Yesterday we marked four years since Ronnie James Dio passed away. I remember that day as it was yesterday… I was shocked and depressed. Ten days later, I think, I attended the memorial ceremony in LA and could say my last good bye to one of the nicest persons and one of the greatest Metal singers on the planet. His voice and music live inside of me and will be there till the end of my days. It’s great to know I’m not alone and there are great musicians around who keep his songs live. “This is Your Life” tribute album released couple of months ago is a remarkable work which will definitely make every DIO’s fan happy.
Unfortunately this album was not released on a vinyl yet, but they just announced it will be released on July 8 2014. It’s already available for preorder, you can use the Amazon link above. The CD I have contains 14 covers, but as far as I know, Japanese version has two more songs: “Heaven and Hell” covered by Stryper and “Stand Up And Shout” covered by Dio Disciples. One more bonus track “Buried Alive” performed by Jamey Jasta comes probably on iTunes version only. The collection actually reflects Ronnie’s work in Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell and Dio bands.
I like almost every single track on that CD, but still would like to divide them on 3 categories: kick ass covers, awesome covers and good ones. None of the categories include “This Is Your Life” song. It’s great, it’s the only song here performed by Ronnie and it’s out of competition.
In the first category I place 6 songs:
1. “Neon Knights” by Anthrax opens the album with a powerful energy. Joey Beladonna mimics Ronnie’s intonation and he does it fantastically.
2. “Starstruck” by Motörhead with Saxon’s vocalist Biff Byford. Well… Motörhead plays Rock’n’Roll and this cover is not an exclusion. Biff’s voice sounds awesome and Lemmy also can be heard in chorus. Love it!
3. “The Temple Of The King” – Scorpions performed it as it was their own ballad. For my opinion, this song fits the band much more than “Wind of Change”.
4. “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” – Doro surprised me here. I always knew she’s is a perfect Metal singer, but this performance left me speechless. Never thought that song could sound bad ass with any female voice (please, no offense), but it actually does.
5. “Holy Diver” – Killswitch Engage were able to beautify the song at some degree with the growling voice, which was partially applied; also love the way they ended the song. Just listen to it and you’ll see what I mean.
6. “Ronnie Rising Medley” – I Imagine here how Metallica boys try to find a Dio’s song to cover, argue a bit and finally realize they cannot just pick up one, they need more. So, eventually they came up with the medley featuring “A Light In The Black”, “Tarot Woman”, “Stargazer” and “Kill The King”. About 9 minutes of Metal awesomeness, that’s how I would describe this medley. Really enjoy it every time I listen to it.
Now I would like to go directly to the third category of good covers. Here I include only one song – “Catch The Rainbow”. I’m just not a big fan of Glenn Hughes, that’s the only reason I place it here. But still, I very respect Glenn and like the original version.
All the rest I consider as awesome covers, so they belong to the second category. My favorite ones here are probably “Straight Through The Heart” performed by Halestorm and “Man On The Silver Mountain” performed by Rob Harford.
So, as you see, all the album is great and a must have for any Dio fan. I’m really looking forward for the vinyl release. It should be a beautiful one.
But I have to admit, the CD is also well designed (as you can see from the pictures) and has a beautiful bootleg inside with many colorful pictures.