I'd be right in saying that most singers after quitting a high profile and successful band normally never quite regain that success as a solo artist. Take Robert Plant, Bruce Dickinson, Vince Neil as prime examples. However Ronnie James DIO has never fallen into that trap and with "Dream Evil" the DIO bands fourth album Ronnie James was it full flow and full control.
DIO has always managed to surround himself with a quota of talented musicians (well minus Tracii-G) and the backroom engine house of Vinnie Appice on drums and bass guitar of Jimmy Bain backed up with the keyboard swirls of Claude Schnell complimented by the excellent guitar work of Craig Goldie gathered together to produce the last classic DIO album before "Magica" was unveiled many years later in 2000.
It goes without saying that DIO's voice is a perfect as ever and never better represented than on "All The Fools Sailed Away", a kind of DIO ballad. The Metal anthems are still there complete with SABBETH-esque riffs like the cracking opener "Night People". The title track is one of my all time favourite DIO songs with a superb chorus and opening Blackmore style riff. The ante is kept up through the likes of "Sunset Superman", "Naked In The Rain", another SABBATH sounding track and the single "I Could Have Been A Dreamer", which is perhaps the albums weakest offering. "Overlove" must have been picked from Ronnie James's RAINBOW day and has all band members playing flat out trying to compete with each other. "Faces In The Window" and "When A Women Cries" are strong Hard Rock 'n Rollers giving much needed space for Goldie to warm up the fingers and impress.
"Dream Evil" doesn't offer much new to the legacy of the DIO band nor does it take anything away from it. It's a quality workout for forty minutes or so and remains a strong Metal release to this day. (Online June 17, 2003)