If ever a band sounded like a combination Rainbow, Dio-era Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell, then it has to be Dream Child. Here we have a brand new supergroup who have taken inspiration from one person in particular, the diminutive Ronald James Padavona. Ronnie called Craig Goldy (guitars, Dio, Giuffria) Dream Child at the time of the ‘Dream Evil’ album, and when the project was being brought to fruition it seemed fitting. The band has been completed with Wayne Findlay (guitars, keyboards, ex- MSG), Simon Wright (drums, ex-AC/DC, Dio, Operation: Mindcrime), Rudy Sarzo (bass, ex-Quiet Riot, Ozzy, Whitesnake, Dio) and Diego Valdez (vocals, Helker). Of them all, it is only the last I haven’t previously heard of, and he has huge boots to fill, which he has actually managed to accomplish.
Of all of Dio’s bands, the one Dream Child sound most like is probably Heaven & Hell, as there are some seriously heavy riffs in here, but mixed up with the styles and sounds that one came to think of his. With Rudy and Craig in the band there is obviously a sense of continuity, and while Wayne is a keyboard player as well as guitarist there actually isn’t nearly as much keyboards as I would have expected to hear if they were going for the “traditional” Dio or Rainbow sound. It’s probably 30 years since I saw Dio in concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, but this album has brought back all the memories (I still can’t believe they managed to fit a ruined castle and a dragon on that small stage, let alone lasers around the whole venue).
If you miss the old style of hard rock, then this is essential. And if you love Ronnie, well, what are you waiting for?