From the brutal to the sludgy to the experimental to the symphonic, we raise our horns in welcome and warning to the coming week: we are here to ROCK.

Where does one draw the line between metal, heavy blues, and prog? Messrs. Blackmore, Dio, & Co. refused to answer that question in 1976, and metal has ever been the better for it. “Stargazer” is epic, complex, heavy, dark, majestic—everything that power metal would later claim as job #1. The song remains a high point in the history of fusing the grit of rock music with the grandeur of an orchestra, and provides an early indicator of Ronnie James Dio’s lyrical fascination with a mythical ancient Egypt. While The Wizard may not fly, the Rainbow rises high.

By Craig E. Bacon

Husband, Father, Philosopher, Music/Beer/Comics Enthusiast—Craig has written for The Prog Report and ProgRadar, and now serves as de facto progressive music editor for MusicTAP. Please direct interview requests & review submissions to