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Paul Gilbert has turned Dio’s Holy Diver into an instrumental and it’s kinda freaky

Holy Diver comes from shredder Paul Gilbert’s upcoming tribute collection The Dio Album, with RJD’s vocals replicated on guitar



Shred king Paul Gilbert has announced The Dio Album, an instrumental tribute to the music of the late Ronnie James Dio. He’s also released the first song from the album, an epic version of the title track of Dio’s 1983 classic Holy Diver album.

To be completely frank, we were a little discombobulated by the results. There’s no doubt that Gilbert knows his fleet-fingered way around the neck of a guitar, and his treatment is pretty faithful to the original arrangement. But at the point where Dio’s vocal’s would normally come in, and Gilbert’s guitar carries the vocal melody instead, it’s a bit… weird. Weird good, but initially a bit freaky. 

Thankfully, Gilbert’s an extremely lyrical player, so by the time the song has ended the listener is used to what’s happening and it all kinda makes more sense, but those first few seconds may definitely confuse the unwary. 

Other songs on the album include songs by Rainbow and Black Sabbath, with Gilbert using the same technique, replicating those instantly familiar vocal melodies via the magic of well-wrangled guitar.   

“Playing all these metal riffs like Stand Up And Shout, Neon Knights and Kill The King gave me serious chills,” says Gilbert. “The guitar parts of Ritchie, Tony and Vivian brought no small number of goosebumps.” 

“These amazing riffs are the steel girders of the songs, upon which everything else rests,” he adds. “It had been a while since I’d been this deep into metal rhythm guitar playing, and it felt like I was digging up gold nuggets of fire with a magic platinum shovel. All while wearing a star-covered wizard hat! The guitar solos in these songs came screaming from distant mountaintops. Ritchie, Tony, and Vivian set the standard breathtakingly high.”

The Dio Album is released on April 7 via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group and can be pre-ordered now (opens in new tab).

Paul Gilbert: The Dio Album tracklist

1. Neon Knights
2. Kill the King
3. Stand Up And Shout
4. Country Girl
5. Man On The Silver Mountain
6. Holy Diver
7. Heaven And Hell
8. Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll
9. Lady Evil
10. Don’t Talk to Strangers
11. Starstruck
12. The Last In Line