It’s no secret that Dio has a pretty sturdy following at RMR. Which netted this particular artist a few pretty long reviews already.
So, whenever our crew got to work on this band, we inevitably stumbled across this horned figure. This terrible being that waves those devil’s horns at you, same as Dio himself always did. But – by Loki’s miserable minions – nobody quite knew who or what Murray really was.
But let’s take a step back for a moment. Dio rose to fame in the ’80s, after some remarkable stints with outfits like Rainbow and – yes – early Black Sabbath. As we all know, alpha animals like Ronnie James Dio don’t mix well with others. So, unsurprisingly, Dio ended up with an own band, which started its rapid ascent in 1983 with their first record Holy Diver.
And this is the time where the horned figure officially appeared. The creature is the brainchild of Dio himself who needed a mascot to spin that dark tale of magic and mystery so important to the band’s lore.
Murray was its name and its intentions were murky. Because this specific demon had the guts to – supposedly – fling a priest in chains into the water. And that’s blasphemy right there, or is it really?
Remember, in the ’80s of the last century, the understanding of evil either came from the Holy Catholic Church or originated from behind the iron curtain. Which – in essence – came down to the same thing. So, the now-famous album cover immediately had Dio and his gang painted into the satanist corner.
To which Ronnie James, as the lore goes, drily responded that – actually – it could very well be a priest – Murray – killing a devil. Don’t let appearances fool you, that kind of thing.
To this day, the discussion rages if Murray‘s intentions were good or bad. If on the cover of The Last in Line it just benevolently gazed down on the confusion or really enjoyed the mayhem. Or if – again – on Dream Evil‘s artwork, the beast protected the girl or egged the many creatures of the night on to devour her instead. But this picture is truly creepy, watchers from the window always are.
So, there you go. Mystery served on an awful big platter. Reality all ahoo, with different views all over the place. Could it be that Murray is a totally different animal?
Because Murralsee, its real name, descended from an ancient life form a trillion years old. And – supposedly again – those beings were benign. Only that Murray‘s father fought a curse and had all male offspring killed quickly. Dio‘s mascot only survived the eons through a magic sleeping pill administered by his mother. A slumber from which the beast awoke as the lone survivor of its kind.
So, is this descendant of the Malacovians truly benevolent and will look out for mankind? Or has its personality changed to malice, fueled by the hatred for its long-defunct father and haunted by endless dreams? Well, you be the judge. I guess we will never know for sure.
Oh, and if you don’t have the Dream Evil booklet ready and would like to hear the true story from the horse’s mouth directly, here is the link. Enjoy, and don’t have any nightmares!