Album Review: Ronnie James Dio This is Your Life

Written by on May 16, 2014

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Four years ago today, Ronnie James Dio passed away, he was taken by stomach cancer at the age of 67. In the halls of the Gods he now walks. 

This year musician fans of Dio put together an awe inspiring tribute album. Ronnie James Dio This is Your Life is 14 tracks of amazing covers done by some of rock’s legends. Track 1 is Anthrax doing “Neon Knights” which is a song Dio did when he was briefly fronting Black Sabbath. I am a super snob/purist about some things in life; one of them is original line-ups are usually best. I never got into Sabbath with Dio fronting even though i like both components individually. In this case, i like Anthrax as well but not this song. It’s not terrible, it just doesn't melt my panty hose. Track 2 however DOES smelt my sword……or something. Tenacious D covers Dio’s “The Last in Line” and it is majestic. Tenacious D sounds like a Dio cover band anyway so this pairing is inspired! Jack Black’s voice is perfect for a Dio song and they are known to embrace epicness. Adrenaline Mob takes on another Sabbath era Dio song with “The Mob Rules” and does a face melting version of this song. I had never heard this band before this song, but they are impressive. Corey Taylor from Slipknot sings “Rainbow in the Dark” for the fourth track. This track is a huge fail for me. It lacks all soul and passion. So disappointing since the original song is so grandiose! Track 5 makes up for the lackluster track before it. Halestorm sings “Straight Through the Heart” with gusto. They are a newer band fronted by Lizzy Storm and formed by her and her brother. Lizzy’s voice is ballsy and beautiful, it reminds me just a bit of Lita Ford. Not to be outdone, Motorhead follow with Biff Byford singing with them. They perform “Starstruck” which is a Rainbow song. The pairing of Biff’s vocals with the rough chords of Motorhead are a match made in Valhalla. When i think of strong, goose bump inducing male vocals outside of Dio, i think of The Scorpions. Rainbow’s “The Temple of the King” is redone magnificently here. The second female vocalist on the album- Doro hits the nail on the head belting out “Egypt (the chains are on).” Doro was the lead singer of Warlock, a German metal band. Her voice is a bit more operatic than Dio’s but is a beautiful tribute. Killswitch Engage does their best to do “Holy Diver” but in the end this cover makes me want to puncture my own eardrums. I am sad that both “Holy Diver” and “Rainbow in the Dark” were covered so boringly. Killswitch at least puts their own spin on it but ultimately it falls flat. Halford sings Rainbow’s “The Man on the Silver Mountain” and though Halford’s vocals are less than thrilling in this, this version is well done. Metallica attempts a medley at the end of this record but i don’t know how it ends because i fell asleep. It definitely sounds like new Metallica which is exactly the problem. 

All in all this album kicks serious ass. If you love Dio, then throw the horns one time for the God of rock vocals while you listen.





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