"Holy Diver" is a song recorded by heavy metal band Dio. It was released in August 1983 as the lead single from the band's debut album of the same name. Although it only reached number 40 on the Mainstream Rock chart at that time, today it is one of Dio's most popular songs. When played on the radio, many stations cut the extended instrumental intro sequence. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel. In 2009, Holy Diver placed 43rd on VH1's Top 100 Hard Rock Songs.
The music video for "Holy Diver", directed and edited by Arthur Ellis, features Dio as a hairy barbarian adventuring through a desolate church. First he strikes a shrouded figure and hishobgoblin friend with his sword, but instead of killing them he turns them into rats. He later visits a blacksmith who is forging a sword. He throws his sword in the trash and deftly catches the newly forged one.
|Germany (Media Control AG)||52|
|United Kingdom (The Official Chart Company)||72|
|US Billboard Rock Tracks||40|
- The song is featured in the South Park episode "Hooked on Monkey Fonics", in which Dio (parodied) appears and performs the track at a school dance.
- This song is featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the playlist for the in-game radio station, V-Rock.
- Pat Boone, on his album In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, with Ronnie James Dio himself on backing vocals.
- Killswitch Engage covers the song on a compilation album entitled High Voltage!: A Brief History of Rock for Kerrang! magazine. The song is also in the re-release of the band's As Daylight Dies album. It is KSE's first top 20 single on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Charts. The song also includes a music video which is a slightly comical take on the original Dio version. A live version of the song is also featured on the Special Edition of their 2009 album Killswitch Engage.
- Otyg recorded a version and have also performed it live.
- Eläkeläiset (Humppa band from Finland) reinterpret it in their song Humpparaakki on their album Humppamaratooni.
- Sum 41 played the song on acoustic guitar for the MTV show Jammed.
- Children of Bodom paid homage to this theme including its initial riff in the intro to their song "Downfall" in live shows; this can be heard and seen in the Chaos Ridden Years live album/DVD.
- Sons of Butcher have also performed it live.
- Tenacious D has performed parts of the song live.
- Nightwish has performed the song during a soundcheck for a live concert.
- HolyHell has done a cover of the song at some live performances.
- After All, a Belgian thrash band, covered the song on their 2009 album Cult of Sin.
- Axel Rudi Pell, a good friend of Dio's, recorded a ballad cover on his compilation album, The Ballads IV in 2011 with Johnny Gioeli on vocals.
- Holy Mother, played a cover of it in the tribute album Holy Dio.
- Ryan Adams covered the song live, solo and with just an acoustic guitar on March 3, 2012 at Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Australia.
- Veronica Falls teamed up with Jeremy Warmsley of Summer Camp to cover the song live at a gig in Sheffield, England on 6th February 2013.