As BLABBERMOUTH.NET first reported on Nov. 29, the official Ronnie James Dio web site has now confirmed that DIO will be working on a new album in January/February and going back on the road sometime in March for an extended South American tour. The band will resume work on the new CD in April/May, with plans to complete the album by the end of the year. The band's management has also confirmed that DIO will be making several European festival appearances during June, July and August. No U.S. tour plans for 2006 have yet been announced.
The current DIO touring lineup includes guitarist Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE), who has been filling in for an injured Craig Goldy since early October. Craig was previously said to have hurt his arm while touring Russia and was trying to continue to play the shows on painkillers, but was eventually forced to leave the trek.
Aldrich's sole studio recording with DIO came in the shape of 2002's "Killing the Dragon", after which he toured with the group before leaving to join the touring lineup of WHITESNAKE.
In other news, Ronnie James Dio's film debut in the shape of a cameo in the forthcoming movie "Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny" is tentatively expected in the theaters in March. The film is being directed by Liam Lynch, who also directed the video for TENACIOUS D's "Tribute" and the clips shown at the D's concerts ("Butt Baby", "JB's BJ", and "Rock Star Sperm Bank"). The film is being produced by TENACIOUS D star Jack Black's longtime colaborator Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films and Working Title Films, which produced "High Fidelity".
Dio has been tapped to play the role of "Dr. X" on QUEENSRŸCHE's sequel to their platinum 1988 concept album, "Operation: Mindcrime", entitled "Operation: Mindcrime II". The CD is scheduled for release on March 14, 2006 via Rhino Entertainment.