DIO Boxed Set Review: “The Studio Albums: 1996-2004”

“The Studio Albums: 1996-2004”
Boxed Set Review by Iron Mathew


Dio are a heavy metal band from the USA formed in 1982 by singer Ronnie James Dio (1942 – 2010) – the band releasing a total of ten studio albums. The boxed set ‘The Studio Albums: 1996-2004’ focuses on the latter part of the bands career, containing the four albums ‘Angry Machines’ (1996), ‘Magica’ (2000), ‘Killing The Dragon’ (2002), and ‘Master Of The Moon’ (2004), and was released by BMG Entertainment in 2023.

Two dates will forever be etched in my memory – actually many more than just two – but some point during 1981 when I first heard the Black Sabbath albums ‘Heaven And Hell’ (1980) and ‘Mob Rules’ (1981), the band fronted by (then) new singer Ronnie James Dio. And 16th May 2010 when I heard the sad news of Dio’s death. Ronnie James Dio is arguably the greatest metal singer to have ever graced the world of heavy metal, fronting the bands Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell, and of course his own band Dio.

As an impressionable, and fairly rebellious teenager during the eighties, my love for heavy metal began in 1980 with British metallers Angel Witch, quickly progressing on to Saxon, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath – the Dio fronted ‘Sabbath that is before I discovered the bands previous albums with Ozzy Osbourne at the mic. When Dio left ‘Sabbath and formed his own band – simply named Dio – the debut album ‘Holy Diver’ was fucking incredible! And from then on I was a major fan – and still am to this day, thoroughly enjoying every single album released by Dio, including Ronnie’s return to ‘Sabbath in 1991 for 1992’s ‘Dehumanizer’, and his collaboration with ‘Sabbath duo Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, and former ‘Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice in the band Heaven & Hell – releasing the full length album, the exceptional ‘The Devil You Know’ in 2009.

And just a year later, the metal world and myself were devastated by the sad news of Ronnie James Dio’s death – the legacy left behind permanently etched into history, Dio’s music will live on forever, influencing generation after generation of musicians. And in the shape of ‘The Studio Albums: 1996-2004’ boxed set – a set fully supported by Ronnie’s widow Wendy Dio – introducing younger and newer fans to Dio’s music, the legend of Ronnie James Dio will live on forever.

Now I realise I haven’t spoken too much about the music on offer – I reckon it’s clear to everyone that Dio had the golden touch. He could do nothing wrong, all ten albums by the band Dio are fantastic, and I urge you to listen to them all! You won’t be disappointed – I wasn’t, and I’m still listening to them now!

Overall, a fabulous boxed set featuring the most recent four Dio albums – a must listen for any fan of great heavy metal and an even greater singer.


Angry Machines
Killing The Dragon
Master Of The Moon


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