Crime Records

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dio.  This Is Your Life.  Various Artists.


1. Neon Knights. Anthrax
2. The Last In Line. Tenacious D
3. The Mob Rules. Adrenaline Mob
4. Rainbow In The Dark. Corey Taylor et al
5. Straight Through The Heart. Halestorm
6. Starstruck. Motorhead & Biff Byford
7. The Temple Of The King. Scorpions
8. Egypt (The Chains Are On). Doro
9. Holy Diver. Killswitch Engage
10. Catch The Rainbow. Glenn Hughes et al
11. I. Oni Logan et al
12. Man On The Silver Mountain. Rob Halford et al
13. Ronnie Rising Medley. Metallica* *This Is Your Life. Dio* *


Ronnie James Dio is a name we all know in the world of metal and rock.  A name associated with excellence and a man who has touched and influenced the lives of many.  A man who was and, indeed, is a legend.  He was one of the best singers ever, period!  So it is no surprise that a plethora of big names in metal and rock have stepped up to give tribute to the legend.


Anthrax are charged with the initial assault, giving a performance of “Neon Knights” that's so similar to the original that I had to check the performer name to make sure I hadn't missed something.  It's an absolutely amazing cover of the original and is a fitting way to start the proceedings.   
    
Next in line (excuse the pun) is “The Last In Line” performed by Tenacious D, complete with flute solo (I'm not kidding).  The track itself is well performed, if a little odd (we are dealing with the "D" here) but it may seem a little insincere to many.  More of a mockery than a tribute.  But, anybody that knows the “D”, I think, can safely assume that it is sincere.
   
It’s certainly a surprise to many upon hearing Corey Taylor sing.  Most people associate him with slipknot, so they’re not accustomed to his often beautiful voice.  And boy does he glisten here.  Taylor and elements of Stone Sour and Steel Panther give us a rendition of “Rainbow In The Dark” which I, for one, cannot stop listening to.  The guitar solo(s) provided by Steel Panther’s Satchel are electrifying and have given me a different perspective on the performer.  This is nothing to say of the other performers on the track who shine just as bright.


Halestorm’s Lizzy Hale could, in an alternate universe, be Ronnie’s alternate self.  Although I’m not the biggest fan of Halestorm (good band, just not to my taste) it’s always a joy to hear her sing.  Yet again, in their cover of “Straight Through The Heart” she’s strong, gutsy, sexy and excels at her craft.  The other members of the band certainly stepped up to the parapet for an all out assault to slay us with this gem.


Adrenaline Mob’s “Mob Rules” is one of my personal favourites from the album.  It’s extremely well executed, heavy and powerful.  Again another power attack to lay us all low.


    Into legendary territory here with a raw, energetic and visceral adaptation of “Starstruck”.  Who doesn’t like Motorhead or Saxon, right?  Motorhead are always raw and powerful and Saxon send shivers down the spine of any red blooded Englishman/woman (I’m not English and they still do).  All of the guys involved in performing this track are venerable and legendary and you’ll get the feeling that they came in, performed the song once and went for a pint like the seasoned, elite masters they are.


Yet more legends (we’re not worthy) The Scorpions discharge a volley of perfection with a version of “Temple Of The King” which is utterly beautiful and masterfully wrought.  In my opinion it’s one of the best covers on the list (and it’s in good company) and is an utter joy to listen to and the intro made my hairs stand on end.  A highlight of the song is definitely the guitar work which feels so emotional and engaged.  Schencker & Co. definitely felt this song.


God’s teeth but I love Doro!  Warlock’s former vocalist wants to melt my knees, I’m sure!  This is a very powerful hard, power rock version of “Egypt (The Chains Are On) “and is an excellent tribute to Dio and yet another emotional track.


The next track is one I’ve been listening to on my player for a few years now.  And I love it (the vid is funny)!  Those tricksters Killswitch Engage give a corking performance of “Holy Diver” giving it a slight twist with their take on the metal format.


Soaring guitars open Glenn Hughes heartfelt performance of “Catch The Rainbow”.  Hughes and Dio have fronting for Black Sabbath in common so it’s very fitting that Hughes has an entry here.  It’s a solid performance in true Hughes style and fits nicely.


“I” is one of my favourite songs that Dio sang.  Although reviews should really be objective and not subjective, it’s really hard with this album and in particular, this song.  You see, all of the performers on this track were either former bandmates or associates/friends of Ronnie but, even taking into account these factors, I can’t get this cover to grow on me.  It’s not the performance per se, I just think it’s a personal issue.  I’m sure there are those who are going to shoot me down for this but it’s my own opinion.  See what you think.


The first thing I’m gonna say about this track is it’s pant wettingly good.  Rob Halford, Vinnie Appice, Doug Aldridge et al perform “Man On The Silver Mountain”.  It’s a great homage and a grand performance to rock out to.  Rob Halford also, like Dio, sports a unique voice in metal and rock.


In recent years Metallica have been the target of much merriment and, dare I say, controversy.  These masters (some say, former) of thrash are known for many things such as crushing riffs, superb solos, a multitude of “yeah’s” and Lars Ulrich.  But one other thing they’re aficionados of are medleys and covers and they deliver a jaunty 9 minute example here.  The ‘tallica boys always sound as if they’re having heaps of fun (and who can blame them, being the worlds biggest metal act) and it certainly exudes this here.  This medley also deserves a few listens.


The last track on the album (unless you have the bonus material which I’m not going into here) isn’t a cover.  I don’t want to sound like a fawning idiot because I surely am, but the title track “This Is Your Life” is an onslaught of emotional beauty performed by Dio, himself.  I can’t say much else about this track except that you need to hear it to appreciate it.


So, after completion of listening to this tribute album for the final time before writing this, I am quite impressed by the material.  I can’t say that there’s a weak track except that, naturally, some shine just a little brighter than the others.  But it’s a tribute after all and giving a personal interpretation of a man that’s influenced you is a great thing.  After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. A very good 8.5/10  



“This is your life. This is your time. What if the flame won't last forever.
This is your here. This is your now. Let it be magical”


                                -Dio



Please remember I’m no expert and this is entirely my opinion.  I’m just a guy who likes metal \m/