Although it has long been trendy to have a laugh at pint-sized wailer Ronnie James Dio's expense, it's actually not as popular now that he's dead. Dio and his devil horns passed into the next realm last May. His brand of mythic metal both parodied and revered by Tenacious D worked magic for genuine artists, including Rainbow and post-Ozzy Black Sabbath, but Dio kept a high solo profile as well. Now, Dio was never much of a lyricist — "If I had a nightmare/I'm sure that I would know/I really don't remember/But I'm sure it isn't so" is one of many ridiculous lines — but he was always the quintessential screamin' showman.
Paying musical respects to the late metal maestro is Evil or Divine, a Dio tribute act fronted by Mike Rivera, singer for Margate hardcore act SAQ. Fort Lauderdale quartet Faethom will throw in a Dio cover as well. Miami's spelling-bee dropouts Paralysys will punish eardrums, and with songs like "Fatal Fury," "Return of the Thrash Lord," and "Mosh Pit Messiah," fellow Miami outfit Thrash or Die does not appear particularly ballad-oriented.