Dio – Holy Diver – 1983 – Warner Bros/Vertigo, cover art review, by Sarah Clow
A much needed tribute, as none of my favourite rock nights have tributed him yet, I am haha!!
This is probably one of Dio’s most famous albums, with the artwork to catch unwanted attention with it! Its controversy came due to the artwork featuring the devil killing a man of the cloth. I found a little information on wikipedia, which led me to learn that Dio was quick to argue that appearances are misleading and that it could just as easily be the priest killing the devil, he wanted people to not judge a book by its cover.
The devil figure, named Murray, happens to be the Dio mascot, featuring on other Dio album covers. Iron Maiden and Megadeth had the same feature across many albums with Eddie and Vic Rattlehead respectively.
As I have already mentioned, I wanted to do this one in tribute to the great man himself, Ronnie James Dio, who, in July 2010, died of stomach cancer. I chose to do possibly his most iconic album, Holy Diver. I love the concept of the devil grabbing the priest in his chains and drowning him, its as if he’s being punished for his sins, this just brings to mind all that crap about some of the clergy being perverts, in which case it is justified. But then again you could also go into the truth behind god and the devil, heaven and hell, here you pretty much have three worlds entwined. But where would the priest end up in the afterlife? Heaven? Hell? Or purgatory?
The artwork was illustrated by Randy Berrett, the concept by Wendy Dio, Ronnie’s wife. Unfortunately I was unable to find any information on Berrett, but wherever he is hiding, I’m sure he’s still creating wonderful imagery like Holy Diver.