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Album Review: Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life (Various Artists)

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 10:20 PM


Ronnie James Dio – This Your Life (Various Artists)

Written by The Rock Man

 

I recently saw an article which posed the question, Which is the best Ronnie James Dio fronted band?  For some it will always be Rainbow, for others maybe Black Sabbath, but for me it was always the band that carried his name, Dio. Holy Diver, The Last In Line and Sacred Heart are three of the greatest metal albums ever in my opinion, but we could debate this all day and never agree. What all fans of RJD can agree on is this … he was taken too soon. We all know the songs and we all know the legacy which he has left behind, on This Is Your Life some of the biggest names in rock and metal combine forces to pay homage to one of the greatest metal performers of our time.


It goes without saying that to kick off an album of this nature celebrating the life of metal royalty you would need to pull out the big guns from the get-go. Those guns come in the form of a cannon with Anthrax getting this show rolling with Neon Nights. This sets the bar very high for the rest of the album and I wondered if the other artists here could match Anthrax’s strong performance. On The Last In Line, Jack Black’s Tenacious D do their best to cover this iconic song. Now this is probably just me, but every time I hear Jack Black sing I can never take him seriously. My mind always flashes back to School of Rock, sure a great film, but you know? I would have liked someone else to cover this. Adrenaline Mob takes on The Mob Rules, which is a seriously awesome version. I can’t say I expected much from Corey Taylor’s version of Rainbow In The Dark, again another favourite, but I was pleasantly surprised. Taylor has managed to score a massive home run here and his respect for RJD is evident. I think one of the hottest properties in hard rock right now is Halestorm, this band kicks serious ass and their version of Straight Through The Heart is out of this world. Singer Lzzy Hale is a very classy performer and this track suits her style perfectly.


Motorhead are joined by Saxon’s Biff Byford on Starstruck. Now while I’m not a fan of Motorhead, I do like Saxon and found this to be a great combination which worked well, this is a fun track. As the album rolls on the names keep getting bigger, with the Scorpions covering The Temple Of The King, metal queen Doro contributes the brilliant Egypt (The Chains Are On), Glenn Hughes offers up Catch The Rainbow, while Killswitch Engage put their spin on Holy Diver. Towards the end of the album comes the real high point, apart from RJD himself, when you say metal I say Rob Halford. Here the Metal God does Man On The Silver Mountain and I couldn’t think of anyone better to do this track. The album winds up with an outstanding performance from Metallica on their 9 minute epic Ronnie Rising Medley and then finishes, appropriately with the man himself on the beautiful piano ballad This Is Your Life.


I can’t imagine such a collection of artists coming together to celebrate the life of one person the way they have here … maybe for Ozzy. Well done to everyone involved, I think Ronnie would be proud of what you have achieved.

 

 


Categories: Album Reviews

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