, and Wizard—all of whom are on the Massacre Records label.

Germany’s power metallers, MessengeR, cover “Kill the King” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, and prove that too much falsetto and over-the-top vocal emoting can botch a good song (see Adam Sandler’s ‘Opera Man’).

Iron Fate contributes a searing version of “Light in the Black”, sounding like the inspired rock and roll fusion Dio and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore used to share together in Rainbow.

German death metal band Burden of Grief play a solid version of “Neon Knights”. While purists might scoff at Mike Huhmann’s vocal rasp, RJD just might be throwing horns in approval from atop his silver mountain. (Charlie Steffens)

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