Killing the Dragon is the 9th DIO studio disc, and the first to feature current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich. Craig Goldy was not available for Killing the Dragon as he just recently had gotten married and his wife had a newborn child. Goldy did leave his mark on a few tracks, and has writing credits on Throw away Children, Rock ‘N Roll, and Push.
Doug Aldrich, on the other hand ,had played in quite a few hard rock bands prior to DIO, including Lion, Bad Moon Rising, House of Lords and Hurricane. He was the perfect replacement for Goldy at the time, and his guitar work on Killing the Dragon is awesome.
Killing the Dragon stars this disc off with a high tempo rocker. Doug Aldrich establishes himself quickly by showing off his mad guitar skills. This track sounds like classic DIO to me.
The heaviness continues with Along Comes the Spider. There are plenty of chugging guitars on this track. Sure the title and chorus is kind of silly, but the music is great.
Scream is one of the better tracks on this disc. Its a pretty solid song with some excellent guitar noodling by Aldrich.
Better in the Dark is an excellent upbeat rocker with a cool guitar riff by Aldrich. Dio sounds great here but Aldrich steals the show with some killer guitar solos!
Rock ‘n Roll is one an extremely cool track on Killing the Dragon. This song has an very heavy bass riff. Dio’s voice sounds amazing here. As a whole, this is a very heavy track, and a cool one at that.
Push is probably my favorite track off of Killing the Dragon. Aldrich reminds me of Jake E. Lee on this track. Its a cool song with excellent vocals by Dio. This song may be a little less heavy than some of the other tracks here, but it works.
Guilty would have to be a close 2nd to Push as my favorite on this disc. This is another rocker that kicks ass. This track is also not quite as heavy as some of other tracks on Killing the Dragon.
The guitar work on Throw Away Children is absolutely superb. If it wasn’t for Aldrich’s playing, I would probably skip this track.
Before the Fall has a very Deep Purple sounding keyboard throughout the song, but the guitars are far heavier than any Deep Purple track. Once again, the guitar work is great, but I consider this an average DIO track. It is good, but not great.
The keyboards on Cold Feet give this song a less heavy feel to it. I like this song, but I don’t think I would have placed this as the last song on the disc.
Bottom line, If you want to hear an above average hard rock disc, with amazing vocals and stellar guitar work, you need to pick up Killing the Dragon. There are at least 4 songs on this disc that are mainstays on my play list today. DIO fans should not hesitate picking this up.
Rating: Out of 10
- Killing the Dragon
- Along Comes a Spider
- Better in the Dark
- Rock ‘n Roll
- Throw Away Children
- Before the Fall
- Cold Feet
Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Doug Aldrich – guitar
Jimmy Bain – bass, keyboards
Simon Wright – drums