Upon receiving the advanced copy of the new Ronnie James Dio Tribute album “This Is Your Life” I was eager to hear what all these great metal artist would come up with, I was not disappointed! Ronnie has been a staple in Hard Rock / Metal since the 70’s and it’s fitting to honor the man with the golden voice who has given so much to all of us in the metal community. Including the metal horns (I know Gene Simmons claims to have created it but in all actuality it was Dio that was the originator and I’ll fight anyone who says different)!
When I heard the star studded line up on this album I was floored. For the mighty Metallica to join in on this release is truly a tribute to the man himself. This album truly celebrates the life and legacy of one of the greatest vocalist of my lifetime.
Wendy Dio has done a wonderful job in putting this together and keeping the memory of Ronnie alive. All the proceeds go to benefit the ‘Ronnie James Dio stand up and shout cancer fund’. So without further ado, I give you “This Is Your Life”!
The album starts off with one of my favorite Black Sabbath songs with Ronnie “Neon Knights” by Anthrax. As always with Anthrax doing covers they hit it right on the head. Joey Belladonna”s voice is spot on and the band is ripping. There’s something to say about the way Charlie Bennantte pounds those drums that gets my blood pumping.
Track two is “The Last In Line” preformed by Jack Black and Tenacious D. They have proved to me on their last release “Rise of the Fenix” that they stepped up their game musically and this cover is also proof of that.
Track three is a song that was released awhile backs “The Mob Rules” by Adrenaline Mob. Another ripping rendition, Mike Portnoy is a monster on drums, Duh.
Next up do Corey Taylor and Satchel of Steel Panther cover “Rainbow In The Dark”. This song was preformed incredibly. I actually had goose bumps the first time I listened to it. It brought me right back to my drummer from The Plague; Ralph. It was at his house so many years ago, when I first heard this song.
Fifth track; “Straight Through the Heart” by the popular band, Halestorm. This was a solid cover but I have to say, I’m not the biggest fan (Just keeping it real).
Song six is The Rainbow song “Starstruck” . This I am I hugh fan of! I absolutely love any Rainbow with Ronnie and what more of an honor to do this track then The Mighty Motorhead with the equally Mighty Biff Byford from Saxon. I have to give respect where respect is due!
What a way to follow up legends with more legends. The Scorpions.
Their rendition of “The Temple Of The King” is mellow and beautiful as only the Scorpions can deliver. Say what you will but there’s a reason why they have been in the Rock/Metal scene for 40+ years. I have a live CD of The Scorpions last tour from Greese shortly after Ronnie passed and Klaus did an incredible shout out to Ronnie James Dio stating “Here is another great musician that has left us way to early” as he proceeded to dedicate “Send Me An Angel” to Ronnie. I still get a tear in my eye every time I hear it!
Up next is Doro. I still can’t believe the star power on this album, but then again it’s Dio so I really shouldn’t be surprised.
This cover by Doro is an amazing job of “Egypt (The Chain Are On)”. To this day Dio’s first two solo albums blow me away!
Track nine is a song were all familiar with and was released quite a while ago “Holy Diver “ covered by Killswitch Engage,… enough said.
Song ten is “Catch the Rainbow” from the early Rainbow days. In this case, performed by veterans “Glen Hughes ,Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo and Scott Warren. This is beautifully arranged and sung incredible by Mr. Glenn Hughes. What else can I say about Glenn Hughes?!!
Track 11 “I” –Oni Logan, Rowan Robertson, Jimmy Bain and Brian Tichy. Another stellar job.
Next up (track 12) ‘Man On The Silver Mountain” featuring Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldridge, Jeff Pilson and Scott warren. Although I love all these musicians (especially Doug Aldridge and Rob Halford), personally I feel this song was a let down.
But track thirteen more then made up for it! Metallica doing “Ronnie Rising Melody” (Featuring A Light In The Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer and Kill The King) absolutely smoked! If Metallica always did one thing right it was their versions of covers and this is no exception. The fuckin killed it.
The last track is a very dark and somber song by Ronnie himself, “This Is Your Life”. It’s as if Ronnie is singing from the grave. I have to admit I had a tear in my eye. But let’s not morn Ronnies passing, Let’s celebrate all that he has given to each and everyone of us over the years. And please find it in your heart to donate anything extra you can to “The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund“.
Thank you to the bands who contributed their talent and time to this project, to all the Dio fans around the world and most of all, Thank You Wendy Dio for all your caringness and strength. We know Ronnie is looking down on us all and giving one big HORNS UP! \M/ I’m out, Fly….
Review by: Fly/John Affinito
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